Barrette agrees to consult with union leaders, patients’ group on future of MUHC

“Faced with an outcry from patients’ groups and union leaders, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette has backed off plans to appoint within days more than half the board of the McGill University Health Centre.”

Health Minister hopes to name members to the MUHC board by the end of the summer, although he will continue to consult with union leaders and patient-rights representatives. According to Barrette’s press attaché, Thursday’s meetings were described as “positive and constructive”.

The patients’ group were worried about the invovlement of the QCGN is reshaping MUHC leadership, while arguing they didn’t represent the broader diverse members of the MUHC and McGill communities. The article also points out to possible discussions between Eric Maldoff on potential names to sit on the MUHC board.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

Gaétan Barrette calls emergency meeting with unions amid turmoil at MUHC

“Health Minister Gaétan Barrette will hold an emergency meeting early this morning with unions representing workers at the McGill University Health Centre amid an administrative crisis at the province’s largest hospital”

Following the departure of MUHC’s 10 independent board members, Barrette said he will hold a meeting at 7:30 a.m. to discuss with unions and the patients’ committee. Denyse Joseph, president of the MUHC nurses union, worries that new members might not be challenging Barrette’s opinions.

In the meantime, responding to questions from former board members of the MUHC, the QCGN denies they advised Barrette to reshape MUHC, although they have discussed with the health minister.

Read the article on CBC Montreal website

Health minister to meet with MUHC workers, committees this morning

“Health Minister Gaetan Barrette has called a meeting for Thursday to deal with the administrative problems at the MUHC.”

In the wake of this week’s mass resignation, Gaetan Barrette will meet unions repesenting employees and with members of various committee at the Glen Site.

Meanwhile, the English-speaking rights group QCGN said it is ready to help out in any way possible. While some question QCGN’s proposal on the terms that half the users of that hospital are French-speaking, the QCGN maintains that lots of good talent in the community are available to put together a great board.

Read the article on CTV Montreal’s website

You may also watch this feature on the subject:

What is the QCGN, the anglophone-rights group working quietly to reshape MUHC?

“Montrealers learned this week that the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has been quietly working behind the scenes with Health Minister Gaétan Barrette to reshape the leadership of the embattled McGill University Health Centre”

This article features the key elements of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), such as their source of funding, their member groups and the multiple positions it has taken in the past year.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

Anglo-rights group working with Barrette to replace MUHC board

“Quietly behind the scenes, a prominent anglophone-rights group has been working with Health Minister Gaétan Barrette to reshape the leadership of the McGill University Health Centre, the Montreal Gazette has learned.”

The involvement of the QCGN has rankled some managers of the MUHC who fear that the QCGN might have grown too close to Barrette. In an interview, vice-president Geoffrey Chambers claimed that the organization was in touch with the minister and his office, while siding with the minister’s opinion. Chambers also mentioned that Eric Maldoff, chair of the Health and Social Services committee, had some names in mind for potential replacements.

Some MUHC managers claimed the organization seemed to pop out of nowhere, and that they never discussed any issues with patients. Barrette’s immediate priority is to appoint 10 independent members, a task that might be done soon.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

MUHC board resignations leave ‘1st-class institution’ facing leadership void

“Health Minister Gaétan Barrette’s top-down management style is coming under scrutiny following the resignation of more than half the board members at the McGill University Health Centre.”

The resignation of 10 independent board members reflects the counterproductive approach Barrette takes with health care institutions. Board members have complained about ignored meetings and failed correspondence. However, it was the revealed reports on the MUHC that made them decide on resignation.

Glenn Rourke, one of the board members who stepped down, disputes Barrette’s claims that the MUHC had chronic deficits. QCGN vice-president Geoffrey Chambers said he’s hopeful about potential resolution to the “crisis” with these resignations.

Read the article on CBC Montreal website


Ten independent board members of MUHC resign en masse

“The 10 independent members of the board of directors of the McGill University Health Centre resigned en masse Monday, saying they have been hamstrung by Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette”

The board said it cannot function effectively with a health minister who threatens trusteeship, especially since it can’t even name its chair or CEO. This exodus was a reaction on a series of hurtful events, one of which was the media release of several reports on the MUHC commissioned by the Health Department.

