Job Posting – Social Finance Coordinator, Community Innovation Fund

The QCGN is seeking a bilingual, dynamic, results-oriented individual with a strong background in community development, project management, and business development to manage the second year of a social financing partnership initiative for English-speaking organizations across the province.  The QCGN, funded by Economic Social Development Canada (ESDC) and acting as intermediary between the English-speaking Community of Quebec (ESCQ) and the ESDC, is administering a social partnership initiative that is injecting up to $3 million in leveraged funds on a 2:1 ratio of private-to-government funding into the ESCQ.

Candidates must thoroughly understand the vision, mission and mandate of QCGN as well as the issues faced by Quebec’s English-speaking community, as the activities and communications of the incumbent must be in aligned with QCGN policy positions in order to ensure that he/she best represent the needs and interests of Quebec’s English-speaking community.

Term: This is a temporary position for one year. Applicants on secondment basis are welcome.

Language Requirements: Bilingual position: requires superior oral and written English language skills; superior oral French language skills and advanced written French language skills.

Salary: $55,000 to $66,000 per annum

Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week, evening and weekend work and some travel may be required.

Start Date: As soon as possible

The French version of this job posting is available upon request. Interested candidates should submit an application letter and curriculum vitae (CV) to maria.strizzi@rogers.com. The deadline for applications is Friday, October 27th at 5 p.m.

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New Anglo Minister says changes to Bill 101 not forthcoming

“Quebec’s new minister for relations with anglo Quebecers says don’t expect her to spearhead changes to Quebec’s language law.”

Kathleen Weil spoke with Leslie Roberts on CJAD 800 on Thursday morning for the first time since being given the job in Wednesday’s cabinet shuffle.

Read the article on CJAD’s website

Cabinet shuffle: Couillard hopes fresh blood helps rejuvenate Liberals

“Premier Philippe Couillard’s Wednesday cabinet shuffle, designed to give the aging Liberal regime a mix of new youthful panache and sage management, is in reality a calculated attempt to put out the numerous brush fires endangering the Liberal brand.”

Quebec’s anglophone lobby, the QCGN, wanted a greater direct voice in decision-making. They now have a minister in the cabinet, Kathleen Weil. Although Couillard’s shuffle seems to be solving most problems he had during his mandate, it’s seen as a rejuvenated technique to boost on Quebecers’ desire for change.

One big news in the shuffle was Couillard’s decision to act on a promise he made and give the English-speaking community a greater voice in his government. The QCGN welcomed Weil as a “strong advocate” while former Equality Party Leader Robert Libman said it was nothing more than a symbolic gesture.

Read Philip Authier’s article in the Montreal Gazette

Kathleen Weil’s task is to mend disconnect between government and Anglo communities

“Kathleen Weil is calling her appointment as minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers ‘historic.’ “

Premier Philippe Couillard had already promised to create a secretariat to deal with English-speaking Quebecers’ issues. Now, following his latest cabinet shuffle, the government will have a minister dedicated to the task. Kathleen Weil, of Scottish-Irish descent, studied at McGill University. She said her office will relay concerns and priorities of Quebec’s English speakers to the government.

Community groups hope this cabinet shuffle means a fresh start in the province’s approach to the English-language minority. Michelle Eaton-Lusignan commented about the specific situation of the community while Helena Burke from CAMI asked to adapt programs to account for the realities of smaller communities. On Twitter, the QCGN welcomed and congratulated the new minister.

Read the article on CBC News website

QCGN Welcomes Nomination of Kathleen Weil as Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers

Montreal – October 11, 2017 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is very pleased that Kathleen Weil has been named Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers. She will be leading the charge to create a Secretariat that will respond to the policy and program needs of Quebec’s English-speaking community.

“She is an experienced and capable minister who will be strong advocate for our community with her cabinet colleagues,” said QCGN President James Shea, noting that he is satisfied that Premier Philippe Couillard has opened a meaningful channel for the community to interact with the provincial government. “This is an indication that the Premier is listening to us and our concerns.”

“It’s important for our community to have someone that we can talk to who really understands the needs and priorities of our community,” commented Vice-President Geoffrey Chambers, adding that the QCGN has an excellent relationship with Weil. “We all face serious policy issues in a wide range of areas, including health, education, employment, youth, as well as regional challenges. Having a minister directly responsible for the community, and a Secretariat to back them up, will allow the government to avoid making mistakes of the past in areas like health and education reforms.”

