“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.
“The Quebec Community Groups Network, representing Quebec’s English-speaking communities, says it’s time the websites for Montreal’s boroughs be translated into English. Currently, only five of Montreal’s 19 boroughs have an English website.”
Two others have partially translated their websites. Sylvia Martin-Laforge says that it is a problem of services, of access to information. Some residents say they are losing touch with what’s happening in the borough because of this language gap.
“You can’t please everybody, as we are reminded every time Quebec’s electoral representation commission proposes to re-draw the boundaries of the 125 provincial ridings to reflect changes in the distribution of the population.”
In this opinion piece, Macpherson summarizes the debate surrounding Quebec’s new proposed electoral map saying Manon Massé is the loudest voice in the room since she will be the one losing a riding. However, the QCGN has also voiced their opinion to not lose Westmount.
He continues by saying Coderre’s claims that Montreal needs more seats in the Assembly is bogus, since it is over-represented, and lack representation mostly because of safe seats for most parties. With upcoming results, the final version of the map is bound to displease somebody, Macpherson ends.
“Quelques jours après s’être excusé pour sa réponse en français à Sherbrooke, le premier ministre Justin Trudeau a également adressé ses excuses à l’Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) pour une réponse en anglais à une question posée en français à Peterborough.”
After the incident which happened on January 13 in Peterborough, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did the opposite in Sherbrooke a few days later. Following those two events, l’Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario launched a letter campaign in partnership with the QCGN.
Trudeau apologized in a letter to AFO on February 23 saying he understood the importance for a Prime Minister to speak in minority communities in their own language. The letter campaign allowed to send 85 letters in French and 70 in English. Furthermore, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages also received about 60 complaints, which neither AFO, nor QCGN contributed as organizations.
“Trudeau’s apology a good start. As far as apologies go, it was a pretty good one. The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was sorry for refusing to answer a question in English from an English-speaking Canadian in Sherbrooke last month.”
This edition of Postscript talks about Justin Trudeau’s apology during the second part.
“Alors que près de 25% des Montréalais ont l’anglais comme première langue officielle parlée, seulement cinq arrondissements sur 19 offrent la traduction de leur site Web dans la langue de Shakespeare. C’est une situation que déplore le Quebec Community Groups Network, plaidant qu’elle nuit à la qualité des services offerts à la population”
Among the 19 boroughs of Montreal, only Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Lachine, Lasalle, Saint-Laurent and CDN-NDG have an English version of their website. The QCGN thinks this situation do not allow Montrealers to have access to services in their own language.
According to the city of Montreal, they don’t have to translate everything because of its Charter which defines the city as a French-speaking one. Some city councillors agree that the online platform needs reworking, and making the pages accessible in English is a key issue. However, Imperatif Francais thinks the City of Montreal should not translate anything because it creates isolation.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently called a woman to apologize after answering her English question in French during a town hall session in Sherbrooke, Que.
Judy Ross asked whether there were any plans for the federal government to help Quebec anglophones seeking mental health services, since they are often only available in French, at a town hall on Jan. 17.”
“Le Premier ministre canadien s’est formellement excusé d’avoir répondu en langue française à des questions qui lui avaient été posées en anglais, en janvier dernier alors qu’il était à Sherbrooke (Québec). Ses regrets font suite aux critiques de nombreux citoyens qui l’ont accusé de violer la loi sur le bilinguisme au Canada.”
“Si Justin Trudeau s’excuse pour avoir répondu en français à un anglophone au Québec, il devrait en faire autant envers les francophones pour les «pratiques discriminatoires» au sein du gouvernement, estime Jean-Paul Perreault, d’Impératif français.”
“Language cops are not about to swoop down on Justin Trudeau. The federal investigators looking into complaints that the prime minister didn’t answer questions in the official language in which they were asked won’t be asking the prime minister for an explanation.”
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized for his refusal to answer a question in English when asked specifically about English mental health services at his town hall meeting in Sherbrooke, Que., last month.”
Trudeau has called Judy Ross, the woman who asked the question in English and one of the founders of Mental Health Estrie, to offer his apologies. According to Ross, he told her he made a mistake and that he has learned from the mistake.
He also sent a letter to the QCGN reiterating the importance of bilingualism in Canada and to express his sincere regrets. Our president, James Shea, said he was pleased with the letter.
“In Valentine’s Day messages to Quebec anglophones, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed “sincere regrets” for refusing to answer questions in English last month”
The incident dates back to January when Justin Trudeau answered in French to questions asked to him in English. Since then, several complaints were filed to the Commissioner of Official Languages.
However, Trudeau wrote a letter to the Quebec Community Groups Network on February 14 where he recognizes his wrongs and understands the importance to speak to minority language communities in their own language. He also wrote and apologized to the Townshippers’ Association.