Madame DeCourcy was hoping to compromise just a little, in order to get CAQ support, but instead was badly out-maneuvered by Legault who delivered instead, nothing short of a world of hurt.
Madame De Courcy needed the CAQ support to get the bill to the floor of the National Assembly and complained publicly that the CAQ was thwarting that effort. De Courcy foolishly followed a plan where Step 1 was to get the Bill to the floor and Step 2 was to get the Bill passed.
Had Legault refused his party's consent to debate the Bill, he and his party would have been cast as the bad guys, opposed to protecting the French language.
So Mr Legault's statement that the CAQ would support Bill 14 under certain circumstances was more of a case of the proverbial 'Greek bearing gifts'
The hapless De Courcy had planned on fobbing off the CAQ with a couple of minor changes, but instead got socked in the face with a plethora of drop-dead demands that essentially guts the essence of Bill 14.
Well-played, Mr. Legault!
Nathalie Roy, the CAQ spokeswomen told a news conference that the CAQ now has more demands in addition to the three previous objections listed below;
- Opposition to the clause that took away the right of those in the military and posted in Quebec from choosing the language of instruction for their children.
- Opposition to the clause that would allow the government to remove the bilingual status of cities.
- Opposition to coercive measures against small and medium businesses in regards to French.
And so Madame Roy noted that the CAQ's
|De Courcy badly out-played|
The first 'new' objection is the backdoor approach that Bill 14 provides to limit access for Francophones to English cegep.
English students would be given priority over Francophones with the latter only accepted after all the qualified anglophones were admitted, leading to the incredible situation where Francophones having superior grades would be denied entrance.
In practice it would effectively bar all francophones from elite and popular programs. If the rule applied to universities, the McGill medical school would see the 50% francophone component completely eliminated in favour of Anglophones, a step forward according to hardliners!
The second objection is the aspect of the law that would allow the OQLF to proceed with charges against businesses without notice (mise-en-demeure) which according to Madame Roy makes no sense since 98% of cases are settled to the OQLF's satisfaction after a demand letter. Instituting legal procedures immediately is, according to her, unnecessary and draconian.
Then there is the CAQ's objection to OQLF officers having the power of seizure, that is the right to remove anything from the premises of a business establishment that inspectors find objectionable, language-wise, another measure considered by the CAQ as overly coercive.
The CAQ also objects to the change in terminology in Bill 14 that replaces "Ethnic Minorities" with the term "Cultural Communities" because the second term has no legal definition while the first has clearly defined historic connotations.
Finally is the objection to the amendment of the Quebec Charter of Rights and Liberties to include the right to work and live in French, with the CAQ preferring to see such a clause included in an amended Bill 101.
MADAME ROY INDICATED WITHOUT MOVEMENT ON ALL THESE POINTS THE CAQ WOULD VOTE AGAINST THE LAW.
But the demands are more than the PQ can accept, that much is clear to Mr. Legault, Madame De Courcy and everyone else concerned.
The PQ has the unenviable choice of either withdrawing the Bill or have it go down to defeat in Parliament. They've been badly outplayed and must now make the proverbial choice between dying of strangulation or by the bullet.
The smart thing for them to do is to withdraw Bill 14 in a huff, telling supporters that in light of the position of the CAQ and the Liberals, only an independent Quebec or a majority PQ government can save the French language.
That would be the smart thing to do, but hey, who ever said the PQ was smart.