The Enumeration of Rights-Holders Under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Toward a Census that Supports the Charter

The House Standing Committee on Official Languages (LANG) this morning presented its fifth report related to the enumeration of rights-holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The QCGN and the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) appeared together as witnesses on February 16, during the report’s study phase. The report makes the following recommendations, which support our community’s interests.

Recommendation 1: That, pursuant to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Government of Canada work with the provincial and territorial governments, official-language minority school boards and other community stakeholders to develop and fund a national awareness and outreach campaign to inform Canadians about their constitutional rights in education and the language options available for their children’s schooling.

Recommendation 2: That the Government of Canada recognize it is responsible for collecting complete data on rights-holders subject to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and commit to obtaining a complete portrait of rights-holders by 2021.

Recommendation 3: That the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development ask Statistics Canada, as part of its preparation for the 2021 Census, to establish an advisory committee specifically mandated to examine the enumeration of rights-holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Recommendation 4: That the Government of Canada require Statistics Canada to include questions in the 2021 Census that would allow for the enumeration of all rights-holders under the broadest interpretation of paragraphs 23 (1) (a) and (b) and subsection 23 (2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Recommendation 5: That, as part of the next official languages action plan, the Government of Canada:

  1. mandate Statistics Canada to conduct a new post-censal survey on the vitality of official language minorities based on data from the 2021 Census; and
  2. provide Statistics Canada with the necessary funding to conduct this survey, analyze the data and distribute products derived from the survey.

Recommendation 6: That, as part of the new survey on the vitality of official language minorities, Statistics Canada establish an advisory committee that would include representatives from anglophone and francophone minority communities.

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For a study on the Full Implementation of the Official Languages Act in the Canadian Justice System

In this brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages for a study on the Full Implementation of the Official Languages Act in the Canadian Justice System, QCGN expressed support for a Supreme Court of Canada appointment process that is transparent, inclusive, and accountable to Canadians. The brief also states there must be a systemic capacity for justices to hear cases and render decisions in both official languages and that the language skills of judges must be sufficient to ensure the evolution of Canadian law.

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What we heard across Canada: Canadian Culture in a Digital World

This report presents the findings of the Canadian Content in a Digital World consultations that took place during Fall 2016. The report is a synthesis of feedback collected by Ipsos via the online portal, in-person events and social media discussion as well as mail and e-mail submissions received by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The department initiated this consultation process to review the current measurs taken to ensure that Canada’s culture remains strong and competitive within the global landscape.

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Towards a New Action Plan for Official Languages and Building New Momentum for Immigation in Francophone Minority Communities

Following the series of consultations made by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Committee’s objective was to identify Canadians’ priorities with regard to official languages and, more specifically, those of official language minority communities (OLMCs), in order to make recommendations for the development of the new action plan.

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QCGN Appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages -November 1

Opening remarks from the QCGN appearance at the LANG committee in Ottawa on November 1, 2016.

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Working Together, Annual Report 2015-2016

The 2015-2016 Annual Report of the Quebec Community Groups Network recounts the threats and opportunities of 2015-2016 including introduction of Bill 86 that threatened the minority language education rights of our community. It also takes stock of effectors to work with the provincial and federal governments to ensure the vitality of our community of communities.

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Nurturing Media Vitality in Quebec’s English-speaking Minority Communities

In a brief to the House of Common’s Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for its study on The Media and Local Communities the Quebec Community Groups Network presented a series of pragmatic, cost-effective steps designed to rapidly help restore the vitality of news media serving the province’s English-language community. The QCGN proposed cooperative ventures, including the creation and growth of English-language community media hubs to serve outlying regions starved of local content.

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QCGN Appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages – March 9

In opening remarks to the to the Standing Committee on Official Languages the Quebec Community Groups Network encouraged parliamentarians to find ways to make support for Canada’s English and French linguistic minority communities flexible and responsive the unique needs of each community.

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Quebec and the Minority Language Educational Rights and Canada’s English Linguistic Minority Communities: A New Partnership

In a brief to the National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education studying Bill n°86 : An Act to modify the organization and governance of school boards to give schools a greater say in decision-making and ensure parents’ presence within each school board’s decision-making body, the Quebec Community Groups Network argued the proposed legislation tramples on minority rights and should be scrapped. The QCGN stated that the provincial English public school system is a key community institution and that the bill violates the constitutional rights of Quebec’s English-speaking community to control and manage its own schools.

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