(Quebec) French Language Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette has ruled. It will amend Bill 96 to allow all students in English CEGEPs who do not have the language skills to take three courses taught in French to replace three French courses. These changes to the basic university regulations apply from the beginning of the fall 2024 school year.
Posted at 6:55 p.m
With this proposal, the CAQ minister modifies a controversial amendment to the Bill 101 reform originally proposed by the Liberals. The original Liberal Party amendment, which had been accepted by the parliamentary committee, required students in English-language CEGEPs, including rights holders (i.e. those who had studied in English in primary and secondary school), to take three courses of their college tuition in French to get her diploma. CEGEPs later claimed that such an arrangement would fail many students.
The new amendment that the government presented to the opposition parties on Tuesday picks up on what the liberals proposed as a compromise a few days ago. Thus, the CEGEPs have the possibility to offer their students the possibility to take three French courses if they cannot take courses in French. These are regular 45-hour courses and, like all other courses, affect the R-Score, a measure used in CEGEPs to measure student performance towards admission to the course.
“When the Liberals tabled their amendment, it was evident that many young Anglophones had a serious lack of French. It is extremely worrying and even scandalous,” Simon Jolin-Barrette said in an interview on Tuesday The press.
“It’s not normal that people in Quebec don’t make progress in French when French is our common language. We will give them the tools to learn French and master it at college level,” he continued.
Liberal MP and official opposition critic for the protection of the French, Hélène David, said earlier on Tuesday that the amendment that the minister finally tabled in the evening was a “tremendous step forward for society”.
Bill 96 modernizing the charter of the French language must be adopted according to parliamentary deadlines in the days before or after National Patriots Day in May.