And another thing… Concise comments on some current topics

Editorial Page, The Gazette 

A calculated snub.  The Quebec Community Groups Network, meeting this weekend in Quebec City, has a strange problem. This loose federation of anglophone groups and institutions exists for mutual support while carefully avoiding almost any activity anyone could call political. The list of member groups shows the diversity: the Canadian-Italian Business & Professional Association, the Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders, the English-Language Arts Network, the English-Speaking Catholic Council, the Quebec Federation of Home & School Associations, the Townshippers’ Association, Youth Employment Services, and more, 32 in all. The QCGN is not a voice for anglo Quebec so much as a clearing-house for anglo organizations, a self-help group rather than a political unit. Full version…

Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) launch Canadian Diversity issue exploring Deep Diversity of English-speaking Quebec

The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased to launch the fruit of a major collaboration with the Association for Canadian Studies as well as a handful  of dedicated community leaders, activists and researchers.  This special issue of Canadian Diversity is a follow-up to a two-part symposium entitled “Exploring Diversity in English-Speaking Quebec” organized by the QCGN, ACS and Concordia University’s Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network, better known as QUESCREN. The symposium, magazine and a research project on whether the English-speaking communities outside of Montreal can help to attract and retain immigrants to their regions, received some $63,000 in funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  “This publication demonstrates that there has been some significant thinking within our Network and within our community about our diversity from the perspectives of health, arts, history, heritage, education and employment,” said Robert Donnelly, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. Full version…

Anglos struggle to get premier’s ear: Seeking input on bill 103. Quebec Community Groups Network taking less aggressive stance than Alliance did

Philip Authier, The Gazette 

They are not as lonely as the Maytag repairman, but the president of an umbrella group representing Quebec’s English-speaking community says anglos want more face time with the provincial government.  “We are going to be upping our requests,” said Robert Donnelly, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. “We need more dialogue with provincial governments than simply waiting for commissions. What we want is face-to-face (meetings).” Full version…

Youth push for anglo school funding

The Low Down

English-speaking youths have a strong sense of attachment to Quebec and to the English-speaking community and they wish to remain in the province. But to do so they require strong schools and strong communities.

”English-speaking schools are critical in forming our identity,” said Nicola Johnston, co-chair of the Quebec Community Groups Network’s Youth Standing Committee. ”They are also important centres of our community.” Read more…

QCGN wants Official Languages Act protected and preserved

The Quebec Community Groups Network shares many of the concerns expressed by the Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser in the first volume of his annual report ( released Tuesday.  In his report entitled Beyond Obligations, Commissioner Fraser spoke about the importance of leadership in promoting linguistic duality and the values contained in the Official Languages Act.  “The most important thing is that the principles of the Official Languages Act are respected and acted upon,” said QCGN President Robert Donnelly, noting the Network will be watching to see how the core values of linguistic duality are translated into a real commitment by government partners.  For example, Commissioner Fraser noted his concerns about how funding delays have affected Official Language Minority Communities and he reaffirmed the responsibilities of federal institutions to the English-speaking communities of Quebec and to Francophone communities in the rest of the country. Full version…

English youth ask government to focus on community vitality and sustainabilty

English-speaking youths have a strong sense of attachment to Quebec and to the English-speaking community and they wish to remain in the province. To do so they require strong schools and strong communities. “English-speaking schools are critical in forming our identity,” said Nicola Johnston, co-chair of the Quebec Community Groups Network’s Youth Standing Committee. “They are also important centers of community.”  To remain in Quebec, and to make a meaningful contribution to our community and to society, English-speakers require adequate French-language skills to integrate into the job market, Ms. Johnston argued, noting that improving levels of bilingualism will produce fluently bilingual young people who are equipped with the skills they require to stay here. Read the full press release here.

Killing myths isn’t easy: Francophones’ perceptions of anglos haven’t kept up with the times

The Montreal Gazette, Henry Aubin

A reminder this week that Quebec francophones make more money than anglophones ought to help lay to rest the politically charged notion that anglos represent some kind of privileged über-class. But don’t count on it. Too often, stereotypes involving the nature of a linguistic group (or ethnic or religious group for that matter) are impervious to contradictory evidence.

The source in this case is unimpeachable: the 2006 census. It shows that the median income of Quebec francophones of working age is seven per cent higher than that of anglophones. Seven per cent is a decisive difference, and it represents a dramatic reversal from the early 1970s when anglos were on top by a large margin. Read more…

QCGN appears before House of Commons Committee on Official Languages

For the second time in a month, the Quebec Community Groups Network appeared before the House of Commons Committee on Official Languages on Thursday morning. This time, QCGN President Robert Donnelly and Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge were there to discuss The Roadmap to Canada’s Linguistic Duality.

Click here to read Robert Donnelly’s remarks to the committee.

Linguistic Rights Support Program replaces Court Challenges Program

Sarah Rogers, Special to the Record (Sherbrooke)

A new support program has taken root to help promote and develop Canada’s French- and English-speaking minority communities.  With two official language groups sprinkled across the country, the newly-launched Language Rights Support Program aims to help those groups participate in every aspect of life in Canada – in their mother tongue.  Introduced in 2008, the Language Rights Support Program (LRSP) came on the heels of its predecessor, the former Court Challenges Program. When the latter was cancelled in 2006, the announcement was met with dissent from official language minorities across the country.  Full version…

The value of schools: Quebec English schools are key to protecting anglo culture and heritage

Robert Donnelly, QCGN President

Over the past few decades, Quebec’s English-speaking community has been under demographic stress. Signs of this are most apparent in primary and secondary education, where declining enrolment is attributed to an aging population, low birth-rates and a significant number of parents choosing to send their children to the French system. A full 21.4 per cent of children enrolled in French schools have English as their mother tongue and the vast majority of them could be attending English schools. Because resource allocation is based on enrolment, the English-school population is declining and schools are closing. What of the future? Where will parents send their children to school? How will our communities attract new families? Read more…