QCGN Discusses Concerns of English-speaking Community with Premier Couillard

Quebec City, November 8, 2016 – At a first-ever meeting with Premier Philippe Couillard at the National Assembly Tuesday afternoon representatives from the Quebec Community Groups Network had a frank and positive discussion about Quebec’s support to its English-speaking minority community.

Top of mind were reforms to education and health and social service networks that had major impacts on our institutions; the scarcity of English-speaking Quebecers in the provincial civil service; as well as the importance of retaining youth so they can bolster our communities, support our elders and make positive contributions to the future of Quebec.

Crédit photo: Claude Hurens

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Educational Institutions Must Tie Their Activities to the Vitality of the Communities They Serve

Montreal, September 21, 2016 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) recognizes that schools are a cornerstone of the vitality of English-speaking communities and believes that Education Act should enhance the responsibility of our educational institutions to serve their communities.

In a brief submitted to the Committee on Culture and Education this week, the QCGN argues that school boards, schools, as well as adult and vocational centres must support the development and vitality of their respective communities. QCGN, which represents 48 groups across Quebec, insists that this responsibility should be clearly defined within the Education Act rather than being discretionary on the part of educational institutions.

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Read our Brief on Bill 105

Awards Recognize Exceptional Community Leaders

Montreal, September 9, 2016 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is pleased to announce that Montreal jazz legend Oliver Jones, former social worker and community volunteer Miriam Green and Townshippers’ Association president Gerald Cutting will be honoured with the eighth annual Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award in October. Community advocate Dafina Savic will receive the second annual Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award.

A week before he passed away on Aug. 16, the Goldbloom Awards jury also decided to extend a special honour to federal MP Mauril Bélanger for his lifelong commitment to linguistic duality and his groundbreaking work in empowering the Official Languages Act. Under Bélanger’s leadership, Canadian parliamentarians voted to amend Part VII of the act to oblige federal institutions to take “positive measures” to translate the government’s commitment to promoting linguistic duality and community development into action.

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QCGN issues a statement following the passing of Mauril Bélanger

Montreal – August 17, 2016

The Quebec Community Groups Network today expressed its deep sadness at the passing of MP Mauril Bélanger. a true champion for language rights in Canada.

Bélanger was a beloved politician, winning by landslides in eight successive elections in Ottawa-Vanier. Appointed to Cabinet in 2003, not only did he follow the illustrious footsteps of former Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier in the same riding, but he carried on one of the Senator’s ambitious private member’s bill to amend the Official Languages Act. Under Mauril’s keen leadership, Canadian parliamentarians voted to enhance the Act for the first time since 1988 by amending Part VII in November 2005. As a result of this transformative change, Federal institutions are now obligated to take “positive measures” to translate the government’s commitment to promoting linguistic duality and community development into action. As the Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser noted in this 2006-07 Annual Report at the time “this legislative change ushers in a new era for Official Languages in Canada.”

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QCGN Welcomes Canadian Heritage Minister and Bids Adieu to President and Commissioner

Montreal – June 3, 2016

Members of the Quebec Community Groups Network bid a fond farewell to President Dan Lamoureux, who stepped down after four years at the helm; and to Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, whose extended three-year mandate ends in the fall.

“For Quebec’s English-speaking community the best testament to Fraser’s time in office is the careful attention he always gave to English-speaking Quebec as a minority,” said former QCGN President Martin Murphy, who chaired the QCGN when Fraser was appointed almost a decade ago. “Commissioner Fraser understood us and he often dared to tell Canadians and majority Quebecers what they did not want to hear.”

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Tastes of Notre Home “FriendRaiser” Promotes Quebec Products

Montreal – June 1, 2016

The new charitable organization, which is raising funds for self-starting efforts by English-speaking Quebecers to promote their culture, entrepreneurialism and connections to Francophone Quebec, is launching the initiative at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 2, with a “FriendRaiser” at which nearly 20 Quebec restaurateurs and food producers will offer up their culinary specialties…

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QCGN Praises Commissioner Fraser for a Decade of Support to Quebec’s English-speaking Community

Montreal – May 19, 2016 – 

Governments should do more to protect the language rights of Canadians argued Graham Fraser, Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages who delivered his tenth and final annual report on Thursday.

“Governments, including the government of Quebec, must find better ways to protect and support their linguistic minority communities,” agreed QCGN President Dan Lamoureux, noting that getting recognition for the needs and priorities of Quebec’s English-speaking minority is a challenge at all levels.

