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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Too Far

Well, this is going too far. The PQ is tightening the criteria for its proposed Québec citizenship. The highlights:

There would be three types of Canadian citizens in Québec:
1. Non-Québec citizens
2. Québec citizens that don't speak French
3. Québec citizens that speak French

Only Québec citizens can:
- Contribute to a provincial, municipal or school board campaign
- Present a petition to the National Assembly

Only Québec citizens that speak French can:
- Be a candidate at a provincial, municipal or school board election

There are three ways of acquiring Québec citizenship:
1. Be a Canadian citizen living in Québec when the law comes into effect
2. Be born to a Québec citizen
3. Apply and satisfy all three of the following:
a) Have lived in Québec as a Canadian citizen for the three months preceding the application
b) Have lived in Québec for a total of six months
c) Have an appropriate knowledge of French and the rights and duties of Québec citizens

So, in particular:
- First Nations Quebecers that do not speak French would be barred from running in a municipal election. (Talk about newcomers respecting natives' heritage!)
- The same goes for Anglophones in the West Island.
- Canadians from elsewhere moving to Québec would be barred from donating to a provincial political party if they do not speak French.

This is almost certainly unconstitutional, and would likely violate clauses in the Constitution that the Notwithstanding Clause cannot override. Still, this shows the PQ's willingness to go much farther than it has ever gone in terms of the French language.

Update: The PQ is going back to its original, less controversial proposal. See this post.

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