Impératif français thanks Claude Dubois; QCGN awarded Lemon Prize (FR)

“Impératif français a lancé ses fleurs au chanteur-compositeur-interprète Claude Dubois et a tiré le pot à la Ville de Gatineau, dimanche, lors de la cérémonie de remise des ses prix d’excellence et Citron à l’occasion de la Francofête 2017.”

During a celebration made by Impératif Français, a French-speaking defense group, they has awarded their Prix Citron which are given to organizations and events that limit the progress of French language. Amongst many recipients, the QCGN was awarded a national prize for seeking out an apology to Prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Read the full article in Le Droit

Trudeau should have answered in French and English (FR)

“Dans son rapport préliminaire d’enquête, dont #ONfr a obtenu copie, la commissaire aux langues officielles du Canada, Ghislaine Saikaley, juge fondées les plaintes à l’encontre du gouvernement de Justin Trudeau pour les manques observés en matière de langues officielles pendant la tournée pancanadienne du premier ministre.”

A preliminary report from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Language (OCOL) presents as its principal conclusion that the Prime minister Justin Trudeau should have talked in both official languages during his cross-Canada tour. According to the OCOL, when ministers and the Prime minister are transmitting informations concerning governmental programs as heads of federal institutions and departments they are not exempted from abide to the Official Languages Act.

The article follows with comments from François Choquette, critic for Official Languages in the New Democratic Party, who thinks the apologies presented to the Quebec Community Groups Network and the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario are not enough to right the wrongs.

Read the full article on the TFO website

QCGN Hopeful About Opportunities for Official Language Minority Communities in Federal Budget

Montreal – March 23, 2017 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is cautiously optimistic about opportunities for Quebec’s English-speaking Community contained in this week’s federal budget.

“The budget’s emphasis on skills development, innovation, and job growth are a good fit to our community’s strategic development goals of economic prosperity,” commented QCGN President James Shea. “We know that achieving economic prosperity – a key component of our collective vitality – depends on greater access to employment and educational opportunities for youth and adults alike, especially through skills training, and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

“English-speaking Quebecers have reason to be excited about the possibilities contained in today’s federal budget, particularly those aspects promoting skill acquisition, innovation and employment,” Shea added. “We are especially hopeful about the Community Educational Infrastructure Program, investments that could see the construction of vital spaces like early childhood, community, and cultural centres. We hope that the Governments of Quebec and Canada can work together to ensure English-speaking Quebec can equitably access and benefit from this marvelous initiative.”

The QCGN has developed relationships with the key federal institutions who will be delivering on the skills, innovation, employment and community building aspects of the budget.

“The QCGN is well placed to help the Government of Canada work directly with our community, or in partnership with the Government of Quebec to bring the promise the 2017 budget to English-speaking Quebec,” said QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge.  “We also look forward to next year’s budget and its anticipated inclusion of resources to implement the Government of Canada’s new Action Plan on Official Languages and the positive impacts that will have on our community.”

Download a copy of the press release

Community Innovation Fund announces shortlisted projects

Montreal – March 21, 2017

The independent selection committee for the Community Innovation Fund (CIF) met last week and has come up with a shortlist of organizations that will be invited to submit a full application. The selection committee, chaired by Grace Hogg, Grants Coordinator of the George Hogg Family Foundation, has shortlisted 11 projects that improve employability or basic socioeconomic security for vulnerable youth, seniors/caregivers, and/or newcomers. Some tackle more than one of these vulnerable populations that are targeted by the fund which was set up to finance social initiatives for community organizations providing direct support to English-speaking Quebecers.

The projects, from six regions of Quebec, include eight that address the needs of English-speaking youth, including youth with special needs; two that address the needs of seniors; and two that address the needs of newcomers. Financed by the Government of Canada through the Social Partnership Initiative in Official Language Minority Communities, and managed by the QCGN, the Community Innovation Fund (CIF) is a new resource to put social innovation in action. Between April 2017 and March 2019, the fund will invest more than $1 million in social initiatives while building partnerships to increase funds that will be injected into the community.

View the list on the Community Innovation Fund webpage

For more information on the Community Innovation Fund, please contact Maria Rivas-Rivero at 514-868-9044, ext 230 or

Anglophones are helping English-speaking newcomers integrate and that’s good for Quebec: QCGN

“Efforts by Quebec’s anglophone communities and institutions to help English-speaking newcomers successfully integrate into Quebec society should be financially and politically supported by the Quebec government, the director general of the Quebec Community Groups Network said Wednesday.”

English-speakers are seen like the poster children of integration in Quebec by Sylvia Martin-Laforge, director general of the QCGN. During the one-day conference hosted by the QCGN and sponsored by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, she also mentioned the Quebec government do not help English-language institutions and groups from helping newcomers integrate.

The conference hosted three panels that addressed how faith-based organizations and municipalities among other institutions helped welcoming English-speaking newcomers. Most of the discussion revolved around the understanding that Quebec was a French-speaking province, but that groups can help newcomers grasp that diversity in a country that recognizes linguistic duality.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette.

QCGN to Host Conference on Community Engagement and the Integration of Newcomers

Montreal – March 13, 2017 – 

On March 15, 2017, the Quebec Community Groups Network will be hosting a one-day conference entitled Community Engagement and the Successful Integration of Newcomers. The one-day event on the eve of the National Metropolis Conference will bring together dozens of representatives from various sectors and regions to discuss how newcomers – immigrants, refugees and migrants – integrate into Quebec society through the province’s English-speaking communities and institutions.