“Our community has been asking for an interlocutor in government for many years,” said QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge, noting the Secretariat will be an important mechanism to get serious and sorely needed policy input from our community. “Minister Weil bring with her deep knowledge of the community and she will be able to get right to work.”

Download a copy of the press release

Quebec premier names ‘historic’ anglophone affairs minister in cabinet shuffle

“When Philippe Couillard was aspiring to be Quebec Liberal leader, he and Kathleen Weil met with members of the province’s main English-speaking advocacy group to discuss its wish for a secretariat of anglophone affairs.”

Six years later, the Quebec Community Groups Network has what it wanted. James Shea, president of the QCGN, thinks it means the community has been listened to. For now, Weil is a minister without a department, but a secretariat is soon to be revealed.

The creation of a secretariat would be an historic step and will ensure a dedicated bureaucracy inside the civil service to work on behalf of English-speaking Quebecers. Sylvia Martin-Laforge hopes a couple dozen employees are hired, and would far outreach the Montreal-area. Helena Burke, head of CAMI, thinks that office would be important for the Madgalen Islands’ community.

Read the article in the National Post

Anglo affairs minister will be named in Quebec City cabinet shuffle

“Political shuffles are always a bit of a guessing game, but Premier Philippe Couillard has repeatedly said that he wants to bring “new blood” into the cabinet. “

Couillard’s minister shuffle is expected be younger, but also to included a minister responsible for anglophone affairs. Appointing an English-speaking Quebecer would give their population representation at the highest level of civil service. There are also talks that Couillard will create a secretariat on the subject.

The Quebec Community Groups Network says this is a promising development, welcoming the signal it sends to English-speaking Quebecers.

Read the article on CTV Montreal’s website

Five Inspiring Community Leaders to be Honoured by QCGN

MONTREAL, September 20, 2017 – Remarkable members of the English-speaking community will be honoured in late October for their singular contributions and outstanding community leadership, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) announced Wednesday. Clifford Lincoln, Sid Stevens and Earl De La Perralle, as well as James Carter have been named winners of QCGN’s ninth annual Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award. In addition, Claudia Di Iorio has been chosen for the third annual Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award.

“In their individual ways, and in far different fields of endeavour, our Community Award winners have proven to be extraordinary leaders who have made exceptional contributions to our Community of Communities,” QCGN President James Shea said. “All have been visionaries, dedicated to their communities and their causes. They not only inspire social change—they embody it through their actions and their commitment.”

A passionate and principled advocate for fairness, Clifford Lincoln is a bridge-builder and a consensus maker. He has been an instrumental and inspiring leader, within the ranks of the provincial cabinet, in the House of Commons and far beyond. Driven by his unerring sense of justice, and adept at balancing the needs and aspirations of differing communities, he has made and continues to make a real and lasting difference in such areas as English-language rights; the environment; education; public transit; health and social services; and the rights of the intellectually handicapped.

Since the tender ages of 13 and 9, co-awardees Sid Stevens and Earl De La Perralle have nurtured, built and led Sun Youth Organization. This unique Montreal community group has, since 1954, developed street-level programs to meet an array of serious and often underserved community needs. These range from sports activities and summer camp for at-risk and other youth to a year-round food bank and other significant support work. The best testimony to this group’s effectiveness is the number of individuals who return to Sun Youth as adult volunteers, to give back of themselves after having received a Sun Youth helping hand during their own youth.

James Carter has been a tireless and exceptionally effective advocate for improved access to health and social services in English. He remains a community pillar, thanks to the determination, vision and negotiating skills he honed over the years. His patience has also proven a hallmark; as a result, his long-term mentoring has exerted quiet, positive influence through English-speaking communities right across Quebec. He strategically harnesses the talent and dedication of individuals within diverse community organizations. With steady guidance, he quietly empowers many to successfully tackle and succeed at leadership roles.

