EMSB to institute legal proceedings to challenge Bill 96
The English Montreal School Board Council of Commissioners has mandated a legal firm to institute on its behalf the appropriate legal proceeding to contest the validity of Bill 96.
EMSB Chair Joe Ortona said that the contestation is based notably on s. 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and Part V of the Constitution Act, 1982.
The Quebec National Assembly enacted Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, on May 24, 2022. While the EMSB actively supports the protection of the French language in Quebec, including by providing strong French immersion programs that support its students in graduating as fully bilingual Quebecers, measures to protect the French language in Quebec cannot violate the constitutional rights of Quebecers.
The EMSB believes that Bill 96 violates the English-speaking community’s right to management and control of its educational institutions under s. 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Furthermore, the resolution calling for legal action states that Bill 96 violates the rights of Quebecers to legislation of equal authority in English and French and to use either English or French in the courts under s. 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867. It is the EMSB’s belief that s. 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867 cannot be unilaterally modified or restricted by the National Assembly, including by way of unilateral amendment to the Constitution Act, 1867.
“I wish to invite other anglophone institutions and any organization interested in basic human rights to join or support this legal proceeding,” stated Mr. Ortona.
About the English Montreal School Board
With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.