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December 2018

'English is not a foreign language in Quebec,' says Quebec's new premier

fleurdelise flag of quebec in downtown montreal wikimedia commons

The 'Fleurdelise', the flag of the majority Francophone Canadian province of Quebec, here seen flying in downtown Montreal. Image: Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Licence

 

‘English is not a foreign language in Quebec,’ Francois Legault, new premier of the Canadian province of Quebec, announced following the recent election victory of centre-right party Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ).

The CAQ’s leader broke with tradition during his French-language victory speech by switching to English to tell Anglophones, ‘You are like us, first class Quebecers…You have always been among us, part of our history.’

Politics in the Francophone province has long reflected the linguistic divide. CAQ won predominantly on the back of the votes of rural Francophone Quebecois, but it also had a strong showing among the minority English speaking community.

Legault has said he would require migrants to pass a ‘French language and values test’ within three years of their arrival. He also promised to reduce their number from 50,000 to 40,000.

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