“Le premier ministre Justin Trudeau a promis de répondre aux questions du public dans la même langue qu’elles lui seront posées à l’avenir, réagissant ainsi aux critiques de plusieurs citoyens frustrés qui l’accusaient d’avoir violé la politique de bilinguisme au pays.”
“Justin Trudeau s’est officiellement excusé de ne pas avoir répondu en anglais à une question qui lui avait été posée dans cette langue lors d’une assemblée publique qui s’est tenue à Sherbrooke, en janvier.”
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized in writing for failing to speak English during a recent town hall meeting in Sherbrooke.”
Following his misstep in January when he answered in French to questions asked in English during a town hall meeting in Sherbrooke, Justin Trudeau admitted that he had made a mistake within two days. He has gone a step further now as he sent a letter to the QCGN to apologize.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized to English language minority communities for answering an English question in French during a town hall session in Sherbrooke, Que.”
Following the town hall meeting in Sherbrooke last January, Trudeau has since apologized in public, but also directly to the Quebec Community Groups Network in a letter stating he has stood up his entire life for the linguistic minorities of Canada.
For the QCGN, it was clear that the Prime Minister understand the importance of speaking to minority language communities in their own language. The town hall meeting was put under investigation by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Language under Part IV concerns.
“A proposal to eliminate a provincial riding with a large anglophone population could damage the community’s political voice, according to a prominent Anglo lobby group.”
A proposed electoral map would have the riding of Westmount-Saint-Louis split in two to join the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and the newly-created downtown riding of Ville-Marie. The result would be one less seat in the National Assembly, said Geoffrey Chambers, vice-president of the QCGN.
The proposed revisions also sparked discontent in Saint-Marie-Saint-Jacques riding where its MNA Manon Massé could lose her seat with the re-drawing. The process is contested since no consultation was made prior to those changes.
“Citizens of the Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques provincial riding have started a petition and demonstrated Sunday to stop their district from being eliminated before the next election.”
A citizens’ movement is gaining ground against the decisions made by the Commission de la représentation électorale to remove Saint-Marie-Saint-Jacques riding from the electoral map.
Similarly, the Westmount-Saint-Louis riding might also me disappearing in order to form two new ridings, Ville Marie, with the Centre-sud district, and Westmount-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. That decision was denounced by the QCGN since it will not provide effective representation for the natural community of Westmount.
“La députée de Québec solidaire Manon Massé n’est pas seule dans son combat pour empêcher la disparition de sa circonscription. Par solidarité, le Parti québécois promet de donner une partie de son temps de parole en chambre à Mme Massé lors du débat sur le redécoupage de la carte électorale qui aura lieu cette semaine à l’Assemblée nationale.”
Changes to the electoral map proposed by the Electoral Commission of Quebec continue to generate discontent within the many electoral districts that may disappear under the new reconfiguration. Among them, the most vocal proponent of this outcry is Manon Massé, Quebec Solidaire MNA for Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques, which might be swiped out of the National Assembly pending the electoral map is approved.
The Quebec Community Groups Network also had signified their discontent with the potential loss of Westmount-Saint Louis riding, a natural community with a cultural and historical significance.
“Haitian-born anti-discrimination lawyer Tamara Thermitus has been named head of the Quebec Human Rights Commission. She received the unanimous support of members of the National Assembly.”
The name of Tamara Thermitus had been circulating for at the National Assembly, but it was finally approved yesterday to show case diversity as an important figure of Quebec. Furthermore, the office of Premier Philippe Couillard also announced the nomination of Gregory Kelley, son of Aboriginal Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley, as liaison officer for the English-speaking community.
Interviewed for this article, Geoffrey Chambers said the QCGN was pleased with those two nominations. He hopes Kelley will help ensure access to health-care services in English as well as improve representativity of the English-speaking community in Quebec’s public service.
The Liberal government has a new point person for Quebec’s English-speaking community. Gregory Kelley will serve as the province’s anglophone liaison officer. He formerly worked in the office of government House Leader Jean-Marc Fournier and is the son of Native Affairs Minister Geoff Kelley.
The Quebec Community Groups Network said it welcomes the appointment.
— QCGN (@QCGN) February 7, 2017
“Context, context, context. Context is what separates the Anglophone minorities in Quebec from Francophone minorities in other provinces. Their respective victimhoods are indeed comparable; but they face struggles that are different in nature and different in scale.”
The author of this article from Prince Edward Island reflects on the possibility that Trudeau was conflicted between his loyalty to Canada and his loyalty to Quebec when he decided to answer in French to multiple questions asked in English during a town hall meeting in Sherbrooke. This explanation comes in hand with her expression of a structural difference between linguistic minorities.
She mentions us as one of the groups in Quebec who has filed complaints to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (which is wrong). However, there are no mentions that we have started a letter-writing campaign directed at Trudeau.
“QCGN director general Sylvia Martin Laforge joins Laura Casella in studio to talk about a campaign asking our Prime Minister to address members of Official Language communities in the language of their choice.”
“A West Island man using Facebook to express his disappointment when Prime Minister chose to answer an Anglophone Quebec’ers question in French has sparked debate. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports.”
“Statistique Canada a récemment publié des chiffres alarmants sur le déclin du français au Canada et au Québec en 2036. Cette publication a suscité une vive réaction de Mario Beaulieu, le député de La Pointe-de-l’Île et porte-parole du Bloc québécois en matière de langue officielle.”
Following the release of Stats Canada’s projections on language in Canada, Mario Beaulieu wrote an article in the Huffington Post to blame the federal government for the drop in French language over the last 20 years. He also presented the argument that English-speaking groups, such as the QCGN and now defunct Alliance Quebec, were backed up by the feds to impose the English language over the will of Quebec as a French-speaking province.
“As a matter of common courtesy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should have spoken English to Quebec anglophones, the leader of the Parti Québécois said Thursday.”
In a follow-up article to Trudeau’s language flap in Sherbrooke, Philip Authier addresses the multiple complaints that have been filed so far to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Parti Quebecois leader, Jean-François Lisée, comments Trudeau’s action has no grasp of reality and policy on matters of language and identity and that he sees nothing wrong with speaking English with the English-speaking community of Quebec.
James Shea, president of the QCGN, also noted the whole community has been insulted by Trudeau’s action, and that we need an apology from him. From Davos, Premier Philippe Couillard weighed in saying French may be our common language, but he answers to English-speaking Quebecers in their language.
“Three formal complaints have been filed against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with the Commissioner of Official Languages for refusing to speak English to a Quebec anglophone Tuesday in Sherbrooke.”
In this article, Philip Authier from the Montreal Gazette brushes a portrait of the situation leading up to formal complaints received by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages questioning the possible violation of the Official Languages Act by prime minister Justin Trudeau. During a town hall meeting in Sherbrooke, Trudeau answered English questions asked by Eastern Townships citizens in French only, a behaviour he defended the following day during a press conference at Bishop’s University.
His attempt at redemption did not calm minority groups organizations, such as the QCGN, for whom its president, James Shea, asked for an apology. Other comments were issued in the article by Gerald Cutting, president of Townshippers’ Association, and Robert Libman, former leader of the Equality Party.