Proposed Bill 96 has serious repercussions for Quebec students
Montreal (Tuesday, October 5, 2021) – The English College Steering Committee, a group of six colleges that offer instruction in English, will present its brief on Bill 96 before the Commission de la culture et de l’éducation today at 4:25 p.m.
The six colleges are Champlain Regional College, Dawson College, Heritage College, John Abbott College, Marianopolis College, and Vanier College.
While the colleges recognize and call upon the Quebec government to address the concerns raised by other groups about the proposed bill, this brief makes three important recommendations on provisions in Bill 96 that affect English-language college institutions directly. The colleges reassert their commitment to the protection and promotion of French as the common language and the language of integration, and to promote the importance of the language and the culture of Quebec.
These recommendations address the enrolment caps imposed on English-language college institutions, the introduction of an additional French Exit Exam for some students to demonstrate sufficient language competencies, and the prioritization of students with the right to attend English-language colleges.
In the first instance, the group recommends that the 10-year freeze on enrolment for English colleges be reduced to three years. This period will enable the Ministry to better deal with the changes that may have occurred.
The second recommendation is to remove the article that imposes a uniform test to assess French-language skills for all students except those who have the right to attend English-language colleges. The provision contains several incongruities and sets a double standard by creating two categories of students in the English-language college system.
The third recommendation concerns the provision that imposes a socio-linguistic criterion in the admissions process that supersedes the weight of the academic record. The group questions the rush to create these two categories of students: those with the right to attend English-language colleges and those who do not. At the very least, the introduction of this measure should be deferred to Fall 2024 to give the colleges time to develop a policy that establishes the best conditions for academic success.
The brief also provides evidence to refute the allegation that English-language colleges in Quebec act as a vector for anglicization. The brief in its entirety can be consulted in English: ECSC Memoire ENG FINAL and in French: ECSC Memoire
Photo of National Assembly by Paul VanDerWerf
No interviews today. There will be media availability on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
For more information, please contact:
Dawson College / Donna Varrica
Heritage College /Tamara Malashenko
John Abbott College / Debbie Cribb
Vanier College / Marguerite Corriveau