The English Montreal School Board council has voted to retract a resolution that Quebec is not a nation, the board announced.
In a press release titled, “EMSB corrects its stance on Bill 96 language legislation,” the board pointed out that its resolution called on the Quebec government to withdraw its proposed expanded language law Bill 96 “and for the federal government to refer Bill 96 to the Supreme Court of Canada for a ruling on its legality. In the preamble, the EMSB put forward several criticisms of Bill 96.
“The Council wishes to acknowledge that it now recognizes that some of these criticisms were unfounded or mistaken,” the press release says. “In particular, the EMSB does not question the fact that Quebec forms a nation. The EMSB does agree with the importance of protecting and promoting the French language, notably on the island of Montreal, and solemnly affirms its commitment to work with all Quebecers, including the Quebec government, to pursue this objective. The EMSB, nonetheless, remains deeply concerned with how Bill 96 will impact Quebec’s English-language community.”
The EMSB added that its new resolution “remains very critical of the attempt to shield judicial scrutiny by introducing the notwithstanding clause in Bill 96 and still calls on the Quebec government to withdraw the legislation in its present form.”
EMSB chairman Joe Ortona was dismissed as an Ensemble Montréal candidate because of the original EMSB declaration Quebec is not a nation.
Simon Jolin-Barrette, minister responsible for the French language, has released a statement saying “the damage has already been done. The comments made by EMSB last week were contemptuous and unacceptable. Quebec bashing has no place and must stop.”