Providing job opportunities for English youth in rural Quebec

Assisting young people by enhancing their education with practical training and getting at-risk youth local work can strengthen their well-being and enrich Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

These goals are at the heart of two projects, supported by the federal government’s $1 million Social Partnership Development Program. They provide educational and work opportunities for youth in the Magdalen Islands and Quebec City.

They have been awarded grants from Community Innovation Fund, managed by the Quebec Community Groups Network. The Magdalen Islands, a five-hour ferry ride from PEI, is home to one of the most isolated English-speaking communities in Quebec. It has 675 residents who in the 2016 Census gave English as their mother tongue, 5.7 per cent of the total population.

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Comparisons between French Ontario and Quebec English: Que veulent les Québécois d’expression anglaise?

Recent events in French-speaking Ontario have led to some comparisons between what Franco-Ontarians and English-speaking Quebecers live with daily. At first glance, their situations are very different. But the English-speaking community also has its demands.

First, the President of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), Geoffrey Chambers, is keen to support the latest demands of Franco-Ontarians against decisions made by the Ford government. The former Alliance Quebec member rebukes them.

For those who think that the basket of recriminations is empty for English-speaking, this is not so.

The representative of the network of 58 English-speaking organizations across Quebec agrees that “interests may be different from one region to another”. There are surely differences between a region such as Quebec, which has a population of nearly 15,000 English-speaking Quebecers and Montreal. That city has some 600,000 people who master the language of Leonard Cohen, according to the 2018 figures of the Quebec’s Institut de la statistique.

In 2019, Geoffrey Chambers sees three points on which the QCGN will have to remain vigilant. During the campaign trail, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) indicated its intention of abolishing school boards. This decision will not be accepted if it affects English school boards, as they are important for the survival of many communities.

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Quebec opens sweeping investigation into EMSB mismanagement allegations

Calling the situation “serious and troubling,” the Quebec government has launched a sweeping administrative investigation into allegations of chronic mismanagement and ethical transgressions at the English Montreal School Board.

But Education Minister Jean-François Roberge has denied the inquiry is a political move designed to intimidate the board, which is among many that oppose the government’s plans to transform boards into service centres.

“They are two totally separate issues,” Roberge told reporters, announcing what will be a nine-month “exhaustive” inquiry into the EMSB with a report due in the minister’s hands by Sept. 10.

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Radio Noon Montreal: Does it matter to you what language the signs are in at the Lachute Hospital?

Administrators there have been removing English from signs. They say they have no choice after a directive from the OQLF (Office Québécois de la langue française).

Radio Noon Montreal host Shawn Apel talks with Geoffrey Chambers of the Quebec Community Groups Network and other guests and callers.

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West Quebec mourns passing of James Shea

As 2018 concluded, the anglophone community was shocked by the unexpected passing of West Quebec community leader James Shea, at 76.

A lifelong educator, Mr Shea was, at the time of his death, Chairman of the West Quebec School Board (WQSB).

“We have lost an inspiring educational leader who provided all of us with a compelling and optimistic vision of the future for education in the WQSB. Jim was all about providing the best possible educational and social experience for our students. I’m confident that his legacy will continue to live on in each of us as evidenced in the work we do in our schools, centres and communities,” said Mike Dubeau, WQSB’s director.

Mr Shea was also president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN),  2016 to 2018, a province-wide grouping of anglophone community groups.

 

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Macpherson: A call to ‘extinguish’ minority dissent in Quebec

A denunciation of members of minorities who complain of their treatment in Quebec as “enemies … of French-speaking Quebec.”

With it, a call to “extinguish these hotbeds of intolerance,” in a message the writer acknowledges might be used by the “hotheaded and violently prejudiced.”

Just another rant from someone in the online hate community hiding behind a pseudonym, exceptional only for its lack of spelling mistakes?

No, a column published in Quebec’s most-read daily and on its website, and promoted on the province’s most popular television network, all properties of Pierre Karl Péladeau’s Québecor media empire.

