“We would look to the federal government to intervene or express their concern about allowing the pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause by provinces,” says Sylvia Martin-Laforge, director general of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN). The QCGN was responding to Jean-François Roberge, Quebec’s minister responsible for secularism, after he tabled Bill 52 — legislation to extend the use of the notwithstanding clause for another five years to shield Bill 21, Quebec’s secularism law, from court challenges over violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Quebec’s English-speaking community views the English-language media as part of its institutions, says Quebec Community Groups Network President Eva Ludvig. The recently-announced job cuts at Bell Media are another blow to a community which relies on such media to publicize its issues, she says.
Premier François Legault says that renewing the notwithstanding clause to protect Bill 21 would maintain the “social peace” that he says the secularist law has created. The Quebec Community Groups Network is among those who have called the renewal of such a clause an affront to fundamental freedoms.
Bill 21 “has created more division (in Quebec society), taken away rights from minorities,” Eva Ludvig, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), emphasizes during an interview this morning with host Peter Tardif on CBC’s Quebec AM. She explains the legal context.
“Bill 21 is a discriminatory law that is an affront to the fundamental freedom of conscience and religion of Quebecers,” Eva Ludvig, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), responds after the Quebec government serves notice that it plans to extend its law on state secularism for a further five years. “Citizens in a democracy must have the ability to seek relief from the courts when their rights and freedoms have been infringed or denied,” Ludvig adds: “Invoking the notwithstanding clause blocks this possibility.”
Eric Girard, the Quebec cabinet minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers, tells a closed-door meeting with about 40 McGill University students that his role is to keep communication lines open between Anglophones and the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government. The story notes that Girard, a McGill-trained economist who also serves as finance minister, has been criticized by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).
Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard will meet with McGill President Deep Saini for a private chat about economic policies, which may include the topic of tuition hikes for out-of-province students. Saini had called the tuition hikes a “targeted attack” on English universities. The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) urged Girard, who also holds the title of anglophone relations minister, to intervene on behalf of the English-speaking community in these tuition hikes.
The Coalition Avenir Québec government must consider the financial impacts that government legislation can have on all Quebecers, including linguistic minority communities, the Quebec Community Groups Network told provincial Finance Minister Eric Girard last week.
“It’s clear that the only Francophones the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec) wants to attract are Francophones from Europe,” states the Editorial Board of the McGill Daily. In a fiery synopsis, it quotes Eva Ludvig, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN): “If a government were trying to devise a plan to starve Quebec’s English-language universities out of existence, it would look a lot like this.”
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) called on provincial Finance Minister Eric Girard to consider the financial impact that some government policies have on Quebec’s English-speaking community during a pre-budget consultation on Monday.
Get all the latest news about the QCGN in your inbox.
Sign up here!
1819, René-Lévesque Blvd W
Montreal, Quebec H3H 2P5