Montreal, February 20, 2020 – APPELE-Québec announced today that representatives of Quebec’s English-speaking community will be launching a court challenge to Bill 40; An Act to amend mainly the Education Act with regard to school organization and governance. The Alliance for the Promotion of Public English-language Education in Quebec (APPELE-Québec) brings together 16 groups representing parents, educators and the community.
Statement by the Quebec Community Groups Network
Montreal, February 7, 2020 – This has been a difficult week for Quebec’s English-speaking community as our rights continue to be dismissed and our relations with the Quebec government deteriorate further.
On Monday, the Alliance for the Promotion of Public English-language Education in Québec (APPELE-Québec), an alliance of 16 groups representing parents, educators and the community, urged the Quebec government to seek a court ruling on the constitutionality of Bill 40, which seeks to abolish our school boards. Within hours Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge rejected our suggestion of a reasonable and responsible way of ending this impasse over his ill-conceived legislation. This approach that has been frequently used in other provinces by French-speaking minority communities. We continue to maintain that abolishing our school boards and replacing them with powerless service centres does not respect our constitutional right to manage and control our school system.
Montreal, February 6, 2020 – APPELE-Québec expressed today its frustration and displeasure with the Government of Quebec’s decision to once again limit debate on Bill 40 by invoking closure.
Since the tabling of this complex and at times incoherent bill – it amends 84 separate Acts of the National Assembly – Education Minister Jean-François Roberge has done everything he can to restrict debate on his proposed changes to the governance of our school system. For example, he restricted the number of groups allowed to appear before the parliamentary committee reviewing his proposed legislation, forcing us to hold our own public hearings to ensure our community’s voices would be heard.
Montreal, February 4, 2020 – APPELE-Québec is disappointed with the Government of Quebec’s hasty decision to reject the proposal for a court reference to decide whether Bill 40 is constitutionally sound.
APPELE-Québec had asked that the Quebec government to submit a reference to the Court of Appeal in relation to Bill 40; An Act to amend mainly the Education Act with regard to school organization and governance. APPELE-Québec maintains that it is reasonable and responsible to seek the Court’s guidance before Bill 40 is adopted or at least before it is implemented.
Montreal, February 3, 2020 – APPELE-Québec, an alliance of 16 groups representing parents, educators and the community, is urging the Quebec government to seek a court ruling on the constitutionality of Bill 40 which seeks to abolish our school boards.
MONTREAL, December 5, 2019 – Following Thursday’s speech from the throne, the Quebec Community Groups Network trusts that the government will follow through on its pledge to modernize the Official Languages Act early in its mandate. “The throne speech was less explicit on policy matters than we would have wished,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. “However, we hope parliamentarians get down to work quickly and deliver clearer and tougher legislation that promotes and protects English and French as Canada’s official languages.”
MONTREAL, October 24, 2019 – Bill 40, the Coalition Avenir Québec government’s plan to abolish school boards, violates the constitutional rights of Quebec’s English-speaking community. The Government should exempt the English system from its reform, pending a full consultation with the community.
“Schools are core institutions of the English-speaking community,” said Geoffrey Chambers, President of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN). “The province has a responsibility to design an educational governance structure that protects and enables the English-speaking community’s management and control over our constitutionally guaranteed minority language education.”
Montreal – November 12, 2019 – Quebec’s English-speaking youth and seniors will benefit from $1.1 million to learn new skills, find jobs, and fight isolation thanks to the renewal of the Community Innovation Fund (CIF). This second round of financing will help community organizations across the province pilot socially innovative projects supporting youth and seniors between 2020 and 2023.
“The first round of CIF funding, which ran from 2016 to 2019, injected a total of $1 million into 10 innovative projects that truly transformed the lives of many individual English-speaking Quebecers,” said John Buck, Project Advisory Committee Chair and CEO of the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC). “Targeting the particular priorities of our community’s youth, seniors, and caregivers as well as newcomers, the Fund empowered community groups to tackle pressing social issues more effectively.”
MONTREAL, November 5, 2019 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) profoundly regrets the very public departures of a half dozen board members.
“This is not surprising. We advised them last week they were no longer directors of the QCGN board,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. He noted that members of the dissident group are affiliated with five of the groups which withdrew their memberships last week.
“I find it most regrettable that these former board members feel the need to engage in this very public squabble while our community faces significant challenges,” added QCGN Vice-President Gerald Cutting, who is also President of Townshippers’ Association. “If you are committed to fighting for the vitality of our community, we need all hands on deck at this critical juncture.”
The Executive Committee of the Quebec Community Groups Network has written to its members to discuss the resignation of some member organizations. In response to criticism of former members, the committee writes that the QCGN has “taken forceful and principled positions in defense of English-speaking community rights and in cases such as the securing of our institutional heritage and the design of health service guarantees under Bill 10.”
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