West Island’s Family Resource Centre ready to help families during COVID-19 crisis

The phone has been ringing quite a bit at the Family Resource Centre in Pierrefonds

“Over this week, I’m sure we’ve received easily over 100 calls,” said Ron Swan, executive director of the Family Resource Centre, which helps families and children dealing with behavioural issues.

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Analysis: Legault gets top marks from all sides amid COVID-19 crisis

QUEBEC — It is one of those ironies of politics that a leader can look at his or her best when things are at their worst. As the COVID-19 crisis rocks the planet, Premier François Legault finds himself in just that position. Suddenly even anglophones who did not vote for the Coalition Avenir Québec in the 2018 election — and disapprove of many of the government’s policies — think Legault is doing a good job leading the province through this sombre time.

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Quebec’s English-speaking Community and Official Languages

On March 11, the Quebec Community Groups Network hosted a conference surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act. This important piece of legislation that sets out constitutional rights for minority language communities across Canada is often misunderstood by English-speaking Quebecers.

To help conference participants and our community take a deeper look at the Act we prepared a number of instructional materials including an infographic on Quebec’s English-speaking Communities and Official Languages as well a special issue of Canadian Diversity entitled Shifting Landscapes: English-speaking Quebec and the Official Languages Act. We also recommend ACS’s winter issues of Canadian Issues dedicated to the Official Languages Act entitled Linguistic Duality De jure and de facto.

QCGN Responds to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to spread, our thoughts go out to anyone who has been infected or impacted. The Quebec Community Groups Network hopes that you, your family and friends are safe, and that you are taking the necessary precautions to ensure you and your loved ones remain healthy.

The QCGN is adapting to this ever-changing environment while ensuring continuity and remaining fully functional. Evidently the QCGN and our Network members have postponed all public events including our Community Collaboration Forum that was scheduled for March 30-31 and our Access to Justice workshop. Despite obvious challenges, the services that QCGN provides to our Network and community will not be compromised. You will continue to receive your Daily Briefings, which are being prepared remotely, and your Weekly Updates.

For now, the QCGN office remains open, although all employees have been given the option of working remotely. Those who are coming to work are adopting safe social distancing practices. We will review our practices in the coming days and weeks as we gain a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. You can reach our directors and projects managers via their emails. Let’s stay safe together.

Reliable information and updates about coronavirus in English
Quebec: General information about coronavirus,  or call 1 877 644-4545 (toll free)
Canada: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports  

QCGN Welcomes Positive Measures for English-speaking Seniors

Montreal, March 10, 2020 – The Quebec Community Groups Network welcomes the injection of an additional $18.8 million into the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers over the next five years. This commitment promises to assist a sizeable number of English-speaking Quebecers, but other community needs remain unanswered.

In particular, the QCGN applauds new measures to sustain existing wellness centres for English-speaking seniors and create 25 additional centres. We look forward as well to details of a pledge to establish and support an employment strategy for English-speaking Quebecers; those details have yet to be released.

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To Anglos, CAQ Government’s Deeds Speak Louder than its Words

By Geoffrey Chambers and Gerald Cutting, QCGN

Last fall, the government of Premier François Legault conducted a round of consultations with English-speaking Quebecers. A range of voices from across the English-speaking community laid out specific and very reasonable actions we need from his government. The process proved positive to the extent that it opened a dialogue. However, it was rushed and failed to build on, or to consider, previous strategic priority-setting work done by the community. Furthermore, the government is sending mixed messages when hosting a consultation while ignoring our fundamental disagreements with them on key policy initiatives that affect our vitality and our constitutional rights.

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Structural Issues Continue to Marginalize English-speaking Quebecers

Last fall, representatives of the QCGN attended the community consultation sessions organized by the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers. The QCGN maintains that while the consultation opened a dialogue, the process addressed surface symptoms. It largely failed to identify specific pragmatic solutions – in language instruction, health care, education, and elsewhere – required to arrest the steady erosion of our community’s vitality. These structural issues continue to marginalize our community, severely undermining our longer-term viability. In the attached report, the QCGN lays out its evidence-based strategic vision. This approach is framed by the “par et pour” model, that is “by us and for us.” The QCGN calls for the Secretariat and the Premier’s Parliamentary Assistant to serve as strong advocates for our community within government policy development – to ensure that our community’s voices and needs are both heard and heeded.

Go to the Secretariat Consultation Report

Bill 40 may have been a law too far

With the Quebec Community Groups Network, the Quebec English School Board Association, and the English Montreal School Board and others preparing to challenge the constitutionality of Bill 40, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge should have considered taking a more tender approach to abolishing school boards, says an op-ed in The Suburban.

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English School Boards will Challenge the Reform in Court

The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) has announced Thursday that it will challenge Bill 40 in court even if the school elections are not abolished for the English school board, as is the case for Francophones.

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Several English-speaking organizations to challenge constitutionality of Bill 40 in court

“Over the coming weeks,” Geoff Kelley, chairperson of APPELLE-Québec says, “we will be preparing our case, recruiting parents and others to participate as plaintiffs, and determining who will be intervening on behalf of the community.” The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is part of the steering committee.

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