QCGN Laments Loss of Some Network Members

MONTREAL, October 24, 2019 – The Quebec Community Groups Network was saddened and deeply disappointed to learn this week that nine member organizations have withdrawn from our Network.

“While these groups are active in regions that are home to fewer than three per cent of English-speaking Quebecers, these are important members of our official language minority community,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. “The QCGN, which has networks and stakeholders all across the province, will continue to advocate for and represent the interests of all English-speaking Quebecers.”

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QCGN Wants New Parliament to Ensure Respect for English and French as the Official Languages of Canada

MONTREAL, October 23, 2019 – Following this week’s election, the Quebec Community Groups Network is looking forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada and parliamentarians to ensure the delivery of a modern Act that reinforces the principle of the equality of status of English and French – particularly in all institutions subject to the Act.  

“Our community made its presence felt Monday night in key regions of the province,” said Geoffrey Chambers, president of the QCGN.  “We continue to enjoy a significant voice in federal elections, and we expect the concerns of our official language minority community to be represented and considered by all parties in the new Parliament.”

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Four Community Champions Honoured by QCGN – Work of Sen. Joan Fraser, Josh Freed, Martin Murphy, Joshua Arless to be celebrated

For immediate release

MONTREAL, October 8, 2019 – Their fields of accomplishment vary widely, but four champions of Quebec’s English-speaking community being formally honoured with Community Leadership Awards by the Quebec Community Groups Network share important qualities in equal amounts: dedication and persistence.

Senator and longtime journalist Joan Fraser, commentator and humourist Josh Freed, and community advocate Martin Murphy have won QCGN’s 11th annual Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Community Service Award. Joshua Arless, a barrier-breaking school commissioner, has been chosen for the fifth annual Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award.

“Each leader chosen has in their own way added to the vitality of English-speaking Quebec in an exemplary fashion,” QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers said. “Each has taken an inspirational path that has helped advance our collective cause and move us toward the greater good.”

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QCGN Intervenes in B.C. School Board Case at Supreme Court of Canada

Winnipeg – September 25, 2019 – Section 23 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms –which guarantees minority language educational rights to French-speaking communities outside Quebec and to the English-speaking minority within Quebec – requires a generous and expansive interpretation that favours all official language minorities throughout Canada.

This is what the lawyerfor the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) will plead Thursday as the Supreme Court of Canada hears arguments in the case of Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia, at proceedings taking place in Winnipeg, Man.

“The QCGN is showing solidarity with Francophone minority organizations in calling for a broad and generous interpretation of Section 23,” QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers declared. “We aim to remind the court that this section applies to English-speaking as well as French-speaking minorities and explain why management and control of minority-language education is equally important in the Quebec context.”

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English-speaking Quebecers show high levels of distrust with Coalition Avenir Québec government

Montreal, Sept. 20, 2019 – A recent poll concludes that a strong majority of English-speaking Quebecers have far greater trust in their own institutions than in the Quebec government to address the concerns of Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

When asked who they trust more to ensure English-language services are provided to the public, including services in health, education, and employment, only eight per cent responded that they trust the Quebec government. A total of 78 per cent responded that they place their trust in community organizations to provide them with services in their first language.

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Third civic engagement forum for Quebec’s English-speaking youth kicks off at Bishop’s University this weekend

On Saturday over fifty English-speaking youths between the ages of 18 and 26 from across Quebec will gather on the campus of Bishop’s University in the Eastern Townships for a week-long immersion into Quebec society.

The Forum’s program will provide the young people an opportunity to learn, share, inspire and be inspired. Participants will come together and meet with politicians, business leaders, civil servants, not-for-profit leaders, journalists and university professors to benefit from their perspectives on Quebec. Over the week, participants will develop position papers on legislative changes they want to see in Quebec which they will present to a mock Parliamentary Commission on Thursday.

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Bishop’s Forum bringing young leaders together

Sherbrooke, August 9, 2019 – Over the course of this coming week, Bishop’s University will be hosting the third edition of The Bishop’s Forum, an annual leadership conference for English-speaking youth from across the province. Set to take place from this Saturday, August 10, to Thursday August 15, the forum will bring together roughly 60 Quebecers aged 18 to 26 and immerse them in an environment of workshops, discussions, and activities meant to help support civic engagement and help young people in Quebec learn about how the systems that govern the province work.

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QCGN Expresses Serious Misgivings About Vague Government Consultation Plan

Montreal – July 26, 2019 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased the Coalition Avenir Québec government is planning to reach out to Quebec’s English-speaking community and looks forward to sitting down with the Premier’s parliamentary assistant for relations with English-speaking Quebecers to discuss the most appropriate process to address our community’s concerns. 

At a meeting with community health care groups in the Magdalen Islands this week, Premier François Legault’s representative for the English-speaking community, Christopher Skeete, announced a consultation tour this fall to develop an action plan focusing on the needs of the English-speaking community. In an earlier media interview, Skeete said he had put the QCGN front and centre in helping him plan the consultation.  

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Memorandum of Understanding between Acadians in New Brunswick, English-speaking Quebecers and Franco-Ontarians

Ottawa, July 2, 2019 – The Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB), the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) and the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) have signed a historic memorandum of understanding to protect and promote the language rights of official language minority communities. This partnership is the first of its kind in Canada.

Building on the strong support and solidarity expressed in recent months in the wake of government decisions and announcements that have sorely tested Canada’s official language minority communities, this memorandum of understanding will foster cooperation and bring the three partners closer together.

“Although the specifics of our situations may differ, our rights are fundamentally the same. Together, we will write the next chapter of language rights to ensure they are respected all across Canada,” said Carol Jolin, President of the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario.

The memorandum of understanding is intended to strengthen coordination between the three organizations, which represent more than 2.4 million people – nearly 90 per cent Canadians living in official language minority communities. The memorandum of understanding formalizes their desire to work together to make official languages an important issue during the next federal election campaign and to protect the language rights shared by the different provinces.

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QCGN wraps up 24th Annual General Meeting Prepared to Face Government Threats

Montreal – June 17, 2019 – The Quebec Community Groups Network concluded its two-day Annual General Meeting Saturday united and ready to contend with an unfriendly Coalition Avenir Québec government jeopardizing the fundamental rights of our minority community.

“The Government’s agenda represents an attack on our community’s rights on various fronts,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. Among them, he noted, is the threatened abolition of our democratically elected school boards; legislation forbidding many minority members from wearing religious symbols at work; and imposing various obstacles that impede our access to health and social services in our language.

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