Two minority rights group that have sprung up in the wake of Bill 14,Put Back the Flag and The Unity Group, are sponsoring a rally to send a message to the Liberals and the CAQ to vote down Bill 14 in its entirety. The two groups have organized some half dozen meetings over the past several months from the east end of Montreal to the West Island. They strongly rely on social media to get their messages out and their combined Facebook members total more than 15,000.
The protest will take place this Sunday, Feb. 17, at noon outside of Premier Marois' Montreal office at 770 Sherbrooke St. W.
Organizers Jimmy Kay and Mike Kane make the point that Bill 14 will have real and serious consequences that will hurt all Quebecers regardless of the language that they speak. Francophones' educational opportunities and professional options would be hindered even more than anglophones. They characterize this not only as a struggle for the future of Quebec, but particularly for the viability of Montreal.
In increasing the bureaucratic burden on small business and adding seizure powers to the OQLF, eliminating bilingual services from cities and towns, forcing harsher language tests for graduating high school students and even demanding that Canadians serving in the Forces who are transferred to Quebec bases send their children to French schools, they call this Bill "indecent." "Small business is the economic engine in Quebec. Do we need more bankruptcies, less investment in Quebec and fewer jobs for Quebecers?” said Mike Kane Put the Flag Back editor and founder.
The Unity Group chairman Jimmy Kay stated “Bill 14 will punish English-speaking high school students, with or without special needs, who will now have to master the French language - not just pass current Ministry tests - prior to graduation or drop out.” He continued, "And for French speaking students, Bill 14 will put them at the bottom of the application list if they wish to attend English Cegeps to become bilingual and survive in a global economy. This rally is everyone's chance to speak out. It's everyone's chance to do something not just complain!"
Among the speakers at the Rally will be the Rev. Darryl Gray, Hudson Gazette editor Jim Duff and myself. Civil rights lawyer Brent Tyler will also be in attendance.