Even in Péladeau’s flagship Le Journal de Montréal, with its deep lineup of minority-baiting columnists, I can’t recall ever reading anything as disturbing as Denise Bombardier’s Jan. 5 column titled “Les québécophobes.”

You can read the column in French online at journaldemontreal.com/2019/01/05/les-quebecophobes, and form your own opinion of it.

You can also listen to Bombardier promote it on TVA television at tvanouvelles.ca/videos/5986318403001where she falsely accused Quebec anglophones of not supporting francophone minorities in the rest of Canada, such as the Franco-Ontarians affected by recent spending cuts by the Ford government. In fact, the Quebec Community Groups Network and the Montreal Gazette, among others, were quick to come to the Franco-Ontarians’ defence

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English-rights group says Legault is wrong about Bill 101 and hospitals

An English rights group says Quebec Premier François Legault’s interpretation of how Bill 101 applies to hospitals is wrong and is calling for an immediate meeting with the premier.

On Thursday, Legault defended a regional health authority’s removal of English words from signs at the hospital in Lachute, approximately 60 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

The hospital began covering up English words in December after the Office québécois de la langue française said the hospital was not following Quebec’s language laws. The hospital offers services in English and French.

“I think that we have to follow the law, and they weren’t respecting the law. Bill 101 has to be respected. That’s what we’ll do,” Legault said. “As you know, anglophones will keep on having the right to have services in education and health care, so I don’t see the importance of having bilingual signs.”

But the Quebec Community Group’s Network, which represents 53 English-language community organizations, disagrees.

“It’s senseless to argue that you have access to health and social services in English if you do not know where the services are located,” Geoffrey Chambers, the president of the QCGN said in a release. “Not to have clear signage is an obstacle to services. If you cannot find the service, it is not available to you.”

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CAQ MNA promises action on Lachute hospital signage, walks back comments 17 hours later

Premier François Legault’s point man on relations with English-speaking Quebecers appears to have broken rank on Thursday night, saying he’s working privately to resolve a language dispute at the Lachute hospital.

MNA Christopher Skeete wrote on Twitter that he has been in contact with the health and culture ministers offices and suggested those concerned should “stay tuned.”

“The (premier) is correct that we must respect our laws, but healthcare is a different ball game,” Skeete said.

“Especially in areas like Lachute where we have a 17 per cent English-speaking population.”

Quebec’s language watchdog ordered the hospital last month to remove the English signs that say “emergency” and “parking” around the hospital, prompting outcry from local mayors.

Earlier Thursday, Legault said he would not protect the English signs, explaining that “Bill 101 must be protected.”

 

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Legault defends removal of bilingual signs in Lachute hospital

Quebec Premier François Legault is defending an order forcing a hospital in Lachute to remove its bilingual signs.

It comes after the Office quebecois de la langue francaise, which enforces the province’s French language charter, recently contacted the hospital and told it take down English signs inside and outside the facility.

Asked about the decision Thursday in Montreal, Legault said the change is necessary.

“We have to follow the law and they didn’t. They weren’t respecting the law. Bill 101 has to be respected that’s what we’ll do,” he said. “As you know, Anglophones will keep on having the right to have services in education in health care. I don’t see the importance of having bilingual signs.”

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Quebec premier backs order telling Lachute hospital to ditch English signs

After the Office québécois de la langue française mandated a Lachute hospital remove its English-language signage, Quebec Premier François Legault says he doesn’t see the importance of bilingual signage.

“They weren’t respecting the law. Bill 101 has to be respected; that’s what we will do,” Legault told reporters.

“Anglophones will keep on having the right to have services in education, in healthcare… so I don’t see the importance of having bilingual signs.”

The Quebec Community Groups Network disagrees with Legault’s stance.

“It’s a clear violation of the law and his interpretation is mistaken,” QCGN president Geoffrey Chambers reacted.

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