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.


Prime Minister Responds to Our Community

The QCGN is very pleased to report that we have just received a letter from the Prime Minister unequivocally reiterating his personal commitment to the rights of our English language minority community and to those of the French language minority outside Quebec. The letter was gracious and heartening, as it was clear our Prime Minister understands the importance of speaking to minority language communities in their own language.

The QCGN has in turn responded to the Prime Minister’s letter expressing gratitude for his continuing support and the collaboration demonstrated by the Government. We have also extended an invitation on the community’s behalf to meet at his convenience to discuss the special challenges English-speaking Quebec faces.

Read the letter from the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed to the Quebec Community Groups Network.

Official Languages Consultations Webcasts

The Cross-Canada official languages consultations 2016 rolled into Sherbrooke on August 5, and to Quebec City on August 23, and Montreal on August 30. English-speaking Quebec was represented at all sessions that were hosted in institutions of our community.

Watch the webcast for the Montreal consultation

Watch the webcast for the Moncton consultation

The community must ensure their rights are respected.

Fighting for the survival of its institutions is of key importance for the vitality of English-speaking Quebec, QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge said in an interview with CTV Montreal. Alliance Quebec founder Eric Maldoff said English-speaking Quebecers suffer from “benign neglect” on the part of government. Maldoff, Martin-Laforge and Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser contend Anglophones must get involved and fight for their rights. They also said the Quebec government needs to create a structure to look out for the interests of its minority language community

Watch the interview with Alliance Quebec founder Eric Maldoff
Watch the CTV News follow-up story

Quebec anglos need to push for their rights: Official Languages Commissioner

English-speaking Quebecers need to be more vigilant to ensure their rights are respected Graham Fraser said in an interview with The Montreal Gazette.

Read more…

Majority of Quebecers want curriculum to include history of minorities

In this Montreal Gazette article, Michelle Lalonde reports on a survey conducted by the QCGN and the Association for Canadian Studies. From this survey, which you can find a Powerpoint of the results here, Lalonde writes that “almost 80 per cent of Quebecers believe it is important to learn about the role of minorities in Quebec history”. Jack Jedwab comments on the survey and about the nationalist focus taken by the new history curriculum. Eric Maldoff also commented the survey by discussing the role school boards have to intervene for a curriculum that reflects the lingustic minority of Quebec, amongst the minorities underrepresented.

Read more…

Newly elected QCGN president ready, eager to start term

Andrea Cranfield, The Pontiac – June 22, 2016.

James Shea was elected to a two-year term as president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) during the annual general meeting on June 3. He had served on the board of directors for the past four years and spent three as vice president. The QCGN is a non-profit organization linking 48 English community organizations across Quebec. Shea is the first QCGN president to come from West Quebec. He is also the Chair of the Western Quebec School Board.

Read the full article.

Graham Fraser, commissioner of Official Languages

Official languages, “yes sir”

By Marco Fortier, in Le Devoir

(In French)

En 10 ans au poste de chien de garde des langues officielles, Graham Fraser a constaté que la détermination peut laisser place à l’exaspération. L’impatience se lisait dans son dernier rapport, où le commissaire critiquait une fois de plus Air Canada pour les « Sorry, I don’t speak French » entendus encore trop souvent à bord des avions du transporteur national.

Sorry, I Don’t Speak French, c’est aussi le titre de son essai lancé en 2007, dans les mois suivant sa nomination comme commissaire aux langues officielles. Graham Fraser déplorait le recul du bilinguisme et la difficulté à ancrer l’utopie des deux langues officielles dans la réalité canadian. Une décennie plus tard, on ne peut que constater que la bataille pour le respect des droits linguistiques des minorités est loin d’être gagnée. On peut même penser qu’il s’agit d’un combat sans fin, comme Sisyphe condamné pour l’éternité à pousser sa pierre vers le haut de la montagne, avant qu’elle redescende aussitôt dans la vallée.

Comme le dit Sylvia Martin-Laforge, directrice générale du Quebec Community Groups Network : les droits linguistiques, « if you don’t use it, you lose it ». La représentante de la communauté anglophone du Québec n’a que de bons mots pour le travail de Graham Fraser au cours des 10 dernières années. Les francophones hors Québec sont eux aussi fort satisfaits du bilan du commissaire sortant.

Read more