“Un­jus­ti­fied threat against An­glo­phone com­mu­ni­ties of the Town­ships,” Pierre Reid

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE - Vic­to­ria Vanier

“In putting into ques­tion the bilin­gual sta­tus of sev­eral mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the East­ern Town­ships, the Parti Que­be­cois government has de­liv­ered an un­jus­ti­fied threat against vul­ner­a­ble An­glo­phone com­mu­ni­ties,” com­mented Or­ford MNA Pierre Reid about the in­ten­tion of the Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the French lan­guage char­ter, Diane De Courcy, to re­voke the bilin­gual sta­tus of many mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Hav­ing dis­cussed the prob­lem with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the nine bilin­gual mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of the Mem­phrem­a­gog MRC, Mr. Reid be­lieves that the Que­bec government should be in­ter­ested in other ways to de­fend the French lan­guage which rep­re­sent the true in­ter­ests of Que­bec other than tak­ing away the his­toric bilin­gual sta­tus that has been given to many com­mu­ni­ties.

“Faced with an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion, the An­glo­phone com­mu­ni­ties of the Town­ships have pri­or­i­ties of keep­ing their youth in the re­gion, bring­ing back young peo­ple who have left to work else­where, and at­tract­ing young fam­i­lies. Un­for­tu­nately, the pro-

jet de loi 14 which al­lows the Min­is­ter to re­voke the bilin­gual sta­tus of a mu­nic­i­pal­ity adds a ma­jor ob­sta­cle to this de­sire of our An­glo­phone com­mu­ni­ties to re­vi­tal­ize af­ter 6, 8 and even 10 gen­er­a­tions liv­ing in the East­ern Town­ships, ” com­mented Mr. Reid.

In his opin­ion, Mr. Reid be­lieves that the deputy of Saint Fran­cois and Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the Estrie Re­gion, Dr. Re­jean He­bert, should not ap­pear so in­sen­si­tive to this threat. His man­date is also to rep­re­sent and sup­port the An­glo­phone com­mu­ni­ties of his rid­ing.

“The An­glo­phone com­mu­ni­ties of the East­ern Town­ships are vul­ner­a­ble in the face of this threat and it is up to Min­is­ter He­bert to put pres­sure on his col­league De Courcy to re­move the dis­cre­tionary power to re­voke the bilin­gual sta­tus of a mu­nic­i­pal­ity from the pro­jet de loi 14. I am count­ing on meet­ing with the Min­is­ter as soon as pos­si­ble to see how we can help our An­glo­phone com­mu­ni­ties to sur­vive, ” con­cluded Mr. Reid.

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