Montreal Mosaic to draw portrait of Greater Montreal

Much of this city’s history, culture, and art is appreciated by far too few.  Montreal Mosaic – www.montrealmosaic.com/ – hopes to change that by providing a place to explore, question and celebrate English-Montreal’s heritage and evolving cultural scene.

“Like a true mosaic, our web-magazine is an assemblage of small pieces that come together to create a picture of Metropolitan Montreal,” said Guy Rodgers, chairman of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Council of the Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative (GMCDI).  “And, in the image of our diverse cosmopolitan community, every piece of the mosaic maintains its own identity while contributing to the overall picture.”

“Montreal Mosaic is a place to rediscover our city. A meeting place: A place for sharing stories, a place for personal reflections and community perspectives on the past, present and future of a great Canadian metropolis,” said Guy Rodgers, noting that Montreal Mosaic is eager to look at how groups and individuals contribute to the local arts, culture and heritage scenes and to showcase the organizations and place who are active in the areas of Arts, Culture and Heritage in the Greater Montreal area. Full version… 

The QCGN appears before the House of Commons Committee on Official Languages, The Official Languages Act and the English-speaking Community of Quebec: Learning from the Past

The Quebec Community Groups Network appeared before the House of Commons Committee on Official Languages Tuesday morning to discuss the English-speaking Community of Quebec’s experience with the Official Languages Act over the past 40 years. Appearing on behalf of the Network were President Robert Donnelly and Nicola Johnston, the co-chair of the Board of Director’s Youth Standing Committee. They were accompanied by QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge and Stephen Thompson, Director of Policy, Research and Public Affairs. Robert Donnelly spoke about how the Official Languages Act impacts the English-Speaking Community of Quebec and the barriers to our collective vitality and sustainability.  Nicola Johnston, who like so many of her peers is bilingual, well educated, and motivated to stay and participate in Quebec society, voiced the concerns and aspirations of youth and how the English-speaking community can move forward. Read their speeches following the links below.

Speech from QCGN President, Robert Donnelly.

Speech from the co-chair of the Board of Director’s Youth Standing Committee, Nicola Johnston.

QCGN reacts to Throne Speech – English-speaking Quebecers need to be recognized as a valued part of Quebec and Canada Following yesterday’s Throne Speech, the linguistic minority of Quebec feels invisible.

English-speaking Quebecers are one of the two national linguistic minorities recognized in Canada.  We are the largest linguistic minority within a linguistic minority in the country.  We possess strong relationships and ties to our fellow Québécois citizens, the francophone majority outside Quebec, as we do to all Canadians.  Then why do we feel left out?

We live linguistic duality every day.  We have the highest level of bilingualism in the country. Yet, when the government discussed linguistic duality in the Throne Speech yesterday, it pledged only to further strengthen Canada’s francophone identity.  While we strongly support Francophones in Quebec and in Canada, English-speaking Quebecers also want to feel secure in their own identity.  Full version…

Vitality of English-speaking Quebec at stake; QCGN pleads for caution in finding right remedy for Bill 104

In light of the opinion made public today by the Conseil Supérieur de la langue française, the Quebec Community Groups Network is worried about legislative measures that could adversely affect the short- and long-term viability of our institutions, including our schools. While we agree with the Conseil’s opinion that the primacy of the French language and social cohesion in Quebec must be maintained, the government must take into account the impact that implementing the Conseil’s recommendation would have on the English-speaking community.
We know the government of Quebec must apply the Supreme Court ruling on Bill 104 and we see the difficulty in finding a solution that will satisfy the Supreme Court justices, Francophones who are concerned about the survival of their language, and English-speaking Quebecers who are worried about the future of English schools. However, we question if the prescription the Conseil suggests is stronger medicine than what is needed to cure the problem. Full version…

QCGN partners release toolkit for building leadership in rural Quebec Montreal, Gaspé, Low, Netagamiou

Quebec’s English-speaking communities face multiple types of isolation and young women in these communities who are emerging as new leaders experience unique challenges that conventionally designed projects fail to effectively address.  “Supporting these young women while contributing to effective community development in the official language minority context is a complex task,” commented Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Director General of the Quebec Community Groups Network, at the launch of a toolkit for building leadership in rural Quebec today in Montreal.  ”The toolkit we are launching today is the result of the documents that were assembled during the process”, said Mrs. Martin-Laforge, noting the toolkit is aimed at linguistic minorities interested in best practices for rural community development; individuals or groups who want help developing their rural communities; young women wishing to develop their leadership or community development skills; as well as community organizers, project coordinators, and other professionals.  Full version…

QCGN seeks young leaders for leadership project

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is currently seeking a dozen youths aged 18 to 29 to participate in a project to develop leadership skills among young English-speaking Quebecers.  The group of 12 young leaders, who will be selected from eight regions across Quebec, will meet for two days of skill building and leadership training. Topics will include youth engagement strategies, publicity and outreach, facilitation skills, introduction to community development and workshop planning and implementation. The 12 leaders will work together to develop a custom workshop to teach community development and leadership skills to their peers.  In collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage, the QCGN hopes to give to 132 youth the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.  Full version…

Two Quebecers to sit on Panel of Experts for Language Rights Support Program

The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased to announce that two representatives of Quebec minority English language community have been named by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, to serve on the Panel of Experts of the Language Rights Support Program (LRSP).  
Montreal attorney Richard McConomy and Gaspé health-care advocate Brad McDonald were both named to the panel that will administer the LRSP which replaces the Court Challenges Program. The Panel of Experts, which is made up of lawyers, specialists in alternative dispute resolution, and minority language community representatives, will be responsible for guiding Program efforts and selecting files to be supported.  Full version…

QCGN discusses funding with House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages

Groups providing services to Official Language minority groups require stable funding they can count on in order to effectively do their jobs, the Quebec Community Groups Network told a House of Commons committee this morning.

