Quebec changes policy on English schools

QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The Quebec legislature, after an overnight debate, adopted an amendment to its language law that changes the rules on attending English-language schools.

Bill 115 was approved 61-54 at about 7 a.m. after the Liberal Party forced a vote, The (Montreal) Gazette reported.


The measure, which was backed by Premier Jean Charest, sets up a points system to determine which children can attend English language schools. It was opposed by many francophones, who say it opens the door for giving up on the French language, and by many anglophones, who see it as too restrictive.

Before 2002, children could attend state English-language schools after a short period at a private anglophone school. The Parti Quebecois adopted Bill 104, which closed those schools to everyone except children who had at least one parent who had received an anglophone education in Quebec.

Brent Tyler, the lawyer who appealed Bill 104, said the court did not overturn it to make school admission more difficult.

A large francophone demonstration sponsored by the province's largest union was held outside Charest's office Monday night, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Jean Dorion, a member of Parliament, said Quebec affairs should not be decided by "a few judges nominated by an anglophone government in Ottawa."


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