Parti Québécois health critic Diane Lamarre said the MUHC showdown demonstrates Barrette absolute authority over health institutions. The QCGN welcomed the mass resignation as a way of resolving the crisis of governance.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

MUHC independent board members resign, cite conflict with health minister

“Concerns are growing over the future of the MUHC after a mass resignation of the board’s independent members. As Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, union leaders say it’s a sign of bad relation that’s having a negative impact on patient care.”

The volunteer members who have resigned cited a lack of dialogue over the last two years with Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette as the reasons for their resignations. MUHC Users’ Committee also tried to meet with the minister about improving care.

For QCGN vice-president Geoffrey Chambers, naming new board members might help end this chapter for this English-speaking health institution.

Read the article on Global Montreal website

The fate of English-speaking Quebecers (FR)

“On dirait que les Anglo-Québécois se sont embellis. Les politiciens cherchent à les courtiser. Il y a deux semaines, le premier ministre Philippe Couillard a annoncé que son gouvernement établirait un secrétariat chargé de gérer les relations avec la minorité anglophone.”

In this opinion piece, Christopher Neal illustrates how the many mistakes the government has made opened the door for opposition parties to woo English-speakers. However, not much is done to limit the always decreasing number of students enrolled in English schools, a decline that takes root in the massive exodus of the 1970s. Since then, most English-speakers learned French.

He ends by saying that Bill 101 should be partly removed to allow French-speakers into English schools. Neal also mentions in passing the QCGN and their approval of Couillard’s decision to open a secretariat for English-speaking affairs.

Read the opinion piece in Le Devoir

Quebec premier promises Anglophone Affairs Office

Premier Philippe Couillard says he’s changed his mind about creating a special Anglophone Affairs Office. The idea has been floated around by both the Liberals and the Parti Quebecois since the last provincial election and now that the next election is a year away — the premier says it’s coming soon.

“John, 75 years old, lives in New Carlisle in Gaspé and has difficulty communicating in French. Does this make him less of a Quebecer than me? No,” the premier said during an end of session press conference Friday at the National Assembly.

John is a real person and it’s through conversations with him and other anglophones that Couillard said he’s come to see that he was wrong to not embrace the idea of an Anglophone Affairs Office earlier.

“I always resisted having different government structures for English-speaking Quebecers because I say, ‘We’re all Quebecers,’” he explained.

Read the article and watch video on Global News

Swift positive reaction to Couillard’s new anglo secretariat

Conceding some of the recent tensions in the English-speaking community over health and education could have been averted, Premier Philippe Couillard has announced plans to put in place a new government secretariat dealing with the minority’s issues.

And in a significant shift from his past views, Couillard has not ruled out naming a specific cabinet minister responsible for the community.

“I resisted this for a long time because I thought we only have one class of Quebecers, but meeting (them) on the ground and talking to people — we need to do more,” Couillard said in a wide-ranging interview with the Montreal Gazette Thursday in his downtown Montreal office.

Read the article in The Montreal Gazette

Quebec Liberals trying to reconnect with Anglophones

This week the Liberals sent a letter to federal ministers about the challenges faced by English-speaking communities outside of Montreal, while Premier Philippe Couillard announced he is creating a new administrative office dedicated to anglophones.

This group will be part of the premier’s executive council and will “state and voice their concerns at the highest levels of government,” said Couillard.

The Premier has, until now, ruled out having a minister responsible for Anglophones, but he’s now reconsidering the idea.

“It’s my duty, first. Second, because I believe in it,” said Couillard.

Read the article and watch video on CTV News Montreal

Couillard government concerned about “assimilation” of outlying anglophone communities

The Couillard government says it’s concerned about the isolation and assimilation of anglophone communities in Quebec’s outlying regions.

Jean-Marc Fournier, minister responsible for intergovernmental affairs and the Francophonie, reportedly said in a letter to the federal heritage minister that they are concerned about the isolation and assimilation of the anglophone communities in the outer regions outside of Montreal.

Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly had asked last fall for observations about issues relating to Canada’s two official languages.

Read the article on CJAD’s Website

Checking in: Should we worry about the Anglophone minority of Quebec? (FR)

The Couillard government wonders if more money should be invested in order to offer services to Anglophones who live outside of Montreal. Projections show however that their demographic weight should increase.

Between 1996 and 2011, the number of Quebecers who live outside of Montreal whose mother tongue is English decreased by 2.3%. Nevertheless, Statistics Canada projects their proportion to grow by 2036.

Read the article on’s Website