Quebec “vigorously rejects” notion of being a bilingual province

Quebec’s national assembly voted unanimously in favour of rejecting the notion that the province would be stronger if it were officially bilingual. 

Quebec French Language Minister Language Jean-François Roberge tabled a motion in response to comments made by federal Liberal MP Angelo Iacono that an officially bilingual Quebec would be a stronger province.

The motion, which “vigorously rejects” Angelo’s comments was adopted unanimously on Tuesday, with 106 members of the national assembly voting in favour. 

Quebec has a “rich history, punctuated by bold gestures to defend and ensure the vitality of its only official language, French,” the motion said.

It stressed “without nuance” that “the strength of the Quebec nation certainly does not lie in bilingualism, but in its distinct character, with its unique culture and in its resolutely French-speaking specificity.”

Éric Caire, the CAQ government’s deputy leader, requested a copy of the motion be delivered to the House of Commons and to Iacono. 

Iacono, who represents the riding of Alfred-Pellan made the contested comments last week.

“I believe that Quebec, and I believe that Canada, should be a bilingual country, to be stronger and not just be a unilingual French-speaking province, because there you will exclude others who want to learn French.” 

However, his comments were denounced as disrespectful by members of the Bloc Québécois, the Conservative Party of Canada and Quebec Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette.

The only province to be recognized as officially bilingual is New Brunswick.

Quebec will continue to keep French as its official and singular language. 

Iacono did not respond to a request for comment.

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