The future of Bill 14, the Parti Québécois-authored amendment to the province’s language laws, now rests in the hands of François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec.
Hearings on the controversial language bill wrapped up today at Quebec’s national assembly, and the government repeated that the proposed changes are long overdue.
Marc Tanguay, the provincial Liberals’ language critic, said the hearings only reinforced his party’s disdain for Bill 14.
"At the end of the day, we will vote against Bill 14 because it’s the wrong approach," he said.
And so with the Liberals dead-set against it, it’s up to the CAQ whether it passes or not.
In the past, Legault has said he wouldn’t support the bill unless certain changes were made.
On March 8, he said he was against removing the bilingual status from dozens of municipalities, and wanted to maintain the military exemption for English-language education.
"We need to change those three subjects. If not, we’ll vote against Bill 14," Legault said.
Over the past few weeks, 75 citizens and groups traveled to Quebec City, taking their turn speaking either in favour or against the bill.
"I want to assure you that I’ve heard you," said Diane De Courcy, Quebec’s minister responsible for the French language charter.
She said she would take everyone’s views into account and would be open to making minor changes, but that she believed the core of Bill 14 needs to remain intact.