Despite a law to protect and promote the French language in the Canadian francophone province of Quebec, a report released this month shows French usage in continual decline. Figures published by Statistics Canada show the proportion of Quebecers who speak mainly French at home fell from 79 percent in 2016 to 77.5 percent in 2021.
The percentage of Quebecers who have only French as the primary official language spoken also dropped by 1.5 points, between 2016 and 2021.
During this time, the number of people speaking English as a primary language rose from 12 to 13 percent.
This represents more than one million English speakers in Quebec, a first since such data began being compiled by Statistics Canada.
Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau said at a press conference in the Îles de la Madeleine last Friday that he shared the concerns of many Quebecers and Canadians about the decline of French in Quebec, saying “it wasn’t really a surprise,” noting the trend has been observed for years.