The justification for all of this is to save French and encourage immigrants to assimilate into Quebec (and possibly make them more favorable towards separatism?). This, along with symbolic politics and intra-party outbidding/posturing, has led to the next step: where to go from here? The PQ is now considering advocating Bill 101 to be extended.
- If it is applied to publicly subsidized day care, then kids of Francophones and of immigrants would have to go to French day care, and English kids would presumably have to go to English day care. Of course, it is not so clear that the day care places are so easily divided into categories.
- CEGEPs are the alternative focus. These are entirely free schools that bridge high school and university (high school here ends after 11th grade) for two years--a cross between junior colleges, prep schools, and vocational schools (I think). There are some English ones and more than a few French ones. As it stands, immigrants tend to go to English CEGEPs and there are more than a few French folks who go to them as well, hoping to improve their English so that they can go to McGill, Concordia, Bishops (all English universities in Quebec) or outside Quebec to the rest of Canada or the US or some place else.
Extending to CEGEP would have a variety of bad effects, including:
- continuing the segregation of the French and English speaking folks of Canada, whereas they serve now as a place for the two to meet.
- reducing the competitiveness of Francophones in the world economy since the education in English in the French public school system is notoriously lousy and the English CEGEPs have served as an important means for catching up.
- further alienating immigrants who would prefer not to be the subject of nationalist agendas.