- May 19, 2017 In this Gazette opinion piece, QCGN President James Shea and VP Geoffrey Chambers reinforce the notion that the organization wants a productive debate on the current swell of controversy surrounding the MUHC. They maintain the way to achieve such progress is through evidence-based arguments, hard-nosed, fair-minded bargaining and a viable plan. They admit that healthcare for English-speaking residents in Quebec could use some fine-tuning, but also acknowledge Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette's cautious approach to funding the hospital in the absence of a plan for corrective action is the best approach.
- May 18, 2017 The new proposed official languages commissioner says she had contact before the nomination process with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's two closest advisers to express her interest in the job. Madeleine Meilleur told the Commons official languages committee she recently spoke on the telephone with Trudeau's principal secretary, Gerald Butts, and had coffee with Katie Telford, the prime minister's chief of staff. Opposition parties, who were already trying to block Trudeau's decision to choose Meilleur, jumped on her comments as further evidence of partisanship in the selection process.
Meilleur met with Trudeau advisers before nomination as official languages commissioner - The Globe & Mail (sub. req.)
- May 18, 2017 The municipalities of Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Town of Mount-Royal and the boroughs of Outremont and Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce have banded together and will be going to court to fight changes to the new provincial electoral map. The new electoral map, created by the Electoral Representation Committee, would merge the provincial ridings of Mount Royal and Outremont, and modify the boundaries of the D'Arcy McGee riding - essentially transforming three ridings into two. Critics of the plan have said this would alter the historical Anglophone and ethnic makeup of the ridings, which are all Liberal strongholds. Former Liberal MP Marlene Jennings now co-chairs a west-end citizen's committee, which hired constitutional lawyer Julius Grey to contest the decision. She said the votes of Montreal's linguistic and ethnic communities were already diluted in the early 90s, when the electoral commission removed four ridings on the island.
Allison Hanes: Citizens take up new gauntlet
- May 19, 2017 A member of the board of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada has resigned, alleging that Andrew Potter was forced out as institute director over his article critical of Quebec. Ken Whyte, former editor of the National Post and a former visiting scholar at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, announced his resignation on Twitter, saying he was "tired of defending McGill's decision to demote Andrew Potter." Up until now, the Montreal university has said that Potter chose to resign in the face of public outrage within Quebec after writing a Maclean's article that said a failed government response to a snowstorm was evidence of the province's deficit of social capital.
McGill Principal wanted Andrew Potter to resign, former trustee says - The Globe & Mail (sub. req.)
- May 18, 2017 Some students in kindergarten to Grade 3 at four rural Anglophone schools in N.B. will get at least 15 minutes more of French every day under pilot projects being launched by the New Brunswick government this fall. The French language pilots are aimed at improving access to French learning at schools where there is an interest, but insufficient numbers to create an immersion class. Currently, non-immersion students get about 30 minutes of French per week week, starting in kindergarten, with the focus being on an appreciation for French language and culture.
- May 19, 2017 Ottawa's École élémentaire publique Le Trillium was officially rechristened l'École élémentaire publique Mauril Bélanger. The Montgomery Street school is in the city's Vanier neighbourhood, which Bélanger represented at the federal level for 21 years after first winning a by-election for the Liberals in 1995.
- May 19, 2017
Three days after Health Minister Gaétan Barrette declared that the beleaguered McGill University Health Centre needs to be “stabilized,” the MUHC's foundations warned "anxiety is spreading across our community" over the fate of the English-language hospital network. The statement signals a mobilization by the MUHC community to fight proposals to fold the five-hospital network within a larger conglomerate. The MUHC foundations, which have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for research and medical equipment, are sounding the alarm over the “catastrophic impact” that Barrette’s bed-funding cutbacks have had on "surgeries and on access to quality healthcare."
- May 19, 2017 The Daily Briefing is archived on the QCGN Daily Briefing Portal. The Portal provides access to back-issues, research reports and offers a fully-searchable index. To access the Portal, simply click on the My Portal link included at the top right-hand corner of today's Daily Briefing. Your email and a password are required. To obtain your password, click here. If you do not have an account, click here to subscribe.
Opposition parties claim Justin Trudeau failed to consult them over language commissioner appointmentMay 18, 2017 Conservatives and New Democrats are trying to block Madeleine Meilleur from being appointed as Commissioner of Official Languages, saying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ignored his legal obligation to consult with opposition leaders before announcing his nominee. The opposition leaders told the House of Commons they received nothing more than a letter from the Liberal government advising them of Meilleur's nomination. Both the Tories and the NDP have complained about the partisan Liberal background of Meilleur, who, as an Officer of Parliament, would be expected to operate independently of the government and would report directly to the House of Commons or the Senate.
Opposition parties try to block Trudeau's pick for languages commissioner - CBC
- May 17, 2017 The fight to save two key English ridings on the electoral map has been lost as the independent Quebec Electoral Commission says the riding map can be re-drawn to erge Mont Royal and Outremont. The Liberal government says they don't like the decision, but will accept it. Rita de Santis, the minister for the reform of democratic institutions, sympathizes with citizens of Mount Royal and Outremont because she was one of a number of politicians, including over a dozen in the Liberal caucus, to fight to keep those riding boundaries as they currently exist. The minister received some backlash over the issue - not because of her comments, but because she chose to hold a press conference with only select media present. Some questioned whether de Santis was giving the same message to both French and English speakers.