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.

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Bill 86 committee urged to repair ties with the English-speaking community

QUEBEC — The province should create a liaison office to better understand today’s English-speaking Quebecers and help rebuild bridges with a community that’s feeling ignored, misunderstood and discriminated against, the Quebec Community Groups Network told the education minister on Thursday.

“You could do it informally, you could do it by legislation, there are different ways of doing it,” QCGN director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge later elaborated with the Montreal Gazette. “Is it a political office, an administrative office … We’re prepared to sit with government to examine what options there would be to facilitate our insertion into policy-making in Quebec.” Read more

Opinion: Bill 86 on school governance infringes on English community rights

This is an edited excerpt of a brief the Quebec Community Groups Network presented Thursday to a National Assembly committee studying Bill 86:

On Dec. 4, 2015, the government of Quebec introduced Bill 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.” Its purpose is administrative. It makes no claim either to directly improve the scholastic performance of Quebec’s students or improve or maintain existing educational services. Rather, put simply, Bill 86 seeks to increase the executive authority of the education minister… Read  more

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Concordia welcomes Quebec’s young leaders

“Next year is the 150th anniversary of Confederation. What does being Canadian mean to Quebec’s young people? How do they see their country’s role in the world? In their view, what are the most important social and enviromental issues facing Canada?”

To encourage young people in the province to get engaged and have their say, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) — in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies and the Institut du Nouveau Monde — came up with an ambitious three-year project, leading up to next year’s sesquicentennial celebration of the birth of Canada.

Read the article on Concordia University’s website

Philippe Couillard announces emergency cabinet shuffle; addresses Moreau’s health

MONTREAL – For the fourth time in less than two years, Quebec has appointed a new education minister.

In an emergency cabinet shuffle Monday evening, Premier Philippe Couillard addressed Pierre Moreau’s health.

“He will need to go undergo serious treatments over the coming weeks…for many months probably,” he said. Read more

Discussing educational reform

QCGN Director Sylvia Martin-Laforge discusses the provincial government’s educational reform with CTV Montreal’s Mutsumi Takahashi. Watch video

Remembering Dr. Victor Goldbloom

The late Dr. Victor Goldbloom was someone who could rightly be called a great Montrealer. Sylvia Martin Laforge speaks to Camille Ross about his career and what it meant to society. Watch the video