“Le ministre de la Sécurité publique, Martin Coiteux, a fait son mea culpa, mercredi, 24 heures après avoir répondu en français à une question qui lui était adressée en anglais à l’Assemblée nationale.”
During a debate on political funding at the National Assembly, Minister Coiteux stated it was the tradition at the Assembly to speak French before answering in French to Amir Khadir’s question asked in English. This answer angered the English-speaking community of Quebec, which responded in a press release that most of his constituants were English-speaking.
M. Coiteux apologized the following day while mentioning he will use English next time he is asked a question in that language. MNA Amir Khadir explained that he asked his question in English because the English-speaking community needs to be aware of the controversial issue they were discussing.
“QCGN accepts apology after calling Coiteux’s remark ‘an insult’ to Anglo electors in his West Island riding”
Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said he didn’t mean to offend anyone when he spoke French in response to MNA Amir Khadir’s question asked in English about the investigation into alleged illegal political financing with Quebec Liberal Party.
The QCGN said they were satisfied with Coiteux’s apology, but still noted that his initial comments were especially disrespectful of his Nelligan’s constituents which are in most part English-speakers. Geoffrey Chambers, vice-president of the QCGN, explained how the 1867 Constitution Act allows French or English to be used in the legislative body during debates.
“Townshippers’ Day, the annual celebration of Eastern Townships English-language heritage and culture, won’t be happening this year due to a lack of both volunteers and a municipal partner, organizers have announced.”
This year, the Townshippers’ Association said the event isn’t attracting volunteer organizers like it used to. Gerald Cutting, the association’s president, said that without volunteers, paid staff need to be used which scares off partner municipalities. The Association might rethink their model and find a couple of permanent locations.
On this issue, Geoffrey Chambers, vice-president of the QCGN, said the decision is further evidence that Quebec’s English-speaking communities are struggling due to a lack of resources.
“A bit of a setback was announced at Agape NPI Partners’ latest meeting. Agape Inc., the founding player in the Networking Partnership Initiative group, saw its application for $100,000 in funding from Ottawa for a new English Speaking Seniors’ Wellness Centre in Laval turned down recently.”
The Laval News reports on a NPI’s meeting where Agape executive director Kevin McLeod mentioned their funding application made to the Community Innovation Fund was declined. The article also mentions Mr. Fayçal El-Khoury, MP for Laval-Les Îles, wants to reopen the file.
The group might get help from the provincial government for the Wellness Centre to happen.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“The leader of Canada’s New Democrats chuckled when asked for his thoughts about democracy in Canada.”
During the Young Quebecers Leading the way forum, Mike de Souza asked a few questions to NPD leader Thomas Mulcair, who was there to speak about politics and democracy to a crowd of young Quebecers.
Thomas Mulcair answered questions about the theme of the forum, Canada in 2067, but also about the state of today’s politics and Canada-U.S. relations.
“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.
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