QCGN Cautiously Optimistic About Ottawa’s Plan to Overhaul the Official Languages Act

Montreal, February 19, 2021 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased that Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly has reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s continued leadership on matters of official languages. At the same time, the QCGN calls on the federal government to address our community’s longstanding concerns about the provision of public services in English, as well as employment in federal institutions in Quebec.

Minister Joly’s reform document for official languages in Canada, French and English: towards substantive equality for official languages in Canada, released earlier today, captures important requests made by Quebec’s English-speaking community during the consultation process. Read more

Canada Must Not Abandon its Leadership on Official Languages

Montreal, February 5, 2021 – The Government of Canada must not retreat from its legal and moral obligation to Canada’s linguistic duality, and support for our French and English linguistic minority communities.

In a letter to Federal Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly, Quebec’s Minister Responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie, Sonia LeBel, states that the sole official minority language across Canada is French. Minister LeBel was providing Quebec’s perspective on the modernization of the federal Official Languages Act.

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QCGN Asks Minister Roberge to Fund LEARN to Tutor English-speaking Students

Montreal, February 1, 2021 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) shares the concerns of the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) and the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) about new tutoring services for Quebec students during the pandemic.

Last week, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge unveiled new investments in tutoring for Quebec students using online platforms. He announced funding for existing French-language services, where the providers do not have the necessary experience or expertise to meet the needs of English-speaking students. Meanwhile, LEARN, the province’s only government-funded English-language tutoring resource, was not earmarked for funding to provide this service. Read more

QCGN Statement Regarding the French Language

November 24, 2020 – During a recent meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages, the decline of the French language in Quebec was questioned. Other statements during the hearing suggested that Canada’s English linguistic minority does not exist. Let us quickly deal with this last point. Under the law of Quebec and Canada, there is indeed a linguistic minority community – of more than 1.1 million English-speaking Quebecers. This is Canada’s most bilingual cohort of English-speakers.

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) takes this opportunity to clearly lay out our position on the protection and promotion of the French language. Read more

QCGN Opposes Holding School Board Elections in Red Zones

Montreal, November 14, 2020 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) shares the disbelief of parents and school board officials who have just learned that English school board elections will be held December 20 – despite the sustained surge in COVID-19 cases. “This new date is valid for all school boards, even if their territory […]

Embracing Change and New Leadership, QCGN wraps up 25th Annual General Meeting

Montreal, November 5, 2020 – The Quebec Community Groups Network marked its 25th year this evening during a virtual Annual General Meeting where members explored new ways of collaborating with member and stakeholder groups to ensure English-speaking Quebecers speak with one strong voice.

Prior to the pandemic, the QCGN was close to completing an inclusive process to guide the development of a strategic community development plan for a stronger and more resilient English-speaking community. Enlightened by this feedback, the QCGN established a Renewal Committee mandated to propose a renewed vision, mission, and structure for the organization. Read more

QCGN Response to House Leaders – October 9, 2020

Dear House Leaders:

On October 1, 2020, Government House Leader Simon Jolin-Barrette introduced a motion in the National Assembly regarding the exclusive use of French by members of the legislature in their addresses to members of the press gallery, unless dealing with issues of safety and public health. The motion was supported by all parties. English-speaking Quebecers are disappointed at this unnecessary motion, which is hurtful and divisive. Read more

 

Substantive Overhaul for Official Languages Act is Overdue

The annual report issued today by the Commissioner of Official Languages underscores the breadth and depth of the preparatory work contributed to modernizing the Official Languages Act by linguistic minority communities across Canada. “The time for talk and promises is past; a substantive overhaul is overdue,” said Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network.

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Government Must Not Territorialize the Equality of Canada’s official Languages

The Speech from the Throne yesterday reiterates a core Canadian value – in the spirit of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and the Official Languages Act.

The Throne Speech emphasizes that our two official languages are woven into the fabric of our country and reaffirms the federal government’s duty to defend the language rights of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs), both English and French, wherever they live in this country. To quote the Charter, “English and French are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and Government of Canada.”

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Vindicated by Court of Appeal Victory, QCGN Recommends Quebec Government Renounce Upheaval of English School Boards

Montreal, September 18, 2020 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is heartened that the province’s highest court upheld a Superior Court stay of proceedings placing the provincial government’s controversial education reform on ice pending a court ruling on the constitutionality of the transformation. The QCGN strongly recommends the Legault government forgo an appeal of the Court of Appeal’s robust ruling, and that it abandons its unworkable plan to strip the English-speaking minority community of its right to manage its school boards. Read more