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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Cabinet Shuffle Blurs Roles and Could Delay Implementation of Action Plan for Official Languages

Montreal – July 18, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network congratulates Minister Mélanie Joly, who moves to Tourism, maintains the Official Languages file, and was assigned responsibility for La Francophonie. We also commend Pablo Rodriguez, the new Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. However, the QCGN is concerned that the cabinet shuffle blurs roles and may create confusion about who is responsible and accountable for Official Languages.

“The Government of Canada has just made a major commitment to Official Languages through its Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future, so we are rightfully concerned about ensuring clear lines of accountability related to the coordination of its implementation,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. He noted that official language organizations are worried the shuffle will impede the rollout of additional resources allocated for Official Languages through Canadian Heritage.

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QCGN Set to Champion English-speaking Quebecers

Montreal – June 16, 2018 – Galvanized following an upbeat two-day meeting, members of the Quebec Community Groups Network emerged energized and ready to defend Quebec’s English-speaking community on both the federal and provincial fronts.

On the federal front, the hot topic was the new Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future – Ottawa’s multi-million-dollar investment strategy to support official language minority communities, including English-speaking Quebec. The plan will provide an additional $57.37 million over five years to Canadian Heritage to boost core funding for official language minority organizations as well as a new dedicated fund of $5.3 million over five years for Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

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QCGN Applauds Priorities in Commissioner’s Annual Report

Montreal – June 12, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) applauds the priorities set forth in the Annual Report of Canada’s new Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge.

In his report released this morning, the Commissioner said he plans to keep a close watch on how the government coordinates and implements initiatives described in its Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future and work to ensure that official languages and linguistic duality continue to be a fundamentally Canadian value and a national priority.

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Future of English-speaking Quebecers is core element for Modernization of Official Languages Act

Ottawa –May 28, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) spoke up today as part of the Modernization of the Official Languages Act.

“The Act is a lifeline for English-speaking Quebec,” QCGN President Jim Shea told a hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages. “The Act is the only language rights legislation that protects the interests of English-speaking Quebecers as a community. It sets out quasi-constitutional rights for English-speaking Quebecers, including the right to access federal services in English, the representation of English-speakers in the federal public service, and those workers’ right to work in English.

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QCGN/Community pleased with funding from Secretariat

Montreal – April 23, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased that the new Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers is investing $950,000 in projects to support the vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

Kathleen Weil, the Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, announced the funding on Monday. The money will flow through Concordia and the Quebec English-speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), a collaborative network of researchers, stakeholders, educational and other institutions housed at Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs.

Some $350,000 will remain at QUESCREN to support research related to English-speaking communities and support outreach activities. These include the biennial forum of QUESCREN’s Inter-Level Educational Table titled “Minority Community Vitality through Education”, scheduled for the fall. A feasibility study that explores the possibility of establishing a Centre for Excellence in Social Economy will also be conducted in collaboration with Concordia’s partners.

The remaining $600,000 will be distributed to community partners including the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), which will receive $230,000 to develop and maintain expertise in public policy analysis and research in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

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Long Awaited Regulation Creating Provincial Access Committee a First Step in the Right Direction

Montreal – April 9, 2018 – In 1986 the right of English-speaking Quebecers to receive Health and Social Services was recognized in law by the government of Quebec. This right has been consistently respected by all governments of Quebec since that time.

In 2015, Bill 10 was enacted. It radically restructured the health and social services system. This necessitated revisiting mechanisms for ensuring access to health and social services in this new institutional environment. That included the regulation governing the Provincial Advisory Committee on the dispensing of health and social services in the English language.

Over the past three years, the Quebec Community Groups Network, in partnership with the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN), worked with Health Minister Gaétan Barrette and the government of Quebec to revise and update the regulation governing the advisory committee which is mandated it to advise the Minister of Health on the accessibility and quality of health and social services for English-speaking Quebecers.

“The QCGN today welcomes and expresses our support for the amended regulation adopted by Cabinet,” said Eric Maldoff, who heads the QCGN’s Health and Social Services Committee. The revamped regulation ensures that new members of the provincial access committee will be more representative of Quebec’s English-speaking community, said Maldoff. It also confers responsibility on the QCGN and the CHSSN for recruiting and proposing committee members to the Minister of Health.

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QCGN Welcomes New Federal Investments in English-speaking Quebec

Ottawa – March 28, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is looking forward to greater support from the federal government following the release of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in our Future.

The plan, which includes $500 million in new spending for Official Language Minority Communities, was unveiled in Ottawa Wednesday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. These measures bring the total investment to $2.7 billion – the largest-ever commitment to official languages.

“Over the past several years, English-speaking Quebec has invested a great deal of time communicating its needs to the federal government,” said QCGN President James Shea. “With the release of the Government of Canada’s Action Plan, it is clear we have been listened to.”

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