16-Year-Old Student Faces Explusion Due to Quebec’s Language Law

A 16-year-old student in Quebec is facing expulsion from her school, not because of any wrongdoing on her part, but due to the province’s language law, known as Bill 96.

The student, who we will refer to as Julie to protect her identity, is a Chinese national who has been living in Montreal for the past four years on a study permit. Despite being granted permission to study in English, she has recently been informed that she has lost that right under the new legislation.

Julie has been attending ECS, an English private school in Westmount, since Grade 9. The school receives government funding and, therefore, must adhere to language laws. Julie was allowed to attend ECS because she obtained a study certificate and a temporary English eligibility certificate. However, she recently received a letter from the Ministry of Education stating that she is no longer eligible for English schooling.

The issue stems from the fact that Julie’s study certificate needs to be renewed annually, which was never an issue before. The letter points out that under Bill 96, the rules for English eligibility certificates have changed. While they can still be granted to temporary students for up to three years, they cannot be renewed. Julie needs her certificate renewed every time she renews her study permit, which she believes is an excessive requirement.

According to the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA), many students are being affected by this bureaucratic mess. The association disagrees with the objective of limiting temporary certificates to three years and sees it as a bad decision.

Julie is devastated by the prospect of being unable to attend the school she loves. She is involved in various clubs and extracurricular activities and plays an active role in the student government.

The school’s head, Margaret Dorrance, is heartbroken at the thought of losing such a talented student. The school is assisting the family with their appeal, but they have chosen not to take a stance against the government or the law.

Julie is currently awaiting a decision on her appeal, but it could take a month or even longer. With the school year about to begin, she has no choice but to start looking for a new school.