QCGN mourns loss of James Shea, educator and advocate for linguistic duality 

Montreal, December 30, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network was profoundly saddened to learn of the death this weekend of former QCGN President James Shea. Beloved throughout our Network, Jim was also the immediate past president of the Regional Association of West Quebecers.

“Jim was a fervent advocate for Quebec’s English-speaking community and an impassioned proponent of bilingualism,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. Jim led our Network during momentous times. Notably, he was serving at the helm when QCGN successfully advocated for increased support from the federal government’s Official Languages strategy as well as recognition from the provincial government that fostered creation of a Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers.

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English-speaking Community Will Not Abandon Schools Boards, QCGN Advises Premier

Montreal – December 14, 2018 – Quebec’s English-speaking community has absolutely no intention of heeding Premier François Legault’s advice that we abandon any plans to challenge the Coalition Avenir Quebec government’s scheme to abolish school boards and replace them with service centres.

Acknowledging that he and his Education Minister, Jean-François Roberge, have yet to discuss their plan with Quebec’s English-speaking community, the Premier told The Gazette yesterday that he is forging ahead with the controversial reform. Premier Legault dared to forecast that once service centres are in place, our community “will realize they lost nothing.”

“We disagree most emphatically,” the President of the Quebec Community Groups Network, Geoffrey Chambers, stated. “The Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in Mahe v. Alberta was crystal clear.  The Court ruled that minority language communities have the right to control and manage the educational facilities in which their children are taught, to both ensure and enable that our language and culture can flourish.”

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QCGN Denounces Cuts to French Language Services in Ontario

QCGN Denounces Cuts to French Language Services in Ontario

Montreal – November 15, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network condemns the decision by Ontario’s Conservative government to abolish the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner and cancel plans to create a new French-language university.

“The QCGN has looked to Ontario as a model for how an official language minority community should be treated,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers.

He said Ontario has provided an effective example for the rest of Canada: a French Language Services Act, which is intended to protect the rights of Franco-Ontarians; an Office of Francophone Affairs that ensures Franco-Ontarians receive government services in French so they can participate in the social, economic and political life of the province; as well as a French Language Services Commissioner to ensure those rights are respected.

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QCGN Celebrates English-speaking Quebecers at its Tenth Annual Community Awards

QCGN Fêtes 10th Anniversary of Community Awards 

By Bea Vongdouangchanh

The Quebec Community Groups Network celebrated the 10th anniversary of its community award program on Nov. 1, recognizing three community leaders and a young Quebecer who’ve made contributions to the English-speaking community in the province.

Olga Melikoff, Murielle Parkes and John Rae received the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award. The annual award celebrates individuals who, like the award’s namesakes, have dedicated their lives to ensuring English-speaking Quebec remains a vibrant community within Quebec and Canada. For many years Sheila and Victor Goldbloom invested their talents and skills for the betterment of the community and inspired others through their outstanding contributions.

The Young Quebecer Leading the Way Award, which is sponsored by Quebec Community Groups Network, the Fondation Notre Home Foundation and CBC Quebec, recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements of young English-speaking Quebecers who are engaged in innovative initiatives that create change in our communities. This year’s youth leadership award was presented to were pleased to 23-year-old Hayley Campbell from Shawville, Que.

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QCGN Looks Forward to Working Together with Premier François Legault and his new cabinet

QCGN Looks Forward to Working Together with Premier François Legault and his new cabinet

Our community also looks forward to working with Christopher Skeete, the new Parliamentary Assistant in charge of the Secretariat for Relations

Montreal – October 18, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network applauds Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault, who was sworn in as Quebec’s 32nd Premier on Thursday and looks forward to working with the new Premier and his new cabinet on key issues such as health and education.

QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers also extended the Network’s congratulations to Sainte-Rose MNA Christopher Skeete, who will be the voice of English-speaking Quebecers in Legault’s government. Switching to English halfway through his speech following the swearing-in ceremony, Premier Legault announced that Skeete will become Parliamentary Assistant in charge of the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers.