The QCGN was invited to appear before the Standing Committee on Official Languages to discuss “The Impacts of the Delays in Providing Funding to Beneficiary Organizations from the Department of Canadian Heritage”.  On hand at meeting were QCGN President Mr. Robert Donnelly; QCGN Director General Mrs. Sylvia Martin-Laforge; Mrs. Heather Stronach, Executive Director, Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ); and Mr. Lawrence DePoe, Executive Director, Canadian Parents for French (CPF). Full version…

Remarks to the Standing Committee on Official Languages, presented by Mr. Robert Donnelly, click here.

QCGN Launches new community development website

A new collaborative website, launched by the Quebec Community Groups Network, is designed to become an indispensable, internet-based tool for community organizers and institutions in English-speaking Quebec.  The Quebec English-speaking Community Action Network (QUESCAN ), located at www.quescan.info, will be the place where individuals, community groups, government and university partners learn about and contribute to the vitality of English-speaking Quebec,” commented Robert Donnelly, President of the Quebec Community Groups Network which launched the new site at its annual convention in Gatineau on September 11th. Full version…

QCGN has new Board of Directors, new Strategic Vision

During its Annual General Meeting in Gatineau last weekend, the Quebec Community Groups Network elected a new board and ratified a new ambitious Strategic Plan that sets a new vision for English-speaking Quebec and an ambitious mission for the Network.  The AGM took place as the QCGN launched its 15th anniversary celebrations in the National Capital Region as part of festivities surrounding the 40th anniversary of the Official Languages Act. Full version…

QCGN announces winners of Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Awards – Casper Bloom, Marjorie Goodfellow and Jack Jedwab to be honoured with new Community Service Award

The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased to announce the winners of the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Awards.  The first ever laureates have one thing in common – a lengthy and impressive record of community service.  The winners are lawyer and longtime promoter of equality and English rights Casper Bloom, Eastern Townships-based healthcare advocate Marjorie Goodfellow, and researcher Jack Jedwab, who has contributed immensely to our knowledge and understanding of English-speaking Quebec. Full version…

English-speaking Quebecers today launched a Plea to Save the CBC at a press conference in Montreal attended by a number of community leaders

English-speaking Quebecers in Montreal, and particularly those in the regions, are concerned about the latest round of cutbacks at CBC and Radio-Canada. They fear that deep cuts to news and programming at our public broadcaster will do irreparable harm to basic news services and programming. They also expressed concerns that the very existence of an institution that is dear to their hearts is threatened and, with that, the vitality of English-speaking communities in Quebec. “To survive, our communities need to be strong and visible” noted Robert Donnelly, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. “Coverage by the CBC is one of the factors that helps us maintain vitality in our communities, many of them far flung and with little or no access to private English broadcasters. Many English-speaking Quebecers are also listeners and viewers of Radio Canada, which sometimes talks about our communities and provides strong and effective coverage of the greater society in which we live.” Full version…

Developing Skills of Young Women in Rural Areas

The Regional Association of West Quebecers is taking part in a pilot project offered in three Quebec regions to develop the leadership skills of young English-speaking women in rural areas by supporting and training small groups as they carry out viable projects in their communities.  “Not only does the project give participants the opportunity to practice their new skills, but it also allows these women to create a real and meaningful experience as they make a difference in their communities,” commented project coordinator Lise Palmer.  This is a unique pilot project by the Quebec Community Groups Network in collaboration with the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci) and funded through Status of Women Canada’s Women’s Program.  West Quebecers is one of the regional partners.

The Quebec Community Groups Network launches the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award

This morning the Quebec Community Groups Network launched the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award which will recognize individuals who have contributed to strengthening the English-speaking community and to building bridges of understanding between Quebecers of different backgrounds.  QCGN president Robert Donnelly explained the Board of the Network decided to establish a prize for individuals who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the vitality and understanding of English-speaking Quebec and decided to name it in favour of two individuals who are models of the engaged citizen.

“For more than a half century, Dr. and Mrs Goldbloom have invested their talents and skills for the betterment of the community and inspired others through their outstanding contributions to the vitality and reputation of English-speaking Quebec,” said Robert Donnelly. To read the full version of the press release, click here. To get more details on the Award, please visit the “Goldbloom Award” page on this site.

Reaction to the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Annual Report

In his 2008-2009 Annual Report, the Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser reports that Quebec has the highest proportion of bilingual people in Canada and that more than one third (36 per cent) of Francophones and more than two thirds (69 per cent) of English-speakers stated in the last federal census that they speak both French and English. That percentage rises to 80 per cent among English-speaking Quebecers aged 18 to 34. “While that is good news, we wonder why so many of our English-speaking youth believe they do not speak it well enough to stay in Quebec. Unfortunately, the question of language skills is often one of perception and self-confidence,” said Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Director-General of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN). “Many youths are sufficiently bilingual, they just don’t know it.” Full version… 

To read the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Annual Report, click here.