Jennings looks ahead

November 5, 2020 – It’s a busy week for Marlene Jennings. Completing her mandate as trustee of the English Montreal School Board, winning the presidency of the Quebec Community Groups Network, and on the eve of her 69th birthday next week, the former Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine MP is looking to the future of Quebec’s English speaking minority.

Jennings presented her candidacy to some 25 voting members of the Quebec Community Groups Network on Thursday and was elected, defeating incumbent president Geoffrey Chambers, who faced growing criticism over several leadership issues as far back as last year. Read more.

Opinion: Montreal-area Anglophones need their own advocacy organization again

November 6, 2020 – Mark Twain has been rumoured to have said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” And for Anglophones, the 2018 election of the right-leaning CAQ government with only one Anglophone caucus member, Christopher Skeete, is reminiscent of the 1976 sweep of the left-leaning Parti Quebecois that likewise only included the British-born MNA David Payne.

To compensate for the then dearth of in-party connections to the new government, prominent English-speaking community leaders wisely chose to create a new non-partisan organization that could convene and lobby for the community as a whole. So was born Alliance Quebec in 1982, which had its successes in lobbying and litigation.

Radio Noon Quebec with Shawn Apel

November 18, 2020 – (AUDIO) QCGN President Marlene Jennings was the guest on CBC Montreal’s Radio Noon with Shawn Apel Wednesday. A wide-ranging discussion covered school board elections during the pandemic, QCGN’s relationship with the Quebec government, and the future of the Network. Listen here 

 

QCGN Opposes Holding School Board Elections in Red Zones

Montreal, November 14, 2020 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) shares the disbelief of parents and school board officials who have just learned that English school board elections will be held December 20 – despite the sustained surge in COVID-19 cases. “This new date is valid for all school boards, even if their territory […]

Marlene Jennings vows to rebuild bridges as QCGN’s new president

November 6, 2020 – After a challenging year that saw many of its members resign, newly elected Quebec Community Groups Network president Marlene Jennings says she’s ready to rebuild bridges and reach out to anglophones across the province.

Jennings was elected president at the QCGN’s annual general meeting Thursday evening. A former Liberal MP who has been serving as the network’s treasurer, Jennings replaces Geoffrey Chambers in the role. Read more.

 

Embracing Change and New Leadership, QCGN wraps up 25th Annual General Meeting

Montreal, November 5, 2020 – The Quebec Community Groups Network marked its 25th year this evening during a virtual Annual General Meeting where members explored new ways of collaborating with member and stakeholder groups to ensure English-speaking Quebecers speak with one strong voice.

Prior to the pandemic, the QCGN was close to completing an inclusive process to guide the development of a strategic community development plan for a stronger and more resilient English-speaking community. Enlightened by this feedback, the QCGN established a Renewal Committee mandated to propose a renewed vision, mission, and structure for the organization. Read more

QCGN Response to House Leaders – October 9, 2020

Dear House Leaders:

On October 1, 2020, Government House Leader Simon Jolin-Barrette introduced a motion in the National Assembly regarding the exclusive use of French by members of the legislature in their addresses to members of the press gallery, unless dealing with issues of safety and public health. The motion was supported by all parties. English-speaking Quebecers are disappointed at this unnecessary motion, which is hurtful and divisive. Read more

 

Substantive Overhaul for Official Languages Act is Overdue

The annual report issued today by the Commissioner of Official Languages underscores the breadth and depth of the preparatory work contributed to modernizing the Official Languages Act by linguistic minority communities across Canada. “The time for talk and promises is past; a substantive overhaul is overdue,” said Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network.

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Government Must Not Territorialize the Equality of Canada’s official Languages

The Speech from the Throne yesterday reiterates a core Canadian value – in the spirit of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and the Official Languages Act.

The Throne Speech emphasizes that our two official languages are woven into the fabric of our country and reaffirms the federal government’s duty to defend the language rights of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs), both English and French, wherever they live in this country. To quote the Charter, “English and French are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and Government of Canada.”

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Opinion: A reprieve for English school boards, but battle continues

The Quebec Community Groups Network is heartened by an encouraging decision last week from the Court of Appeal in our community’s fight against the imposition of Bill 40.

In August, the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) had obtained an injunction from Superior Court suspending application of Bill 40 for English boards until the merits of the case could be argued. The Court of Appeal has now maintained that stay. Read more.