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English-­speaking Quebecers to Benefit from Investment Fund for Official Language Minority Communities

Montreal – April 28, 2016

The Quebec Community Groups Network as well as its members and stakeholders were thrilled to announce that community sector organizations that provide direct support to more than 1 million English-­speaking Quebecers could soon benefit from up to $3 million to finance innovative projects that address the needs and priorities of English-­speaking youth, seniors, and newcomers.

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Language Minorities Need Separate Rights Support Program

Montreal – April 12, 2016

Equality rights are of real importance to Canadian society, but language rights are fundamentally different and the two streams within the Court Challenges Program should be independent of each other, the Quebec Community Groups Network told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights studying the government’s pledge to reinstate the program.

“Courts play a central part in protecting and advancing linguistic rights, a process that invariably pits governments against Canada’s official language minorities,” commented Marlene Jennings, who appeared with the QCGN to represent Quebec’s English-speaking minority community.

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Digital steps offer renewed vitality for media serving Quebec’s English-speaking minority

Montreal – April 12, 2016

A series of pragmatic, cost-effective steps designed to rapidly help restore the vitality of news media serving the province’s English-language community was presented to federal Members of Parliament today by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).

The scope and size of the federal government’s Canadian Periodical Fund should be substantially enlarged to actively embrace community-based initiatives in new media and online-only media, said Walter Duszara, secretary of the QCGN’s Board of Directors. The Fund is currently focussed almost entirely on support mechanisms that benefit non-daily print periodicals and their offshoots, but recently took a modest initial step toward support for digital-only pilot projects.

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Bill 86 tramples on minority rights and should be scrapped

Montreal – March 24, 2016

Bill 86 violates the constitutional rights of Quebec’s English-speaking community to control and manage its own schools and it must be scrapped, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) told the National Assembly on Thursday.

Quebec’s English public school system is a key institution of the English-speaking community of Quebec. The educational experience of children attending English schools must be of meaningfully similar quality to the educational experience of majority language students, QCGN told the Committee on Culture and Education that is examining the school board reform bill. QCGN invited the government to work with Quebec’s English-speaking community to achieve a model that will ensure substantive equality between the province’s minority school system and that of the majority.

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Quebec Youth to Discuss Their Place in Canada at Second Annual Youth Forum

Montreal – March 1, 2016

Dozens of youth from throughout the province have been taking part in regional workshops to prepare for the second annual Young Quebecers Leading the Way provincial forum which will take place next week at Montreal’s Concordia University.

 Led by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), in partnership with the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) and the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS), Young Quebecers Leading the Way is a three-year project funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Youth Take Charge program. The project, which involves youth in celebrations around Canada’s 150th anniversary, encourages participants to reflect on Canada’s past, present and future and develop a stronger attachment to their country through civic engagement.

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QCGN Mourns the Loss of Community Advocate Dr. Victor Goldbloom

Montreal – February 17, 2016

The Quebec Community Groups Network and Quebec’s English-speaking community were greatly saddened by the news of Dr. Victor Goldbloom’s passing this week.

“Dr. Goldbloom was a passionate ambassador for our community and a diplomat who spoke wisely and with great authority on our behalf,” commented QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge.

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NFB Deal a First for a Federal Cultural Agency in Quebec

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the English Language Arts Network (ELAN), and the Quebec English-language Production Council (QEPC) have just signed a three-year co-operation and collaboration agreement that will help strengthen Quebec’s English-language audiovisual sector and culture, building on the NFB’s commitment to official-language minority communities across Canada…

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Bilingualism essential for evolution of our laws and access to justice for English and French-speaking minority communities

Montreal – October 22, 2015

The Bar of Montreal laments the fact that Quebec’s jurisprudence is seldom integrated into our national jurisprudence because of language – a gap that is worrisome and a serious failure of our legal system.

“The Bar of Montreal strongly believes that one must not only read the laws that are adopted, but it is essential to question how they are adopted,” stated Madame la bâtonnière Magali Fournier in the course of a conference entitled “Language of Statutes and Judgments” organized by the Bar of Montreal, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Language Rights Support Program and the Quebec Community Groups Network. One of the objectives of the event was to identify solutions to improve access to justice for Quebec’s minority English-speaking communities.

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