ontario news watch

English Montreal school board sues after it’s forced to communicate in French only

MONTREAL — The English Montreal School Board says it will take the Quebec government to court over strict language rules requiring the board to communicate exclusively in French.

The board says it will file the motion in Quebec Superior Court today after it received a warning about its internal communications from the province’s language watchdog — Office québécois de la langue française.

It says the watchdog has interpreted the new language law — known as Bill 96 — to mean that English school boards must correspond with commissioners, principals and parents in French only.

The Montreal board — the largest English school board in the province — says that the interpretation is shocking and would place an undue burden on staff.

Bill 96 was adopted in May 2022 and most of its provisions came into effect in June 2023.

The EMSB has also brought one of several constitutional challenges to numerous other provisions of Bill 96.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press