As the 44th Canadian Parliament of the House of Commons gets under way, the Quebec Community Groups Network welcomes the opportunity to work with the new Minister of Official Languages, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, and Francophone minority communities from across Canada to modernize the Official Languages Act, legislation that is critical to the vitality of our minority language communities.
Community leaders from many regions and political leaders from all levels of government continue to endorse an open letter from English-speaking Quebecers to Premier François Legault that rejects his plan to limit government services in English to his restrictive definition of “historic anglophones” – that is those eligible to attend school in English in Quebec.
No apology can undo the lasting damage that the CEO of Air Canada has inflicted on Quebec’s English-speaking community and the core national value of linguistic duality.
“Air Canada employs many Francophones and is obliged to communicate with the public in both official languages,” says Marlene Jennings, President of the Quebec Community Groups Network. “However, the attitude this week displayed by CEO Micheal Rousseau toward the French language was breathtakingly insensitive and arrogant.”
English-speaking Quebecers are proud Quebecers who reject the Coalition Avenir Québec’s decision to label our community as “historic anglophones” and its plan to limit government services in our own language to citizens who are eligible to attend English schools.
That is the message 96 English-speaking Quebecers signed in an open letter to Premier François Legault.
The Quebec Community Groups Network today congratulated Ginette Petitpas Taylor on her appointment as Canada’s new Minister of Official Languages and offered our keen assistance in her new portfolio. We also congratulated her predecessor, Mélanie Joly, on her promotion to Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Following months of repeated assurances to the contrary, Quebec Premier François Legault this morning confirmed that under Bill 96, he intends to restrict access to Quebec government services in English to members of the English-speaking community eligible to receive English education under Bill 101.
As the Quebec Government prepares for the start of a new session tomorrow, we urge it once again to take a step back and bring Quebecers together to identify challenges, to separate myths from realities and, most importantly, to build a consensus on the best path forward to promote French in Quebec.
If, on the other hand, the government remains determined to move forward with Bill 96, we urge it to address the concerns we raised in our brief and which we are pleased to note have been echoed and underscored by many others.
On Tuesday, September 28, QCGN President Marlene Jennings, QCGN legal counsel Marion Sandilands, former Minister Clifford Lincoln, and human rights lawyer Pearl Eliadis appeared before the Committee on Culture and Education to present their brief on Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Quebec.
The Quebec Community Groups Network is urging the Quebec Government to withdraw Bill 96 and take the time needed to build a consensus on how to best promote French as Quebec’s common language. Appearing before the National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education Tuesday, the QCGN also raised significant concerns about the proposed unilateral amendment to the constitution, the pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause, and the definition of Quebec’s English-speaking community.
Montreal, September 21, 2021 – Canadians have voted, and the results from the 44th federal election
are in! The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) wishes to thank all candidates, political parties,
and volunteers for the work they put into the election, and those who took the time to vote.
“We extend our congratulations to the Liberal Party of Canada, which will form the next minority
government, and look forward to continuing its work with all Parliamentarians to enhance the vitality of
Canada’s English linguistic minority communities and protect and promote the core national value of
linguistic duality,” said QCGN President Marlene Jennings.