How to Achieve Quebec Independence

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Appendix C -- Bill 199, The Charter of the French and English Languages

Introduced by
Neil Cameron
Member for Jacques-Cartier


The object of this bill is to repeal the Charter of the French language, apposed in 1977, and establish French and English as the official languages of Quebec.

In Chapter II, the bill recognizes certain fundamental individual languages rights, namely:

- the right of every person to receive services from the Civil Administration, parapublic organizations, employees’ associations and businesses operating in Quebec in the official language of his or her choice;

- the right of every person to use French or English during deliberative assemblies;

- the right of every person to receive instruction in French or in English.

In Chapter III, the bill establishes French and English as the languages used in legislative texts and in the court system.

Bills, statutes, regulations and other acts of a similar nature to which section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, applies are printed and published in French and n English.

In addition, debates of the National Assembly and of the committees of the National Assembly, certain legislative documents, judgments rendered by a judicial tribunal and decisions rendered by a body exercising quasi-judicial functions are translated into the other official language and are printed and published in French and in English.

In Chapter IV, the bill makes French and English the languages of the civil administration.

In Chapter V, the bill requires public utility firms, professional corporations and the members of these corporations to ensure that their services are available in French and in English and that they use one of the two official languages in their communications with the civil administration and with artificial persons.

In Chapter VI, the bill requires employers to draft their written communications to their employees and their offers of employment and promotion in French and in English.

Collective agreements, schedules to collective agreement and decisions rendered pursuant to a collective agreement or under the Labour Code must e drafted in French and in English.

No employer may dismiss, demote or transfer a member of his staff for the sole reason that the staff member speaks only one of the official languages.

In addition, no employer may require the knowledge of a particular official language for the obtaining of a job or office unless the nature of the duties requires the knowledge of that language.
Chapter VII is concerned with the languages of commerce and business.

Inscriptions on a product make, used or consumed in Quebec on its container or wrapping, or in or on a document or object supplied with it, must be drafted in French and in English. Catalogues, brochures, folders job application forms, order forms, invoices, receipts and quittances are subject to the same requirement.

However, firm names, public signs and posters and commercial advertising may be in French or in English.

Chapter VIII of the bill concerns the languages of instruction and allows children to receive their instruction in French or in English, at the request of one of their parents.

However, a child must have sufficient knowledge of spoken and written French and English in order to receive a secondary studies certificate.

The bill also recognizes certain particular rights of the Amerinds and the Inuit of Quebec.

Finally, the bill contains a provision requiring the various branches of the civil administration which provide services to a community in which at least 10% of the members speak an official language other than the official language of the majority to provide the services in the other official language also.






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