Anne-France Goldwater Simon-Jolin Barrette François Legault Bill 96 Nazi

Criticism mounts over comparison of CAQ’s Bill 96 and Nazi regime

“We don’t need a new Gestapo.”

During public hearings about the Bill 96 on Thursday, Montreal family lawyer Anne-France Goldwater compared some elements of the proposed legislation, which is meant to further protect the French language in Quebec, to the Gestapo of the Nazi regime.

“Our tax money should go more to education rather than creating a new form — please don’t get mad at me, I’m Jewish, it’s a language that comes to mind right away — we don’t need a new Gestapo,” Goldwater said, referring to the way the bill encourages Quebecers to report people who violate the language laws. (Watch her full statement in the video below.)

The office of French-language Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette called Goldwater’s comments “radical and unworthy of a peaceful democratic debate.”

During a press conference this morning, Quebec Premier François said he was dumbfounded by the statement and considers it insulting to the Jewish community.

According to a report by TVA Nouvelles, David Ouellette, the director of the Advisory Centre for Jewish and Israeli Relations, also expressed criticism. “The trivialization of Nazism and its crimes against humanity, with comparisons like Ms. Goldwater’s of Bill 96, is unacceptable. It remains an offence to the memory of the victims of Nazism.”

Goldwater has not apologized for her statements, fighting critics on Twitter and doubling down on her criticism of Bill 96. “This law is illegal, unconstitutional, discriminatory and in no way reflects the feeling of living and allowing Quebecers to live,” she said. “We are not an autocratic people. I don’t agree at all with that.

The public hearings organized by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) have also featured former Liberal MP Marlene Jennings, human rights lawyer Julius Grey and Resilience Montreal/Native Women’s Shelter director Nakuset, who said “people will die” if they’re unable to health and social services in English.

Criticism mounts over a comparison between the CAQ’s Bill 96 and the Nazi regime by lawyer Anne-France Goldwater

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