Townshippers’ Day cancelled due to lack of volunteers

“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.

Read the article on the CBC website.

Setback for Agape’s ‘Wellness Centre’

“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.

Read the article in Laval News

Impératif français thanks Claude Dubois; QCGN awarded Lemon Prize (FR)

“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.

Read the full article in Le Droit

Trudeau should have answered in French and English (FR)

“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.

Read the full article on the TFO website

Anglophones are helping English-speaking newcomers integrate and that’s good for Quebec: QCGN

“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.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette.

Fight for your democracy, says NDP’s Tom Mulcair

“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.

Read the full article in the National Observer

Quebec scraps plan to eliminate Manon Massé’s riding after protests

“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.

Read the full story on CBC Montreal


Territorializing Language . . . Or Selling Our Votes For Cheap?

“The Quebec Community Groups Network, headquartered in Montreal and self-appointed speaker for Anglophones in Quebec, wants Prime Minister Trudeau to come back to Quebec and explain his refusal to reply in English to an English question put to him in Sherbrooke. This echoes the PM’s refusal to reply in French to a question asked in French, in Peterborough, earlier.”

This column in the Pontiac Journal aims to give an overview of the linguistic situation surrounding the shrug given by Trudeau to the English-speaking community and how the QCGN responded to it.

Read the column in the Pontiac Journal

Territorializing Language . . . Or Selling Our Votes For Cheap?

“The Quebec Community Groups Network, headquartered in Montreal and self-appointed speaker for Anglophones in Quebec, wants Prime Minister Trudeau to come back to Quebec and explain his refusal to reply in English to an English question put to him in Sherbrooke. This echoes the PM’s refusal to reply in French to a question asked in French, in Peterborough, earlier.”

This column published in the Pontiac Journal gives an overview of the linguistic duality following Trudeau’s shrug at the English-speaking community of Quebec and how the QCGN has reacted to this language gaffe.

Read the column in the Pontiac Journal

Anglophones frustrated with lack of English on borough websites

“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.

Read the full article on CBC Montreal

Don Macpherson: What’s wrong with Quebec’s proposed new electoral map

“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.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette

Trudeau also apologizes for his answer in French (FR)

“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.

Read the full article in ONfr – TFO website.

Read the letter and AFO’s comments

Postscript: Clown pants the least of the SPVM’s worries

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.

View the full edition on CTV News Montreal

An organization regrets unilingual webpages for boroughs (FR)

“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.

Read the full article in Le Progrès Saint-Léonard

Justin Trudeau calls to apologize to woman who asked English question in Sherbrooke

“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.”

Read the full article on Global Montreal.