Language, cultural barriers could fuel vaccine hesitancy, Quebec community organizers warn

Quebecers have rarely gone a week without hearing from their premier at least twice during this pandemic. What’s allowed, what isn’t, the exceptions to the rules — instructions from the province have changed at a dizzying pace, even for experts and journalists whose job it is to keep up.

But many of those who do not understand François Legault’s predominantly French-language news conferences, or other material put out by the province, turn to community groups to get the latest information in their own language.

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Speed-dating for Montreal jobs

(VIDEO) “For me the reality right now is a whole lot different. I’ve lowered my standards,” says an English-speaking Black Montrealer about her job search during the pandemic. Sacha Obas has more.

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Language reforms loom, are we ready?

Did you know that Bill 101, Quebec’s French-first language law, is set to be overhauled in 2021, and promises to be even more restrictive of minority languages in the province? Probably not — there are bigger things dominating the news and people’s personal lives these days. But in the midst of the biggest health crisis of a century, the CAQ government decided in September to take $5 million from its budget and spend it on beefing up the OQLF, also known as the language police.

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White paper on the Official Languages Act gets mixed reception from language equality advocates

On February 19, the federal government released its long-awaited policy document outlining reforms to modernize the Official Languages Act, following consultations across the country. However, the document entitled, English and French: Towards a Substantive Equality of Official Languages in Canada, has received mixed responses from language advocates.

Commissioner of Official Languages Raymond Théberge says he is pleased to see that the principle of substantive equality between English and French is the central element of the reforms. Similarly, Jean Johnson, the President of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne, has voiced his support for the proposals.

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Anglophones would have to fight even harder to preserve institutions: Marlene Jennings

In a broadcast interview with CTV Montreal, Marlene Jennings, president of the QCGN, enumerates the array of potential challenges raised for the English-speaking community by a Quebec government push to territorialize official languages in Canada and erode the nation’s linguistic duality. Watch the video here. (En anglais seulement)

Langues officielles : les anglophones du Québec rejettent la position de Legault

La communauté anglophone du Québec affirme ne pas faire confiance au gouvernement provincial en matière de protection de ses droits linguistiques et rejette toute diminution du rôle du fédéral dans ce domaine.

Dans un document publié vendredi, le gouvernement Legault a déclaré qu’il détenait en premier lieu  la responsabilité d’assurer la vitalité de la communauté anglophone au Québec et de répondre à ses préoccupations et enjeux particuliers. Read more (In French Only)

Audio : Modernisation des langues officielles au Canada

On discute des grandes orientations que la ministre responsable des Relations canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne, Sonia LeBel, a déposé  aujourd’hui dans le cadre de la modernisation des langues officielles.

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Quebec provincial government wants more powers from Canada to protect French language

The CAQ government caused some concern in Quebec’s anglophone community Friday, as they made public the changes they’re hoping to see in federal language laws.

Among their demands, Quebec wants Canada to recognize it as a protector of French, and to be granted more powers to do so. That has anglophone groups worrying the rights of English speakers could be in danger.

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Loi sur les langues officielles: Ottawa doit protéger le français d’abord, martèle Québec

Alors qu’Ottawa s’apprête à moderniser sa Loi sur les langues officielles (LLO), Québec avise le fédéral d’accorder à la langue de Molière un traitement préférentiel. En fait, selon le gouvernement de François Legault, seule la langue française est minoritaire au Canada.

C’est l’essentiel des constats faits par la ministre des Relations canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne, Sonia LeBel, dans une lettre adressée à son homologue Mélanie Joly. Le document, qui compte cinq «orientations», presse le gouvernement Trudeau d’officialiser le statut du français comme seule langue officielle minoritaire au Canada.

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Only French should have official status as minority language in Canada: CAQ

Reaction from anglo groups was swift and negative, with a warning that Ottawa must not cede any responsibility for official languages to the provinces.

QUEBEC — The Coalition Avenir Québec government has sparked an angry reaction from Quebec’s English-speaking community over its vision of reforms to Canada’s Official Languages Act.

“This is a non-starter,” said Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) president Marlene Jennings.

“Quebec is attempting to territorialize language by demanding that the government of Quebec have sole jurisdiction for linguistic planning and control on its territory and displacing federal leadership on the protection of Canada’s official language communities,” Jennings said.

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