Montreal, June 12 2015 –
The Quebec Community Groups Network celebrated 20 years of leadership as a strong voice of Quebec’s English-speaking community as its representatives from across the province gathered Friday in Montreal. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the QCGN inducted Ann Marie Powell from the Megantic English-speaking Community Development Corporation (MCDC) as a new honorary member, and launched the Young Quebecers Leading the Way award to celebrate up-and-coming community leaders who do just that.
Montreal – May 7, 2015
Quebec’s English-speaking minority community and Francophone minority communities outside Quebec need the support of the federal government to ensure they take full advantage of the positive impacts that immigration can have on them, said Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, as he delivered in his 2014-2015 Annual Report released earlier today.
Montreal, March 3 2015 –
Heading into celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, more than six dozen English- and French-speaking young Quebecers gathered at the historic Morrin Centre in Quebec City this past weekend to reflect on Canada’s history and their role in the past and future of their country.
The youth from across the province were participating in the first of three annual forums organized by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) in partnership with the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) and the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS). The forum is part of Young Quebecers Leading the Way, a three-year project funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Youth Take Charge program.
After months of intense and delicate negotiations with Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette, Quebec’s English-speaking community obtained important changes to Bill 10. These changes to the health reform legislation will preserve many of our institutions despite the loss of their individual boards of directors. They create significant new opportunities for meaningful participation and influence of English-speaking Quebecers in our institutions, and will help ensure that the health and social service network is responsive to the needs of our communities.
“When he tabled Bill 10 in September, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette stated that his goal was to improve access to health and social services through better vertical integration, to enable patients to move through the system more easily, and to reduce costs,” said QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge. “It is well known that we disagreed with the elimination of our Boards, which in our view was not necessary to achieve the Minister’s stated objectives. We had to face the reality that the Government had decided that eliminating boards was central to its reform. We were confronted with the hard fact that a majority government had the power to enact its legislation with or without our support.”
While leaders in Quebec’s English-speaking community were cautiously optimistic in early December that amendments to Quebec’s health reform would allow the community to maintain an acceptable level of input and control over their institutions, that hope is fading as the Commission on Health and Social Services reconvenes today to continue the clause by clause review of Bill 10.
Despite the reassurances offered in early December by Health and Social Services Minister Gaétan Barrette, amendments tabled to date do not adequately ensure the protection of the English-speaking community’s hospitals, nursing homes and social service centres or preserve the community’s role in their governance.
The campaign for amendments to Bill 10 reached another peak this week as an online petition against the proposed legislation hit more than 9000 signatures. And that number is increasing day by day as the public becomes increasingly aware of the significant impacts the proposed legislation would have on the health and social service institutions that were built and supported by the English-speaking community and have served the community for many generations.
The petition expresses deep concerns with Bill 10 and the speed with which the government is moving forward to adopt the wide-ranging legislation that will have profound impacts on our community’s vitality and identity. It also noted that the dissolution of the current institutional network and the centralizing of control of the system will have profound consequences for English-speaking and other minority communities with respect to their historical attachment to their institutions and their participation in the public system.
To include young Quebecers in the lead up to Canada’s sesquicentennial, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has launched Young Quebecers Leading the Way, a three-year project funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Youth Take Charge program. In partnership with the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) and the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS), the project will oversee three annual youth forums in 2015, 2016 and 2017 where participants aged 15 to 25 will offer their views on the significance of youth engagement in shaping the future of their country.
“These forums will be a wonderful opportunity for young people to connect with one another and exchange ideas while deepening their knowledge of our country and its history. We are proud to invest in a project that will help youth become active and engaged citizens who will contribute to the strength of Canada,” said the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
Dozens of community and institutional leaders gathered Monday morning to demand significant changes to Bill 10.
More than three dozen groups, including some regional associations that viewed the press conference live online, supported the brief presented by the Quebec Community Groups Network to the National Assembly’s Committee on Health and Social Services on October 30. More groups, including school boards and community associations, joined together to support a community decrying the proposed legislation.
Quebec’s English-speaking communities need to see themselves reflected on the airwaves , the Quebec Community Groups Network told the Transport and Communications Committee, which is in Montreal conducting a study on the challenges faced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
In preparation for its presentation, the QCGN consulted a cross-section of members from across Quebec. “We were not surprised by the level of attachment we heard to the CBC in general, and CBC radio in particular,” said QCGN Board Secretary Walter Duszara. “CBC Radio is the media glue that binds us; a proactive and welcome presence, whose importance – especially to isolated communities and vulnerable populations like seniors – cannot be overstated.”
The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased to support Bill S-205 which would enhance constitutional language rights contained in section 20 of the Official Languages Act. That is the message the QCGN is bringing today to the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages which is currently studying Bill S-205, An Act to Amend the Official Languages Act.
This private member’s bill, introduced by Senator Maria Chaput, would introduce the concept of equal quality of communications and services offered by federal institutions in each official language, and modify the criteria used to determine if there is a significant demand for communications and services in either official language. The proposed legislation would also expand the number of locations where federal institutions have a duty to provide communications and services in both official languages.
The government must find a way to ensure that Quebec’s English-speaking communities continue to have some degree of control and management over the institutions that it built and has supported for generations. It must also ensure that institutions designated to provide bilingual services are not abolished by the provincial government’s sweeping health care reforms.
Those were among the messages the Quebec Community Groups Network and its partners and stakeholders delivered to Health Minister Gaétan Barrette during public hearings on Bill 10 at the National Assembly in Quebec City.
“The QCGN, our member organizations, and the many partners we have consulted over the past few weeks are profoundly worried about how Bill 10 will impact our institutions and the vitality of our communities,” QCGN President Dan Lamoureux told the commission looking into the proposed legislation that would abolish regional health agencies and regroup some 185 health and social service institutions into 19 mega regional centers.
Voice of English-speaking Quebec press release
Quebec, October 3, 2014 – Voice of English-speaking Québec (VEQ) joins a growing number of voices, among them the QCGN, expressing strong reservations about Minister Barrette’s proposed Bill 10 (Loi modifiant l’organisation et la gouvernance du réseau de la santé et des services sociaux) that was tabled on September 25th.
“I have heard from many community members who are extremely concerned about Bill 10,” states VEQ president Taylor Ireland. “VEQ has already met with elected officials to articulate the community’s deep unease and has requested access to the parliamentary hearings on Bill 10. We’re also coordinating community reaction by creating an online information-action hub for the Jeffery Hale – Saint Brigid’s: Our Community, Our Health, Our Future campaign.”
Montreal – October 8, 2014 – The Quebec Community Groups Network learned today that it is the only English-language community group scheduled to be heard at hearings on Bill 10, which proposes a massive reorganization of Quebec’s health care system.
“We are outraged that our community is essentially being shut out of the debate on Bill 10,” said QCGN President Dan Lamoureux, noting the proposed legislation would have a huge impact on institutions that were built and supported by Quebec’s English-speaking community for many generations.
Montreal – October 6, 2014 – The Quebec Community Groups Network today released the most up-to-date and detailed portrait of English-speaking seniors in Quebec. “Moving Forward – Building research capacity related to Quebec’s English speaking seniors”, which was supported by the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN) at Concordia University, presents the data collected during a three-year participatory research project where seniors helped define the topics of concern and carry out the research and disseminate the findings.
“Quebec’s English-speaking seniors represent 25.4 per cent of Quebec’s English-speaking community, yet they have been aging without the benefit of policies and programs that acknowledge their particular situation as a linguistic minority,” commented QCGN President Dan Lamoureux, noting this will be an important tool in advocating for seniors.