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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Quebec English School Boards Association to challenge Bill 40 in court

The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) notes that the Quebec government forced Bill 40 through the National Assembly using closure – “despite unanimous opposition to the legislation and in complete disregard for the English-speaking community’s right to manage and control its minority language educational institutions.”

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English community groups in Quebec to challenge Bill 40 in court

“We believe minority rights are important in our society,” Geoffrey Kelley, chair of APPELE-Québec, tells Alessia Simona Maratta of Global News. “And this government does not have a very good track record in terms of respecting [those rights].”

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English community groups challenging constitutionality of Bill 40

Geoffrey Kelley, chair of APPELE-Québec and former member of the National Assembly, says Quebec could have easily exempted English school boards from Bill 40. Now, he adds, his group is concerned that the election process proposed is too complex and, as currently structured, makes it difficult for people within the English-speaking community to run for a director position at a service centre. His group has made concrete proposals to simplify the election process and to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the new directors.

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The English-speaking Community will challenge the Elimination of School Boards

The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA), along with several English-speaking groups, will challenge the elimination of school boards in court.

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