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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.

Quebec must drop plans to abandon the riding of Westmount-Saint-Louis

Montreal – February 10, 2016 –

The QCGN is disappointed that the Commission de la représentation électorale du Québec (CRE) apparently failed to follow the criteria related to the delimitation of electoral divisions by eliminating the Westmount-Saint Louis electoral division.

“The proposed electoral divisions of Ville Marie and Westmount-Notre-Dame-De-Grace will not provide effective representation for the natural community of Westmount, whose unquestionable cultural and historical heritage goes back generations,” commented Geoffrey Chambers, Vice-president of the QCGN.

The democratic rights of Quebecers are clear: Effective representation in the National Assembly is achieved by electoral districts that balance voter parity with minority representation and cultural identity. For a community that is already underrepresented in the National Assembly, the loss of the provincial riding of Westmount-Saint Louis means the loss of an English-speaking constituency and the MNA charged with representing its interest.

“Setting electoral boundaries is not a cold calculation of numbers. The courts have made clear that electoral boundaries must reflect effective representation, that involves a balance of voter parity, as the primary factor, with countervailing criteria that may include minority representation and cultural identity,” said Chambers, adding that the Commission de la représentation électorale du Québec must balance of these criteria to assess effective representation. “The Commission clearly failed to ensure this balance in its latest proposals to eliminate Westmount-Saint Louis.”

The QCGN believes the Commission’s recommendation related to Westmount-Saint Louis must be abandoned to ensure Westmount citizens are afforded effective representation in the National Assembly, which must in turn represent the diversity of Quebec’s social mosaic.

Download the full press release here

View the proposed electoral division