Joint press statement from Dawson, John Abbott and Vanier in response Bill 96

Diane Gauvin, Director General of Dawson College; John Halpin, Director General of John Abbott College and John McMahon, Director General of Vanier College are issuing the following joint statement in response to the Quebec government’s tabling of Bill 96 “Loi sur la langue officielle et commune du Québec, le français” :

We, the Directors General of the English-language CEGEPs on the island of Montreal, welcome the Québec government’s initiative to protect and promote French as the common language of Quebec. We are proud of the role our institutions play in higher education and of our contribution to Quebec society.

However, there are many aspects of Bill 96 that require further clarification and analysis, mainly the application of the French exit exam to our students as well as how enrolment caps will actually be applied. Looking ahead, we will continue to discuss with the Ministry of Higher Education to analyze the content of the law and how it may apply.

It is important to underline that the decision to cap enrolment exclusively for English-language CEGEPs at present levels will not address the ongoing desire among many young Quebecers to attend our institutions. Many Quebec parents want their children to become bilingual in a French Quebec. Limiting our ability to serve these students in the public sector will push more students to study out-of-province.

As institutions of higher education, we believe in the principle of freedom of choice, which provides young adults with the opportunity to shape their own future, as well as admissions based primarily on academic qualifications. Notwithstanding, we are committed to serving the anglophone community, which includes providing and improving our entry pathways to our programs.

Please note that for the moment we will not be granting interviews.

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