Claudia Di Iorio is a brilliant, resilient and courageous young woman who overcame adversity to become a highly visible and influential proponent for safe driving. Beginning in 2010, during the summer of her 16th birthday, she battled back from devastating injuries caused by an impaired driver. A spokesperson for the Cool Taxi coupon initiative since 2012, she participates in numerous school presentations, documentaries and media interviews and also speaks for the Fondation Neuro-Trauma Marie-Robert. Recognizing her extraordinary road-safety advocacy and inspirational influence, the Quebec government nominated her to the Board of Directors of Quebec’s automobile insurance board, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). She thus became the youngest member in Quebec history of the board of directors of a crown corporation.

The Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award honours individuals who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the vitality and reputation of the English-speaking community and who have built bridges of understanding between Quebecers of different backgrounds. The Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award was created in 2015 by QCGN, the Fondation Notre Home Foundation and CBC Quebec to recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements of English-speaking Quebecers under the age of 30.

Winners have been invited to receive their awards at a community celebration taking place Thursday, October 26, 2017, at Montreal’s prestigious St-James Club. Co-sponsored by the Fondation Notre Home Foundation, the evening will be emceed by CTV Montreal lead anchor Mutsumi Takahashi, who was recently honoured with a Radio Television and Digital News Association (RTDNA Canada) lifetime achievement award for more than three decades of journalistic excellence. Details and tickets at http://qcgn.ca/community-awards/

Download a copy of the press release

McGill and Montreal community honour life of Gretta Chambers, first female university chancellor

“Hundreds of people gathered at the Church of Saint-Léon-de-Westmount on Sept. 16 to honour the life and accomplishments of Gretta Chambers, former McGill Chancellor and beloved journalist, political commentator, and community builder.  Chambers passed away on Sept. 9 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Montreal due to a serious heart condition.”

In this tribute to Mrs. Chambers, Sylvia Martin-Laforge praises her deep understanding of national and international environment; an educator in the most holistic way. The article then follows in presenting her different accomplishments on the professional front, as journalist at the Montreal Gazette and as host at CFCF, as well as her community involvement.

Read the article in the McGill Tribune

QCGN Congratulates New MUHC Board and Pledges its Support

Montreal – September 18, 2017 – The Quebec Community Groups Network welcomes the appointment of a new Board of Directors at the McGill University Health Centre. We strongly hope that this will allow the resolution once and for all of systemic issues and the ongoing standoff between one of our most important institutions and the Quebec government.

“We congratulate Peter Kruyt and the other members of the new MUHC board who have taken on this formidable task. We look forward to helping and supporting them in dealing with the major challenges facing the MUHC,” said QCGN President James Shea. “Quebec’s English-speaking community counts on the new board and Health Minister Gaétan Barrette to provide the MUHC with all the tools it needs to thrive and continue to serve all Quebecers with the high level of specialized and super-specialized care they require.”

“For many months now, the QCGN has been concerned about the deteriorating situation at the MUHC and the inability of its leaders to come to a workable arrangement, along the same lines many other institutions which had been facing tough negotiations with Health Minister Barrette and his ministry officials,” said QCGN Vice-President Geoffrey Chambers. “But we remain troubled that the process to name the new board does not appear to have included input from members of the community who have in-depth knowledge of the community and of our health and social services network.”

Following July’s unexpected mass resignation of independent MUHC board members, the QCGN expressed strong expectations that successor board members would be selected on the basis of strong community involvement, coupled with a profound understanding of and familiarity with the operational characteristics of Quebec’s health and social-services system.

“Over the last two months, the eight-member search committee did not reach out to the QCGN, to the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) or to patient groups and others. Consequently, the new board is an impressive group of people with experience in business and finance. However, we know little of their experience with Quebec’s health and social services and our community structures. “This,” he emphasized, “bodes ill for the long-term connection of these institutions and the community.”

“When Bill 10 was introduced and passed two years ago, QCGN was deeply concerned with the drastic reduction in the number of institutions and governing boards,” said Shea. “We were even more worried about the powers it conferred on the Minister to directly appoint those leading the mega-merged health care consortiums that are managing the many hospitals and social service centres that were created and, for decades, supported by our community.”

Chambers added that the search for candidates was too narrow. From the QCGN’s perspective, the final board does not reflect the full range of skills needed or the necessary understanding of the community and its needs. “These are all financial and pharmaceutical folks with no broad sense of how health and social services really work in and for our communities. But these are all good people and the community will provide all possible support.”

Download a copy of the press release