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Bilingual municipalities in Quebec choose to retain their status

All municipalities in Quebec that were at risk of losing their bilingual status under the Provincial Language Act chose to retain their right to serve the people in both English and French.

The Office of the French Language has confirmed that the 48 cities, municipalities or districts that have been notified of the possibility of revoking their status have taken the necessary measures to remain bilingual.

Under Quebec’s new language law, municipalities in which less than 50% of their citizens speak English as their first language may lose the right to communicate with residents in English.

However, Bill 96 allowed bilingual cities to avoid revocation of their status by passing a resolution affirming their desire to remain bilingual, within 120 days of receiving notice from the county.

More than half of the county’s 89 bilingual municipalities received such notices in December, with the English-speaking population ranging from 7.2% to just under 50%.

The office of French Language Minister Jean-Fran├žois Roberge says the law strikes a balance between promoting French and protecting minority rights, adding that mayors will have to justify their choices to voters.

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