North Hatley News
– town wants to keep bilingual status
No residents attended North Hatley’s January council meeting, keeping the meeting short and sweet. A new member was nominated to the Town Planning and Heritage Committee. Michael Rochette has replaced George Cage.
The council passed a resolution to ask the provincial government to allow the town to keep its bilingual status; a status that is in jeopardy following the Parti Quebecois’ hardening of language policy.
“We want to remain a bilingual town. North Hatley has a long history of English settlement – it has to remain bilingual,” commented the town’s general manager, Leonard Castagner. The English population of North Hatley, now at 46 %, has dipped below the government’s requirement of fifty percent. With bilingual status, a town provides documentation and services “up front” in both languages and can send out their tax bills in both French and English. Without bilingual status, residents would have to make special requests to get documentation in English.