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Language Bill Deepens a Culture Clash in Quebec

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New York Times 

A Language Bill Deepens a Culture Clash in Quebec

The government calls the new measure necessary for the survival of French, while critics say it stigmatizes bilingualism and is bad for business.

Bilingual signage and street art are a common sight in Montreal, including in the city’s bohemian Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood.Credit...Nasuna Stuart-Ulin for The New York Times

By Dan Bilefsky

Oct. 9, 2021

MONTREAL — Since Aude Le Dubé opened an English-only bookshop in Montreal last year, she has had several unwelcome guests each month: Irate Francophones, sometimes draped in Quebec flags, who storm in and berate her for not selling books in French.

“You would think I had opened a sex shop at the Vatican,” mused Ms. Le Dubé, a novelist from Brittany, France, and an ardent F. Scott Fitzgerald fan.

Now, however, Ms. Le Dubé is worried that resistance against businesses like her De Stiil bookshop will intensify. A new language bill that the Quebec government has proposed would solidify the status of French as the paramount language in Quebec, a move that could undermine businesses that depend on English.

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