Bill 96: Over 20 municipalities challenging Quebec French-language law in court

Almost two dozen municipalities with bilingual status in Quebec are taking the provincial government to court to challenge parts of the French-language law – Bill 96.

The coalition of 23 municipalities led by Cote-Saint-Luc is challenging in five areas: contracts and communication, the obligation to adopt resolutions to maintain bilingual status, allegations of illegal searches and seizures, government grants and the alleged obligation to discipline employees.

Measures came into force on June 1 for Bill 96 (An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec), sparking acts of protest, including a cheeky jab from a Montreal suburb on its outgoing voice recording.

“The purpose of local government is to provide exemplary service to the people in our community, without judgment,” said Cote-Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. “The English language forms an important part of the identity of a majority of our residents. We have people in our community who are gay and straight, French-speaking and English-speaking, Christian, Jewish and Muslim. The only way to provide municipal service in a community like ours is through respect and tolerance of differences. Bill 96—like Bill 21 before it—is flawed, and we look forward to making our case in court.”

The municipalities’ legal case asks how valid and applicable the modifications to the French Language Charter are and how they might affect the rights and powers of municipalities with bilingual status.

The map below shows the 23 municipalities involved in the law suit.

They are: Baie d’Urfé, Beaconsfield, Blanc-Sablon, Bonne-Espérance, Chichester, Côte Saint-Luc, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Dorval, Havelock, Hope Town, Kazabazua, Kirkland, L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, Montréal-Ouest, Mulgrave-et-Derry, New Carlisle, Pointe-Claire, Senneville, Sheenboro, Shigawake, Stanbridge East, Wentworth, and Westmount.

  • Listen on CJAD 800: Bailiffs sent to the Attorneys General of Quebec and Canada…. An update on the lawsuit against Bill 96

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