Nathalie Roy promises a more robust approach to law 101

Nathalie Roy promet une approche musclée de la loi 101

Photo: Olivier Zuida The Duty
The minister of the French Language, Nathalie Roy, said to see a decrease in the compliance of bill 101 in the commercial signage in Montreal.

Bill 101 will not be modified under the government Legault. But it will be applied with more firmness, promises the minister responsible for the French Language, Nathalie Roy. It is said, in particular “concerned” by the anglicization of Montreal.

“I am afraid that there is a decline of the French language in Montreal, argued Tuesday the minister in an interview with The Duty. When I am walking and I see in different shopping districts that appear only in a language other than French, there is a serious problem. There is a lack of enforcement of the [act 101] “.

Ms. Roy said to note ” that the face of languages in the display has changed, it conforms less and less to the display [in French]. It bothers me deeply, and I intend to act. “

But to do this, there is no need to reopen bill 101, think of the one who is also the minister of Culture and Communications. “There are already in the law articles that allow you to plague,” said Nathalie Roy. Let’s start by apply — there is a lot of catching up to do. We have experienced fifteen years of a liberal government who didn’t care about a lot of bill 101. “

On the question of signage, the government Couillard had been criticized for the timidity of a regulation adopted in may 2016 and is aimed at banners such as Walmart or Best Buy. After having juggled with the idea of requiring the addition of a description in French near the logo of these trademarks, Québec has opted for a “turnout” of the French on the facade. A ” sword in the water “, had then said the Coalition avenir Québec.

In 2013, the party of François Legault also held several items of the bill 14 of the government Marois to amend the Charter of the French language. But today, NathalieRoy believes that the issue is not to give more teeth to the law 101 : it is rather to ensure that it is ” applied in an intelligent manner, and with firmness. “

OQLF in the crosshairs

In this regard, Ms. Roy has met with the leaders of the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF, the body responsible for the respect of the Charter) to communicate his ” expectations “.

“The French begins to disappear from the public space and it is necessary to correct it. I said clearly [OQLF]. I expect concrete actions, to ensure that the law is applied more consistently.

But she also cautioned that she does not want to relive the episodes as one of the “pastagate” — the OQLF had himself described as an” excess of zeal “the work of one of its inspectors who had criticised the presence of the word” pasta ” on a restaurant menu in 2013.

“Can we show discernment and good judgment, please ? request-t-it. Can we stop railing for insignifiances ? This is not how it protects the French language. Let’s see outside if we can read the name or what the specials are written in French. Use discernment… common sense ! It is very important. “

Ms. Roy believes that his message has been “received and understood” to the OQLF. “The way of doing things should be very different” in the future, think of the former journalist. The institution has not wanted to comment on the release of the minister on Tuesday.


The approach of Nathalie Roy in relation to the law 101 will be similar to the one she wants to follow to the records of built heritage — the cultural heritage Act is part of his ministry.

Entry into force in 2012, this law was intended particularly to give more authority to municipalities in respect of the protection of the heritage. However, several recent cases (the minister evokes the “sad case” of the house of Boileau, in Chambly) have shown that the municipalities fulfil this mission, with varying results.

Ms. Roy says it is “greatly concerned” by the current situation. “It is contradictory : there are municipalities who want to have more powers, and when they do, we realize that some do not use it, or that they are lax, or that they do not protect their heritage. “

What to do ? The minister recalled that he had asked the cities that they draw up a list of heritage at risk. She also says, want to be inspired by the report by Courchesne-Corbo on the governance of heritage, commissioned by Quebec city in 2016. “There were tracks of solution,” she said.

But in the immediate future, Nathalie Roy wants to mostly use the tools given to him by the Law on cultural heritage. “There are items that allow me to act and I intend to use it,” she said. I intend to exercise my power to ensure that the owners [of buildings heritage] comply with their obligations. […] It is necessary to send a strong message to say that the heritage is important. “

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