Bibeau given backyard briefing on Bill 96 concerns

By Gordon Lambie
Local Journalism Initiative
On Saturday afternoon Brian and Erica Monty of Stanstead invited about a dozen people over to their backyard to share concerns about Quebec’s proposed revisions to its language laws with Compton-Stanstead MP Marie-Claude Bibeau. Although the visit came for Bibeau in the middle of various campaign stops in the Stanstead and Massawippi area, the hosts said that for them, the concerns raised by Bill 96 go far beyond being an election issue.
“I think it’s important that we make our voice heard and our concerns known,” Erica said. “The government needs to stand up for us.”
The opinions and degrees of concern expressed at the meeting were varied, but the questions generally focused on asking Bibeau about how the Trudeau government has responded to the proposed revisions to date and how it intends to defend the rights of the province’s English-speaking minority in the future. The group expressed particular fears around changes to the legal system that would make access to English services more challenging, and the idea that a province could have the freedom to modify the constitution.
Tara Robertson spoke on behalf of unilingual Anglophones, sharing her struggles with learning French and the obstacles that difficulty has put in her way over the years.
“I probably never will be fluent in French,” she said. “I’ve tried to learn, and chances are it is something I will never achieve. Knowledge of multiple languages is not for everyone.”

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