Opponents of Bill 96 turned out in force for a protest in Montreal on Saturday, May 14, 2022. “In the end, I think the government would like it to be as difficult to get services in English here as it is to get services in French in Saskatchewan,” said constitutional lawyer Julius Grey.

A growing chorus of Quebec legal experts, health services advocates and patients’ rights groups, however, are warning there is little in the bill that clearly guarantees continued rights to health care and social services in English, and much that poses a threat.

“To say there’s nothing here to worry about doesn’t seem to me to reflect what people are seeing in the text of the legislation,” said Robert Leckey, dean of the faculty of law at McGill University.

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“Does any other province forbid a German-speaking doctor and a German-speaking patient, or a German-speaking social worker and a German-speaking client … from speaking in a language in which they could best communicate? That’s what I’m concerned about.”

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