Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois and Montreal candidates speak to the press on Sunday, August 12, 2012.
Credits: ANNIE T ROUSSEL/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC/QMI AGENCY
Within the first 100 days of a PQ mandate, the party said it will create a new language law.
Among the proposed legislation's provisions, the law would force companies with more than 10 employees to conduct business entirely in French.
The law would also prevent francophones from attending English-language junior colleges in the province.
PQ Leader Pauline Marois said that her proposed law would affect roughly 54,000 businesses, which would be subjected to the same conditions that currently apply to companies with more than 50 employees.
A PQ government will also deprive the province's pre-university colleges, called CEGEPs, from a significant applicant pool. About 8,000 people who do not have English as a mother tongue apply to CEGEPS across the province every year.
"Our objective is to increase the knowledge and use of French across all our institutions, our businesses and in our schools," Marois said.
While Marois went after the English language on Sunday, Liberal Leader Jean Charest took aim at suspected criminals in the construction industry.
Charest said that if elected, the Liberal Party would extend a law that banned companies whose officers or shareholders were convicted of crimes from bidding and obtaining government contracts.
The law's inadequacies were highlighted when companies with ties to Quebec construction magnate Tony Accurso were still able to obtain contracts even though he was arrested and charged with fraud and corruption. The allegations against him have not been proven in court and his trial is pending.
The new law would bar companies whose officers or shareholders have been charged with a financial crime or of being part of a criminal organization from bidding on a public contract.
Companies would be barred from receiving contracts even if they have "links ... however minimal" with people charged with certain crimes.
Charest said on Sunday that it was a privilege to do business with the Quebec government.
"Our objective is clear," he said. "The businesses who are working with the provincial government have to be above all suspicion."
Quebec's third party, the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), unveiled its 94-promise platform on Sunday.
Among the promises, the CAQ said it will set fixed election dates, trim the number of municipal councillors in Montreal from 84 to 50 and force prisoners to pay part of their jail costs.
The CAQ also promises to cut the budgets of provincially owned businesses and government departments to alleviate the province's debt burden.