Bill 22

Bill 22, the Official Language Act, sponsored by the Québec Liberal government of Robert Bourassa and passed by the legislature July 1974. It made French the language of civic administration and services, and of the workplace. Only children who could demonstrate sufficient knowledge of another language of instruction would be exempted from receiving their instruction in French.

Increasing social unrest and a rise in nationalist sentiment had led to the repeal of Bill 63 and the introduction of this more comprehensive bill which, in parliamentary committee, attracted 160 written submissions. Nationalist and labour groups thought the law did not go far enough and rejected it. Anglophone and ethnic groups thought the language tests imposed by the law were unjust, and showed their displeasure in the provincial election of November 1976 by denying the Liberal Party their traditional support.