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François Legault is still lying about the ‘decline of French’ in Quebec

Observations from Montreal

François Legault is still lying about the ‘decline of French’ in Quebec

On Sunday, one day before la Fête nationale, Quebec Premier François Legault shared a video on his government’s actions to strengthen the “Quebec identity.” In the video, where CAQ politicians can be seen patting themselves on the back for the passing of Bills 21 and 96 — two of the most divisive bills in the history of Quebec — Legault falsely claims that French declined under Liberal governments between 2003 and 2018.

According to Statistics Canada, the percentage of Quebecers who are able to speak French has been stable since 2001, at 94%. Furthermore, an OQLF report earlier this year confirmed that the public use of French has remained constant since 2007, and even increased between 2016 and 2022 — while the Legault government used sensationalist tabloid media reports to justify the passing of Bill 96.

François Legault fear-mongers about the ‘decline of French’ whenever he’s polling poorly (which he currently is) as a distraction technique. While a large majority of Quebecers would rather the Quebec government stay focused on issues that affect all Quebecers — the cost of living, housing affordability, healthcare, education and climate change — the CAQ believes that dividing Quebecers with populist rhetoric that has no basis in reality is the only way to gain support.

A reminder to François Legault: Your approval rating is at 36%. Time to focus on real issues.

François Legault is still lying about the ‘decline of French’ in Quebec

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