Montreal’s Budget – The Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste (SSJB) and Mouvement Montréal Français (MMF), said that Montreal’s budget, presented in both English and French, should have been in French only. In fact, they believe Montreal’s new Mayor speaks too much English.
Maxime Laporte, the SSJB’s president, said in a press release, “You would think this is the Parliament in Ottawa, rather than the city hall of Montreal, the metropolis of Quebec.”
Sophie Stanké, spokesperson for MMF, stated, “In light of the evidence of the constant decline of French, Valérie Plante should realize that it is her responsibility as mayor to send a (clear) message about the status of French in Montreal, the main place of welcome and integration of newcomers in Quebec.”
They both believe Montreal violated the first article in its charter with the bilingual budget documents, pointing out that Montreal is a French city and elected officials have ‘the obligation to insist on French as the city’s common language, and convince new arrivals to adopt the language’.
Budgets by the city have generally been presented in both English and French, but the two Montreal-based Nationalist groups clearly feel quite differently.
The comments are sure to stir up just as much controversy as the budget itself has, as most Montrealers see the city as being bilingual. In fact, a recent study from Statistics Canada showed that Montreal is Canada’s most trilingual city – with more than 21% per cent of the population speaking at least three languages.