“We offer our assistance to Skeete and the new CAQ government so that they can better understand and represent the interests of English-speaking Quebecers across the province,” Chambers said, remarking that the QCGN has a variety of other immediate concerns, including the implementation of legislative guarantees that ensure access to health and social services and the future of English school boards.

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QCGN Congratulates François Legault and Coalition Avenir Québec

Montreal – October 1, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network congratulates Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault and his party for their victory in Monday’s provincial election.

“The QCGN, which met with CAQ candidates during the campaign, looks forward to working with our new government,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. “We have some concerns, but we are optimistic that we will be able to dialogue with our new government on a variety of issues including the future of our schools and health care.”

“We are pleased that Mr. Legault extended a hand to English-speaking Quebecers, promising to work for the benefit of all Quebecers,” Chambers said, noting that Legault said he wants to make Quebec stronger within Canada. “My government will be your government!” Legault vowed.

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ELAN Quebec thrilled with Government of Canada’s $7.5 million investment in arts and culture micro-grants for official language minority schools

Montreal – September 25, 2018 – ELAN Quebec is proud to support the Government of Canada’s new Community Cultural Action Micro-Grant Program for Minority Schools that will fund artistic and cultural activities in 1000 official language minority schools throughout the country.

“Providing students in Quebec schools with opportunities to explore their identity through the arts contributes to developing creativity and a sense of belonging,” said Christie Huff, ELAN’s ACE (Arts, Communities, Education) Initiative Project Manager.

The new micro-grants are made possible by an investment of up to $7.5 million over four years starting April 1, 2019, announced today by the honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. The investment falls under the Government of Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future. For complete press release:

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QCGN to Pay Tribute to Four Remarkable Community Leaders at 10th Anniversary Community Awards Gala

John Rae, Murielle Parkes & Olga Melikoff, and Hayley Campbell to be honoured.

MONTREAL, September 24, 2018 – Four inspirational leaders of the English-speaking community are being celebrated by the Quebec Community Groups Network, with this year’s 10th anniversary of its Community Awards. Murielle Parkes and Olga Melikoff, known to many as the mothers of French immersion, and businessman John Rae are being honoured with QCGN’s 10th annual Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Community Service Award. Hayley Campbell has been chosen for the fourth annual Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award.

“The leadership, vision and other qualities provided by these award winners have provided an enduring positive impact across our Community of Communities,” QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers said. “As with every QCGN award winner, their individual dedication, persistence and hard work has served to sustain, strengthen and empower us all.”

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Community-Based Process Results in Strong Watchdog Committee for English Health and Social Services

Montreal – August 14, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased with the appointment of 11 committed community leaders to the Provincial Committee for the Provision of Health and Social Services in the English Language.  The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon by Health Minister Gaétan Barrette and Kathleen Weil, the Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers.

These members were appointed following a new selection process outlined in amendments to the Provincial Regulation Respecting the Provincial Committee on the Dispensing of Health and Social Services in the English language, also known as the Provincial Access Committee. Candidates were recommended by the QCGN and the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN).

“We are pleased that this process led to a strong committee made up of English-speaking Quebecers who will be able to advocate forcefully in favour of the real and pressing need for English-speaking Quebecers to have proper access to health and social services in our own language,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers, who was vice-chair of the selection committee that reviewed applicants.

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QCGN Advocates a More Community-Driven Process for Provincial Funding

Montreal – August 14, 2018 – The government of Quebec has committed $6.9 million over three years in funding to community groups across the province, but the Quebec Community Groups Network would like other vulnerable communities and populations to eventually benefit from similar support. An additional $4.9 million is also being made available to support other organizations providing services to English-speaking Quebecers.

“The money is considerably less than what the community requires, but who can be against our community getting much needed funding to support English-speaking Quebecers?” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. “These are all deserving groups that are all doing excellent work in the community, but the allocation process was not transparent and the QCGN is concerned about how the remaining funds will be distributed.”

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