The Parti Québécois government says its controversial plan to update and reinforce language laws with Bill 14 has been shelved for good by the minority government.

Language Minister Diane De Courcy said yesterday that there was no way she could pass the bill after talks with the Coalition Avenir Québéc (CAQ) broke off.

The minister said she tried to pass the legislation by making a number of changes that met the CAQ's demands, but they were all rejected.

The CAQ had said it would only support the bill if the government made several concessions on controversial issues like forcing smaller businesses to follow the language rules, restricting Francophone students applying for English language CEGEPs, and possibly revoking bilingual status for dozens of municipalities.

Québec Solidaire's Françoise David said this development makes her concerned about the future of the French language in the province.

“Why refuse that? I don’t understand really the position of the Coalition Avenir Québec. They will explain that, I suppose, but for me, it’s not reasonable,” said David.

De Courcy said the only hope of passing a tougher language law now would be for the PQ to win a majority government in the next election.