Slight increase in the main use of English at work in Quebec
The rate of use of English as the main language at work increased from 12% to 14% in Quebec between 2016 and 2021, underlines Statistics Canada.
English is mainly used by 14% of workers in Quebec in their professional environment, an increase over the last few years, while the use of French has slightly decreased.
This observation appears in Statistics Canada's release on Wednesday of a latest series of data from the 2021 census.
Compared to 2016, the proportion of workers in Quebec using mainly French recorded a slight decrease in 2021, while the proportion of workers using mainly English was on the rise, can we read on a web page of the #x27;federal agency.
More specifically, the rate of use of the language of Molière as the main language decreased by 0.1 percentage point between 2016 and 2021 while the use of English increased by two points (by 12% in 2016 to 14% in 2021), according to information given at a press briefing by Éric Caron-Malenfant, assistant director at Statistics Canada's Center for Demography.
Statistics Canada reports in its documentation that a change in a question asked, between the 2016 census and that of 2021, must be taken into consideration.
This change led workers to report using French and English equally less frequently, and to report using only one of these two languages more frequently, we explain.
A downward trend can nevertheless be observed since various factors are involved.
The relative stability can be rather interpreted as a slight drop in the rate of increase. use of French as the main language at work, summarized in a press briefing Éric Caron-Malenfant.
The agency notes that the information and cultural industry segment is particularly affected by a decrease in the main use of French, the proportion having gone from 68.1% in 2016 to 62.3% in 2021.
Statistics Canada officials clarified that this category includes information and information technology workers. x27;others working in museums or other tourist institutions.
In addition, the proportion of workers who indicated that they mainly use English in a professional context in 2021 jumps to 21% if only those who work in the Montreal metropolitan area are taken into account.
It should be noted that this region accounted for about half (51.6%) of the employed population in Quebec, specifies Statistics Canada.
“French-English bilingualism at work was common in Quebec, with 27.8% of workers reporting using both languages on a regular basis at work.
— Excerpt from Statistics Canada publication
In the federal capital region, which encompasses Gatineau and Ottawa and where most federal public servants work, the English as the main working language continued to gain ground. According to the new data, the proportion is 77.8% compared to 75.9% in 2016 and 76.7% in 2001.
From 2001 to 2021, the equal use of French and English has stagnated in a range of 4.4% to 5.6%. Over the same period, the rate of employees using mainly the language of Molière fell from 18.4% to 17.3%.
There remains no less than four out of five workers in La Belle Province, or 79.9%, indicated to Statistics Canada that they spoke mainly French at work.
Nationally, 19.9% of the working population reported that they used mainly French at work, compared to 77.1% for English.
Just under 2% used French and English equally, says Statistics Canada.
Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor tabled Bill C-13 in March 2022 in the House of Commons.
Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor believes that the new statistics demonstrate the importance of adopting Bill C-13 to modernize the Official Languages Act as soon as possible.
Asked whether the trend observed gives reason to the Bloc Québécois who maintains that this bill is not the way to go, since it gives the choice of using one of the two Canadian official languages rather than imposing French, the Minister did not respond.
Employees are going to have the choice of working in French [in Quebec] and also, let's not forget, in [other] regions with a strong Francophone presence […]. We want to make sure that employees will have that right and for me it's one of the priorities, she simply affirmed.
Questioned about data relating to the National Capital Region – which may suggest similar statistics on language of work in the public service – Treasury Board President Mona Fortier pleaded that Bill C-13 will give the federal government more means to reverse the trend.
We know that the Treasury Board will have new responsibilities as a central agency. We will be able to take more positive measures to encourage, but also strengthen the use of French for civil servants, she said when she left the House of Commons after question period.
As for whether the government plans to add bilingualism requirements for senior management positions, Ms. Fortier argued that this is something that really needs to be taken. to do, but before we get there, we really need to pass […] Bill C-13.
She accused, in the same breath, the Conservatives and the Bloc from filibustering to prevent the passage of the legislative piece.
In an e-mailed statement, Official Opposition Critic for Official Languages, Joël Godin, countered that the Liberals refuse to fix the many flaws in their Bill C-13 that Bill C-13 does. they want to see it adopted as is at full speed without any real desire to protect French.
Many files having a linguistic impact on the language of work are ignored or poorly managed by the Liberals federal […] Their interest is partisan and their lack of will is flagrant, decided the Conservative MP.
Leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet
Le leader bloquiste , Yves-François Blanchet, reiterated in a press scrum his demand that the Quebec Charter of the French language apply to businesses under federal jurisdiction.
“It would be excluding everything that affects Quebec from the Official Languages Act, which would be adopted under pressure or under short-term closure, because Quebec is doing much better. »
— Yves-François Blanchet, Bloc Québécois leader
He also criticized Ottawa for destroying in the House of Commons what Quebec is trying to build in the National Assembly, as much by its message as by its actions.
The leader of the New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, argued, meanwhile, that his political party wants the application of the law at the federal level in Quebec despite having spoken in favor of the Quebec Charter. the French language.
In a scrum before taking part in Question Period, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a signal that his government was staying the course on its Bill C-13.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
[He] brings protections for those who want to work in French across the country, not just in Quebec, he argued.
Time is running out if the government is to get its bill passed before the holidays, as the House of Commons timetable calls for a recess on December 16.
If the x27;taking into account all provinces and territories excluding Quebec and New Brunswick, data released Wednesday concludes that 92.6% of workers used only English at work (in 2021) and 98, 7% used it at least on a regular basis.
In New Brunswick, the only bilingual province in Canada, just over 20% of workers spoke mainly in the language of Molière in a professional context and 75.9% mainly in English.
3.9% of respondents used French and English equally in this Atlantic province.
In the Moncton metropolitan area, presented as an important contact region between French- and English-speaking populations in the province, 28% of workers regularly used both official languages.