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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.

Justin Trudeau conveys ‘sincere regrets’ for not answering in English

“In Valentine’s Day messages to Quebec anglophones, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed “sincere regrets” for refusing to answer questions in English last month”

The incident dates back to January when Justin Trudeau answered in French to questions asked to him in English. Since then, several complaints were filed to the Commissioner of Official Languages.

However, Trudeau wrote a letter to the Quebec Community Groups Network on February 14 where he recognizes his wrongs and understands the importance to speak to minority language communities in their own language. He also wrote and apologized to the Townshippers’ Association.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette

Citizens rally, start petition to save Manon Massé’s riding

“Citizens of the Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques provincial riding have started a petition and demonstrated Sunday to stop their district from being eliminated before the next election.”

A citizens’ movement is gaining ground against the decisions made by the Commission de la représentation électorale to remove Saint-Marie-Saint-Jacques riding from the electoral map.

Similarly, the Westmount-Saint-Louis riding might also me disappearing in order to form two new ridings, Ville Marie, with the Centre-sud district, and Westmount-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. That decision was denounced by the QCGN since it will not provide effective representation for the natural community of Westmount.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

Premier Names Son of MNA to Liaise with English-speaking Community

“Haitian-born anti-discrimination lawyer Tamara Thermitus has been named head of the Quebec Human Rights Commission. She received the unanimous support of members of the National Assembly.”

The name of Tamara Thermitus had been circulating for at the National Assembly, but it was finally approved yesterday to show case diversity as an important figure of Quebec. Furthermore, the office of Premier Philippe Couillard also announced the nomination of Gregory Kelley, son of Aboriginal Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley, as liaison officer for the English-speaking community.

Interviewed for this article, Geoffrey Chambers said the QCGN was pleased with those two nominations. He hopes Kelley will help ensure access to health-care services in English as well as improve representativity of the English-speaking community in Quebec’s public service.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette

Angry anglos file complaints against Trudeau for French only answers in Quebec

“Three formal complaints have been filed against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with the Commissioner of Official Languages for refusing to speak English to a Quebec anglophone Tuesday in Sherbrooke.”

In this article, Philip Authier from the Montreal Gazette brushes a portrait of the situation leading up to formal complaints received by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages questioning the possible violation of the Official Languages Act by prime minister Justin Trudeau. During a town hall meeting in Sherbrooke, Trudeau answered English questions asked by Eastern Townships citizens in French only, a behaviour he defended the following day during a press conference at Bishop’s University.

His attempt at redemption did not calm minority groups organizations, such as the QCGN, for whom its president, James Shea, asked for an apology. Other comments were issued in the article by Gerald Cutting, president of Townshippers’ Association, and Robert Libman, former leader of the Equality Party.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette

Premier admits he’s been out of touch with anglophones

“Seeing former Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau go to bat to protect English school boards this year, and the screaming headlines that followed, was “horrible” and proof there’s been a “loss of contact” with anglophones, said Premier Philippe Couillard during a sit-down interview with the Montreal Gazette’s political staff.”

In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is determined to right his wrongs with the English-speaking community. He mentions many solutions he came up following a meeting he had with the Quebec Community Groups Network back in November. Among those solutions, retaining youth in regions comes first.

You can read the article and watch the video in The Montreal Gazette

Quebec anglos need to push for their rights: Official Languages Commissioner

“Quebec anglophones, like French-speakers elsewhere in Canada, need to be vigilant about ensuring their rights and needs are respected, says Canada’s outgoing Commissioner of Official Languages.”

The Montreal Gazette editorial board interviewed Graham Fraser as he concludes his 10-year mandate as Commissioner of Official Languages.

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