Building bridges between communities valuable, QCGN annual meeting is told

In focusing on finding common cause with Quebec’s francophone majority population, the Quebec Community Groups Network is on the right track, the organization’s annual general meeting heard today.

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Busting myths: Report shows English-speaking Quebecers are key part of a national-unity solution

MONTREAL – June 18, 2024There is a lot of good news in a new report from the Office of the
Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) that confirms two key things about the English-speaking
community of Quebec (ESCQ), Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) President Eva Ludvig said
“First, the report shows clearly that on an individual basis, English- and French-speaking Quebecers get
along, far better than discourse in the chattering classes would have us believe,” she said. “Second, it is
very clear that there is an important role for the ESCQ to play in building bridges, not only within
Quebec, with our Francophone friends and neighbours, but with the rest of Canada, even in helping
promote the importance and value of French to the rest of the country.

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Read the OCOL report here

Report card on French may bring more coercive measures, QCGN says 

MONTREAL – April 28, 2024 – Will the Quebec government set French up to fail?

QCGN President Eva Ludvig raised that possibility today as Jean-François Roberge, Minister for the French Language, and other ministers presented the government’s long-delayed Plan d’Action for the protection and promotion of French.

“What’s new in today’s presentation,” Ludvig said, “is the report card, or dashboard, M. Roberge has introduced to measure the state of French in Quebec.

“What was missing in today’s presentation was mention of the yardsticks the government intends to use to measure the health of French. A news report on an early version of the plan suggested the expected measurements are largely those known in advance to automatically indicate declines in French: mother tongue, language used mainly at home, and first official language spoken. And Minister Roberge today mentioned mother tongue as one of the worrisome statistics the government has observed.

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QCGN sees some good news for English-speaking Quebecers in 2024-2025 budget

Montreal – March 12, 2024 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased to see a modest increase in the budget for organizations and institutions serving the community with an additional $825.000 in the budget of the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers.

We are also pleased to see the 2024-2025 provincial budget has maintained its commitment to supporting wellness centres that aim to enhance the quality of life for English-speaking seniors by offering various programs and activities tailored to their needs.

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QCGN profoundly disappointed by Quebec Court of Appeal’s ruling on Bill 21

Montreal, February 29, 2024 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is profoundly disappointed by today’s ruling on Bill 21 by the Quebec Court of Appeal. Unfortunately, the justices’ hands were tied by the Quebec Government’s use of the notwithstanding clauses of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Bill 21 prohibits employees in positions of authority (like teachers, judges, and police officers) from wearing or displaying symbols of their religion, like hijabs, kippahs, turbans or ostentatious crucifixes while at work.

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Quebec should help our institutions deal with financial fallout of government policies

The Government of Quebec must always consider the financial impacts of all government legislation, regulations, policies and programs on all Quebecers – and particularly on minority communities, the Quebec Community Groups Network told Finance Minister Eric Girard Monday afternoon.

“Meanwhile support should be provided to our school boards, CEGEPs, universities and other institutions to deal with the adverse financial fallout of recent government policies,” QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge told Girard, who is also the Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers. She made the comments during a pre-budget consultation with groups serving Quebec’s English-speaking minority community in Montreal Monday.

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Read the QCGN’s key budget recommendations

Read the QCGN’s brief to the 2024-2025 Pre-budget Consultation

Tuition hikes: Government chooses path that could ruin Quebec’s English universities

Montreal – Wednesday, December 13, 2023 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is bitterly disappointed that the Legault government appears to be continuing along a path that could bring ruin to Quebec’s three English universities.

News reports suggest the government has determined its final position on tuition increases for out-of-province students. Measures would include a 33 per cent tuition increase for undergraduate students coming to Quebec from other Canadian provinces; an impossible demand to “francicize” 80 per cent of all out-of-province students, including international students, or face penalties; as well as a transfer of additional revenues – if there are any – to the French-language university sector. “These are clear existential threats to the three universities that attract the greatest number of students from outside Quebec: McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s,” said Ludvig.

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Bill 15 petition gathers 6,400 signatures in 16 days

Legislation is more about command and control than care and compassion.

Montreal, December 4 – The Quebec Community Groups Network thanks the more than 6,400 Quebecers who signed a petition demanding the provincial government put the brakes on Bill 15 – a hefty and complex piece of legislation that will massively centralize our health and social services networks.

“We know the government wants to ram this bill through the National Assembly by the end of the week, so we had to move fast to make sure the Minister realized just how disappointed Quebecers are with this proposed legislation,” said QCGN President Eva Ludvig. “It is clear Quebecers are upset at having their voices silenced in the management of their local health-care institutions like hospitals.”

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No time to waste before government imposes massive centralization of health and social services – and adds a new threat to English access

There is fresh urgency to sign a petition demanding the Quebec government slam the brakes on its massive Bill 15, which is designed to create a vast centralization of our health and social-services network.

The imperative arrives in the form of a last-minute, government-proposed amendment, suspended for the moment, that would give its new central controlling body, Santé Québec, the power to strip health institutions of their right to offer services in a language other than French if the numbers no longer warrant.

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QCGN Statement on Bloc Québécois report on federal funding for Quebec’s English-speaking minority

Montreal – November 27, 2023 – The Quebec Community Groups Network takes issue with a report released this morning by Bloc Québécois MP Mario Beaulieu in which he condemns legitimate federal support for the vitality of our minority-language community as nothing more than support for the anglicization of Quebec.

It is a false equivalency. Support for Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) across the country exists to support the vitality of these communities – both French and English.

We have not had the chance to study Beaulieu’s report in detail and may have more to say once we have done that. But his fundamental concept – that support for Quebec’s English-speaking minority community is tantamount to support for anglicization, is flat out wrong.

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