Sponsored by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the one-day conference kicks with a workshop/panel entitled Faith-based Organizations as Integrating Factors for Newcomers that will discuss how churches, synagogues, and faith-based groups are integrating newcomers into our communities. This panel was organized in cooperation with the English-speaking Catholic Council.

Read the full press release here

View the conference’s website for details and registration

Final Youth Forum in National Capital Region

Montreal, March 13 – 

This past weekend dozens of Quebec youth gathered in Gatineau/Ottawa for the third and final Young Quebecers Leading the Way forum. Young delegates spent the weekend meeting with experts including politicians, journalists and others on six themes including Economy, Canadian identity, Indigenous peoples, Politics and Democracy, Social issues and the Environment and Canada in the World.

They presented their declaration on Parliament Hill on Sunday. Justin Trudeau’s federal parliamentary youth secretary Peter Schiefke, who was on hand to comment the work of our young participants, said he was most impressed by their engagement and forward thinking. Schiefke then took the delegates on a tour of the House of Commons where they got to sit in the seats of their favourite leaders, Ministers and MPs. Most also took a minute to sit on the Speaker’s throne for a selfie. The weekend was emceed by CBC Quebec’s roving reporter Marika Wheeler. For more photos, click here.


Bilingual Young Quebecers Leading the Way to Canada’s Future

Montreal – March 10, 2017

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation. What does that mean to Quebec’s youth? What are the hot issues for youth with regards to Canadian identity, social issues, the environment, the economy, Canada’s role in the world? How do they see the future of this country and their role in it?

Interesting discussions and lively debates on these themes are anticipated as dozens of youth aged 15 to 25 descend upon the National Capital Region this weekend for the third and final Young Quebecers Leading the Way forum from March 10 to 12.

On Saturday, more than 80 bilingual youths from six regions of the province will interact with a dozen notable workshops leaders including prominent politicians like NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Native MP Romeo Saganash; well-informed journalists including CBC national reporter/producer Nick Gamache; National Observer managing editor Mike de Souza; and Canadian Press Bureau Chief Heather Scoffield; as well as other experts including former diplomat Todd Kuiak and Christopher Neal, a former communications consultant with the Canadian International Development Agency and the World Bank,

Remaining on theme, presenters will also include a number of prominent youth leaders including Elyse Tremblay-Longchamps, vice-president of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) who was recently named as a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council. Co-leading the workshop on Canadian Identity are NDP Youth Critic Anne-Minh Thu Quach and Dafina Savic, a Roma rights activist who is also the Human Rights Coordinator at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. Savic was last year’s winner of the Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award and will participate in the launch for the call for nominations for this year’s award at noon on Saturday.

The two-day forum kicks off with a keynote speech delivered by Désirée McGraw, the first female president of BC’s Pearson College. McGraw, who is passionate about the civic engagement of young Canadians, is the former executive director and president of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation and the Sauvé Scholars Foundation, whose mission is to connect, engage and empower a new generation of public leadership in Canada and around the world to address key global challenges. A co-founder of the Canadian branch of Al Gore’s Climate Project, she was a youth activist in the ’80s when the arms race was at its peak.

The event will wrap up on Parliament Hill Sunday after lunch with a closing ceremony where participants will present youth declaration on their vision of Canada over the next 50 years, that they spent the weekend researching and writing. Both the federal and provincial parliamentary youth secretaries, Peter Schiefke and Karine Vallières, will be on hand to comment on their work.

“We are excited about this year’s lineup of speakers and presenters and look forward to seeing how our participants will be inspired to declare their vision of Canada’s future,” commented project leader Lisanne Gamelin, explaining that over the past two months participating youths attended regional workshops run by six youth coordinators.

Most of them of travelled to Ottawa/Gatineau by train courtesy of Via Rail, who along with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and CBC Quebec, are the project’s main sponsors. The weekend’s ceremonies are being emceed by CBC Quebec’s roving reporter Marika Wheeler, who travels across the province telling people’s stories to listeners.

Young Quebecers Leading the Way is a three-year project launched by the Quebec Community Groups Network to include young Quebecers in the lead up to Canada’s sesquicentennial. Funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Youth Take Charge program, the QCGN has organized three annual forums in partnership with the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) and the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS).

The first forum, which looked at Canada’s past, was held in Quebec City in 2015. The second, which focused on present-day Canada, was held last year at Concordia University. This year, youths have travelled to the nation’s capital region to wrap it up. More detail about Young Quebecers Leading the Way on the QCGN website at

Download a copy of the press release

Quebec scraps plan to eliminate Manon Massé’s riding after protests

“Quebec is scrapping a plan to eliminate the Montreal riding of Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques, which is currently represented by Québec Solidaire MNA Manon Massé.”

The decision was announced on Thursday March 2 by the Directeur général des élections du Québec. MNA Manon Massé called the decision a victory for the people living in the riding. The chief electoral officer also decided to retain the riding of Westmount-Saint-Louis.

The QCGN mentioned that the loss of such riding would mean one less seat in the National Assembly representing the English-speaking community’s interests. Instead, the DGEQ decided to go ahead with a prior plan to merge the ridings of Mont-Royal and Outremont into a single riding.

Read the full story on CBC Montreal


Anglophones frustrated with lack of English on borough websites

“The Quebec Community Groups Network, representing Quebec’s English-speaking communities, says it’s time the websites for Montreal’s boroughs be translated into English. Currently, only five of Montreal’s 19 boroughs have an English website.”

Two others have partially translated their websites. Sylvia Martin-Laforge says that it is a problem of services, of access to information. Some residents say they are losing touch with what’s happening in the borough because of this language gap.

Read the full article on CBC Montreal