legault english

Quebec premier says that it's all right to speak English in a crisis

Premier François Legault says that he went beyond the call of duty by communicating in English with Anglophone Quebec residents during the pandemic — and he's not sure that he'll do it again if there's a second wave.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, the Quebec premier responded to a question asked by Jacques-Cartier MNA Gregory Kelley about his English-speaking communications.

"There are laws and regulations which exist," Legault said. "Given the emergency of the pandemic, the exceptional situation, we chose to go further than what is foreseen in the laws and regulations."

In the event of a second wave, Legault says that there's no guarantee the government will continue to send out English communications.

"Will we do it in a second wave?" he said. "It depends on the magnitude of the second wave. The laws and regulations will be applied."

The Quebec premier said that if there's another COVID-19 outbreak this spring, English documents and press briefings will be considered on a "case-by-case" basis.

Notably, however, the Quebec government's official plan for the second wave stipulates in French that they plan to reach "all" of the population with their communications — so it does seem likely that Legault would continue his English briefings.

Legault isn't actually required by law and regulations to include English in his briefings, but he chose to add an English section to his remarks about a week into the pandemic, on March 20.

Shortly afterward, the Quebec government began publishing pandemic information documents in English online.

Lead photo by

François Legault

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