Université du Québec en Outaouais could face UN challenge
A Universit du Qubec en Outaouais plan to eliminate English-language courses would be discriminatory and a violation of Canada's United Nations commitment to protect diverse cultural expression, the director of an English-language rights groups said today. Brian Gibb, head of the Regional Association of West Quebecers, said eliminating English-language MBA and project administration programs would be a step backward to the 1970s when the Parti Qubcois enacted Bill 101, which restricts access to English-language education. Mr. Gibb said phasing out the English-language business programs would deny 50,000 Outaouais anglophones access to university education even though Quebec uses the taxes they pay to support provincial universities. Meanwhile the head of the English and French MBA program, Jan Saint-Macary, says the Gatineau university's administration has falsely claimed that English-language business programs include a large proportion of francophones who are being assimilated. Mr. Saint-Macary said a study by the university's vice-rector claims 38 to 57 per cent of students in the MBA and project administration programs are French-speaking when the real number is less than 16 per cent. Mr. Saint-Macary says the study classified many Chinese, Saudi and Pakistani students as francophone when they have never used French.