Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Ruba Ghazal, responsible for French language solidarity, is calling for a compulsory francization program, paid for by companies and offered to their employees during their working hours, to be established.
Laurie Trottier – The Canadian Press
January 28, 2024
Québec solidaire makes two requests regarding the action plan on the French language
The French language solidarity manager, Ruba Ghazal, wants businesses to do more to preserve French in Quebec and for a specific plan to be established for the Montreal region.
The member for Mercier sent two requests on Sunday to the Minister of the French Language, Jean-François Roberge, and hopes that they will be included in the action plan on the future of French.
On January 27, 2023, the Coalition Avenir Québec announced the creation of an action group for the future of the French language. The action plan was to be unveiled last fall, but has still not been published.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Ruba Ghazal explained that the protection of French largely involves the language of work, and that businesses must participate “in this collective effort to Frenchization.”
This requires that a compulsory francization program, paid for by companies and offered to their employees during their working hours, be established.
According to Ms. Ghazal, this program could be included to a certain extent in “the law of 1%”, which forces companies to invest the equivalent of 1% of their payroll in the training of Workforce. The idea would therefore be “to add an additional portion that employers will pay to carry out francization within their companies”, she explains.
Québec solidaire believes that the courses offered free through the Francisation Québec platform cannot meet the needs of all immigrants.
“When people arrive in Quebec, they want to support their family, find a job and often, between taking a French course or working, they will obviously prefer to work,” maintains Ms. Gazhal. They do not necessarily have all the energy and mental and family availability to take classes outside of working hours. »
Special needs for Montreal
If Ruba Ghazal described the situation of French in Quebec as unacceptable, she also stressed that the situation in Montreal was worse than elsewhere, and that it required “a more significant change in direction” .
The solidarity MP thus reiterated her wish to see the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) create a special office dedicated to the particular challenges of the metropolis.
Appropriate measures could then be put in place. “It would perhaps be to offer more hours of support, more inspection, more presence on the part of Montreal OQLF employees than anywhere else, where the needs are less felt,” mentions Ms. Gazhal.
According to her, it is important that measures targeting businesses are not only coercive. “We need to support them in a much more in-depth manner to ensure that the situation is resolved and that the French-speaking face of Montreal remains so for as long as possible,” she adds.