On the year anniversary of Alberta’s French policy, schools across the Town & Country region continue to see steady enrolment
Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA ColinPiquette said that Francophone culture has come a long ways since his father, Leo Piquette, attempted to ask a question in the Legislature in French when he was the MLA for Athabasca-Lac La Biche in 1987.
“At the time, it caused a major controversy, with opponents thinking he was trying to bring in compulsory bilingualism within the Legislature,” Piquette said. “But he was really practicing his legal right under Section 10 of the Northwest Territories Act, which allowed French to be spoken in the Alberta and Saskatchewan legislatures.
In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada even confirmed that. When I more recently spoke French in the Legislature, it was not a big deal at all.” Piquette said the province has become more inclusive and pragmatic in terms of understanding its historical obligations.
“Alberta now has one of the fastest growing Francophone communities in the country,” he said. “People moving to the province are bringing a lot of skills, knowledge, and talent. Having that level of respect for the French language and culture is definitely more of a boon for us than a hindrance.”