QCGN announces winners of Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Awards – Casper Bloom, Marjorie Goodfellow and Jack Jedwab to be honoured with new Community Service Award

The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased to announce the winners of the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Awards.  The first ever laureates have one thing in common – a lengthy and impressive record of community service.  The winners are lawyer and longtime promoter of equality and English rights Casper Bloom, Eastern Townships-based healthcare advocate Marjorie Goodfellow, and researcher Jack Jedwab, who has contributed immensely to our knowledge and understanding of English-speaking Quebec. Full version…

English-speaking Quebecers today launched a Plea to Save the CBC at a press conference in Montreal attended by a number of community leaders

English-speaking Quebecers in Montreal, and particularly those in the regions, are concerned about the latest round of cutbacks at CBC and Radio-Canada. They fear that deep cuts to news and programming at our public broadcaster will do irreparable harm to basic news services and programming. They also expressed concerns that the very existence of an institution that is dear to their hearts is threatened and, with that, the vitality of English-speaking communities in Quebec. “To survive, our communities need to be strong and visible” noted Robert Donnelly, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. “Coverage by the CBC is one of the factors that helps us maintain vitality in our communities, many of them far flung and with little or no access to private English broadcasters. Many English-speaking Quebecers are also listeners and viewers of Radio Canada, which sometimes talks about our communities and provides strong and effective coverage of the greater society in which we live.” Full version…

Developing Skills of Young Women in Rural Areas

The Regional Association of West Quebecers is taking part in a pilot project offered in three Quebec regions to develop the leadership skills of young English-speaking women in rural areas by supporting and training small groups as they carry out viable projects in their communities.  “Not only does the project give participants the opportunity to practice their new skills, but it also allows these women to create a real and meaningful experience as they make a difference in their communities,” commented project coordinator Lise Palmer.  This is a unique pilot project by the Quebec Community Groups Network in collaboration with the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci) and funded through Status of Women Canada’s Women’s Program.  West Quebecers is one of the regional partners.

The Quebec Community Groups Network launches the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award

This morning the Quebec Community Groups Network launched the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award which will recognize individuals who have contributed to strengthening the English-speaking community and to building bridges of understanding between Quebecers of different backgrounds.  QCGN president Robert Donnelly explained the Board of the Network decided to establish a prize for individuals who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the vitality and understanding of English-speaking Quebec and decided to name it in favour of two individuals who are models of the engaged citizen.

“For more than a half century, Dr. and Mrs Goldbloom have invested their talents and skills for the betterment of the community and inspired others through their outstanding contributions to the vitality and reputation of English-speaking Quebec,” said Robert Donnelly. To read the full version of the press release, click here. To get more details on the Award, please visit the “Goldbloom Award” page on this site.

Reaction to the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Annual Report

In his 2008-2009 Annual Report, the Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser reports that Quebec has the highest proportion of bilingual people in Canada and that more than one third (36 per cent) of Francophones and more than two thirds (69 per cent) of English-speakers stated in the last federal census that they speak both French and English. That percentage rises to 80 per cent among English-speaking Quebecers aged 18 to 34. “While that is good news, we wonder why so many of our English-speaking youth believe they do not speak it well enough to stay in Quebec. Unfortunately, the question of language skills is often one of perception and self-confidence,” said Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Director-General of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN). “Many youths are sufficiently bilingual, they just don’t know it.” Full version… 

To read the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Annual Report, click here.

Understanding Diversity in English-Speaking Montreal’s Forum a success

On May 22, 2009, the QCGN and its Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative (GMCDI) hosted a conference entitled “Understanding Diversity in English-Speaking Montreal” at Atwater Library. The conference was launched in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies and Concordia University’s Quebec English-Speaking Community Research Network (QUESCREN). We would like to thank all our partners and participants for this successful experience. To read the press release, click here.

Concordia launches English-Speaking Communities Research Network

Concordia University is pleased to announce today’s launch of the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN) in the presence of Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser. “This dynamic network will be an alliance that will allow distinct research to truly flourish in Quebec’s English-speaking communities. The evolving nature of these communities makes the need for a research network all the more critical,” said Fraser. For the press release, click here.

Anglos warm to new cultural funding

Organizations serving English-speaking Quebec say that a new national funding program for arts, culture and heritage has the potential to nurture a cultural renaissance among official language minority communities across the country. Full version…

QCGN appears before the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages

If the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality is to be truly effective for the English-speaking community of Quebec, investments here will require a high level of commitment by politicians and policy and program architects. That was among the messages the Quebec Community Groups Network delivered to Senators on March 23, 2009. QCGN President Robert Donnelly and Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages in Ottawa just after Senators heard from the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Heritage and Official Languages.  Donnelly also noted that federal institutions must find innovative ways of supporting our community. “While priorities apply nationally, policies can be adapted in such a way as to implement them differently in Quebec,” he said, noting there is a real appetite for change in the English-speaking community of Quebec.

Read the QCGN’s Brief to the Senate Committee here.

English-Speaking youth want to contribute fully to Quebec Society

Quebec’s English-speaking youth have a strong desire to remain in and contribute to Quebec, increase their level of bilingualism and feel a valued part of Quebec society. These are some the findings released today in Creating Spaces for Young Quebecers: Strategic Orientations for English-speaking Youth in Quebec, a report that articulates the challenges and priorities of English-speaking Quebecers ages 16-29. Full version…