HOW POWERS ARE DIVIDED BETWEEN OUR FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS

Many issues in the news these days directly relate to Canada’s fundamental structure – the way legislative powers are allocated by our Constitution. Three examples come immediately to mind: how the federal and provincial governments are co-managing the COVID-19 pandemic; the way some provinces are contesting the Government of Canada’s carbon tax; and the application of language rights.

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JUST HOW MANY OF US ENGLISH-SPEAKING QUEBECERS ARE THERE?

In our last blog, we explained the different variables Statistics Canada uses to classify linguistic minority groups. We discussed Mother Tongue; Language Spoken Most Often at Home; and First Official Language Spoken (FOLS). We also described how these variables are employed to use language as a marker of cultural identity (group identity), or to track the use of a language.

Like many community organizations serving English-speaking Quebec, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) uses FOLS to determine the size of our linguistic minority community. Our diverse community is more accurately reflected with this approach, because FOLS includes non-English mother-tongue speakers who use English as their main language. It also most precisely reflects the population requiring services in English.

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QCGN Analysis of Quebec’s Five Orientations to Modernize Canada’s Official Languages Act

Last week the Government of Quebec released its position related to the modernization of Canada’s Official Languages Act. Quebec wants French recognized as Canada’s only official minority language, and is seeking exclusive jurisdiction over all matters related to language ‘in the territory’ of the province. A legal analysis of the province’s position by the Quebec Community Groups Network determines that Quebec’s proposal would erode the rights of Official Language Minority Communities all across Canada, and be catastrophic to English-speaking Quebec.

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The PQ will table motion to block Dawson expansion, calling it funding assimilation

MONTREAL — The Parti Québécois will table a motion this week to stop the controversial $100 million expansion of Montreal’s Dawson College, an English-language CEGEP.

According to party leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, any new money should primarily be directed to the French-speaking college network, in order to balance the number of places in CEGEPs according to Montreal’s demographics. Read more (en anglais seulement)

Official languages commissioner concerned by Quebec’s plan to expand Bill 101 to federal businesses

Raymond Théberge, Canada’s commissioner of official languages, expresses public reservations about the desire of Quebec and three federal parties to extend the application of the province’s French language charter — commonly known as Bill 101 — to businesses in Quebec that operate under federal jurisdiction. Read more (en anglais seulement)

Mauvais temps pour le postsecondaire en français

La loi des séries stipule que les mauvaises nouvelles se rapprochent à un intervalle de temps rapproché. Bien qu’empirique, cette loi semble être tombée sur l’Ontario français au cours de la semaine. À quelques heures d’intervalle ce lundi, l’Université de l’Ontario français (UOF) et l’Université Laurentienne ont encaissé chacune un coup dur. Read more (In French only)

Anglophones would have to fight even harder to preserve institutions: Marlene Jennings

In a broadcast interview with CTV Montreal, Marlene Jennings, president of the QCGN, enumerates the array of potential challenges raised for the English-speaking community by a Quebec government push to territorialize official languages in Canada and erode the nation’s linguistic duality. Watch the video here. (En anglais seulement)

BY THE NUMBERS: HOW ARE COMMUNITIES COUNTED?

Statistics are used to paint a picture – to tell a story. What statistics are presented, and how they are
utilized and to what ends, is another matter. They are instruments used at the discretion of the
storyteller.

Canadians have a special interest in statistics that tell our linguistic story. We pay special attention to
statistics related to our two official languages, and to the languages of Indigenous people.

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Langues officielles : les anglophones du Québec rejettent la position de Legault

La communauté anglophone du Québec affirme ne pas faire confiance au gouvernement provincial en matière de protection de ses droits linguistiques et rejette toute diminution du rôle du fédéral dans ce domaine.

Dans un document publié vendredi, le gouvernement Legault a déclaré qu’il détenait en premier lieu  la responsabilité d’assurer la vitalité de la communauté anglophone au Québec et de répondre à ses préoccupations et enjeux particuliers. Read more (In French Only)

Audio : Modernisation des langues officielles au Canada

On discute des grandes orientations que la ministre responsable des Relations canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne, Sonia LeBel, a déposé  aujourd’hui dans le cadre de la modernisation des langues officielles.

Écouter l’extrait audio (In French only)