Quebec Solidaire, an oppostion political party in Quebec, is calling on the Quebec government to create a plan that addresses the French language situation in Montreal.
On Monday, Ruba Ghazal, a member of the National Assembly in Quebec for Quebec Solidaire, said that the provincial government should open a special version of the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) in Montreal to fight the decline of the French language within the city.
The OQLF, which was established in 1961, is mandated to protect the French language and ensure that it is used properly within the province.
Ghazal said the solution lies in creating an OQLF office in Montreal entirely dedicated to promoting the French language in the city.
The mandate of the office would be to prioritize sectors in the city where intervention is necessary to promote the French language, offer its expertise as well as support businesses promote the French language in the workplace.
“We have known for years that the French language is declining in the Montreal region, but our government is not taking the right measures tackling the problem,” she said in a statement.
Ghazal called out Simon Jolin-Barrette, Quebec’s French language minister, and said that instead of spending his time calling on the City of Montreal to act to protect the French language, he should remember his responsibility to ensure that the city has the necessary resources to do so.
She also said that Jolin-Barrette should make access to the labour market for unilingual Francophones a priority, adding that she particularly regrets that a number of immigrants are not able to find work due to the unilingualism.
“It is not normal that in Quebec, in 2021, immigrants are obligated to take English courses to find more interesting jobs,” Ghazal said.