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Celine Cooper: Let’s ensure age-friendly Montreal is inclusive

“The Plante administration recently announced that it will hold public consultations on its new Municipal Action Plan for Seniors 2018-2020. It has since been criticized (rightly, in my opinion) by two research organizations based at Concordia University for developing a plan using a process that excludes some of Montreal’s most vulnerable and marginalized seniors, including unilingual anglophones, immigrants and people with limited mobility.”

Celine Cooper argues that the Plante administration is not trying hard enough to reach Montreal’s most vulnerable in consultation on how to make Montreal more senior-friendly. Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante added a new English consultation meeting on Feb. 26 at the Cummings Centre, but the consultation website remains entirely in French.

While noting she was research project manager for a QCGN study, Cooper explains how Montreal’s English-speaking seniors do not form a uniform group and that they have needs and priorities that are unique and not like their French-speaking counterparts.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

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.

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