The uproar over last year’s “Bonjour/Hi” fiasco seems almost quaint now in comparison to what’s heading our way in the form Bill 96, an update to the original language Bill 101 introduced almost 45 years ago.

From restrictions over CEGEP enrollment, to the toughening of language rules for small businesses, to search and seizure powers for language inspectors, Bill 96 poses the biggest threat yet to English language rights and services.

Of more immediate concern is the premier’s clarification that only “historic” Anglos as defined by Bill 101 will be allowed to continue to receive services in English from the provincial government. In otherwords, your status will be defined strictly by what language you attended school in, a clarification that prompted the message below from the Quebec Community Groups Network.

As proud Quebecers, we reject your government’s impractical and ill-advised decision to label our community as “historic Anglophones” and your plan to limit government services to citizens who are eligible to attend English schools…. We are not some folkloric ‘historic’ group. We are full-fledged Quebecers, who are committed to building an inclusive Quebec where French is the common language.

To that end we proudly introduce this year’s new addition to the original ‘Historic Quebec Anglo’ t-shirt, the new “Full Fledged Anglo” t-shirt

designed to send a message to the provincial government that all Anglos are deserving of and entitled to their language rights. .

Again this year proceeds from the sales of these shirts will support The Montreal Gazette Xmas Fund which helps needy Montrealers through a particularly difficult time of the year.

Thanks for your support.

New Shirts for 2021

Last chance while supplies last

Are you in fact a

Historic Quebec anglophone

If you are, you will be entitled to continue receiving services in English from the government and its various agencies and departments (at least from the same ones that make them available now).  If you are not, then you will find new restrictions limiting your access to those same services. You may be asking, why this is necessary. Why would you suddenly need to ‘prove’ your historical status as an anglophone in Quebec?  

Fair question, so here’s a quick explanation.

After a government ordered review of linguistic practices within its own departments, the results showed some agencies were functioning with “vague linguistic policies” that were less than exemplary in protecting and promoting the French language. The government then used those findings as justification to introduce new legislation designed to reduce access to English services—their solution to protecting the French language. It declared that new arrivals to Quebec would no longer to able to access service in English from the government, unless they could prove they were “historic Quebec Anglos,” which brings us back to where we started.

Are YOU a Historic Quebec Anglo?

According to the premier, that determination would be the same one used under Bill 101 that mandated who would have access to English schools. If your parents went to an English school, you qualify. If not, you don’t. But what if you can’t find your or your parents’ certificate of eligibility? What if your parents were immigrants and didn’t go to school here at all?  How will a list of qualifying Anglos be compiled, and who will be in charge of compiling it? And if you’re not a historic Anglo, what kind of an Anglo are you? Will you need to show identification? Know a secret password?  No one really knows