Census: Quebec Community Groups Network supports FCFA in its judicial measures to prevent Census change

The Quebec Community Groups Network is entirely behind the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) du Canada in its endeavour to get the federal government to reverse its decision to scrap the mandatory long form census. The FCFA has filed an application with the Federal Court for judicial review of the government’s decision. The FCFA, which represents Francophone minority communities outside Quebec, maintains that the decision to replace the long-form census questionnaire with a new, voluntary National Household Survey is an infringement of their Charter rights because the government relies on the language data from the mandatory long form census to determine which federal offices in various regions will offer services and communications in both official languages. Information about people’s mother tongue, language spoken in the home and knowledge of both official languages are all used in determining what services will be available where.  Full version…

The QCGN files complaint with Commissioner of Official Languages over the Canadian government’s decision to scrap mandatory census long form

Dismayed by the Federal Government’s decision to make completion of the long form in the 2011 National Census voluntary, the Quebec Community Groups Network this week filed an official complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, asking him to use his powers to investigate.  QCGN President Linda Leith said that information collected during the Census and collated by Statistics Canada, is key data upon which evidence-based policy is developed. “Evidenced-based policy allows community groups like the Quebec Community Groups Network, which support the English-speaking Community of Quebec, to work with the Government of Canada to enhance the vitality of the English linguistic minority communities in Canada,” Leith explained.  Full version… 

To read the QCGN letter to the Commissioner’s office, click here. 

QCGN opposed to changes in Census data collection

The Quebec Community Groups Network is opposed to plans by the federal government to do away with the mandatory long Census form and replace it with a voluntary national household survey.  Our Network, which represents 36 English-language groups in Quebec, is concerned this change will make it more difficult to obtain reliable, detailed information that is essential to our work.  QCGN president Linda Leith, who has written to Industry Minister Tony Clement to express our concerns, notes that the Census is a critical source of evidence that supports our work on behalf of English-speaking Quebec and that making the completion of the long form voluntary will undermine the credibility of the data collected. “Decisions and actions that affect the legitimacy and consistency of this irreproachable data source are of great concern to the QCGN and the English-speaking Community of Quebec,” Leith noted.  Full version…

QCGN launches call for nominations for the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award

The Quebec Community Groups Network is seeking individuals who have made significant contributions to the vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec for the 2010 edition of the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award.  Launched during the kick off of the QCGN’s 15th anniversary celebrations last fall, the Award was instituted to honour individuals like Dr. Victor and Mrs. Sheila Goldbloom who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the vitality and understanding of English-speaking Quebec.  Full version..

AGM Wrap Up

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), which gathered in Quebec City this past weekend, honoured the founding fathers of the organization, Hugh Maynard and Martin Murphy, and elected its first woman president, literary festival organizer Linda Leith, founder of Blue Metropolis Foundation. Dr. Victor Goldbloom was also on hand for the official launch of the call for nominations for the 2010 Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award.  The get-together, which crowned the organization’s 15th anniversary, included a panel discussion during which Network leaders talked about where Quebec’s English-speaking community sees itself 15 years from now. The discussion launched a wider consultation process which will culminate in a community conference in the fall of 2011 that will help our Network set a clear path forward towards ensuring the continued vitality of English-speaking Quebec.   “At the end of our first 15 years, we are about to start a new chapter in the history of the QCGN and of the history of the English-speaking community of Quebec,” said Leith, who is a writer. “I look forward to working on this new chapter together with you. What we’re working on is not a novel. It’s a work of creative non-fiction, grounded in reality, fired by the imagination. The collective imagination, as is appropriate for a collaborative work. It will take a lot of brainstorming, a lot of work, and a lot of input from all of you.” 

Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) launch Canadian Diversity issue exploring Deep Diversity of English-speaking Quebec

The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased to launch the fruit of a major collaboration with the Association for Canadian Studies as well as a handful  of dedicated community leaders, activists and researchers.  This special issue of Canadian Diversity is a follow-up to a two-part symposium entitled “Exploring Diversity in English-Speaking Quebec” organized by the QCGN, ACS and Concordia University’s Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network, better known as QUESCREN. The symposium, magazine and a research project on whether the English-speaking communities outside of Montreal can help to attract and retain immigrants to their regions, received some $63,000 in funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  “This publication demonstrates that there has been some significant thinking within our Network and within our community about our diversity from the perspectives of health, arts, history, heritage, education and employment,” said Robert Donnelly, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. Full version…

QCGN wants Official Languages Act protected and preserved

The Quebec Community Groups Network shares many of the concerns expressed by the Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser in the first volume of his annual report (http://www.officiallanguages.gc.ca/) released Tuesday.  In his report entitled Beyond Obligations, Commissioner Fraser spoke about the importance of leadership in promoting linguistic duality and the values contained in the Official Languages Act.  “The most important thing is that the principles of the Official Languages Act are respected and acted upon,” said QCGN President Robert Donnelly, noting the Network will be watching to see how the core values of linguistic duality are translated into a real commitment by government partners.  For example, Commissioner Fraser noted his concerns about how funding delays have affected Official Language Minority Communities and he reaffirmed the responsibilities of federal institutions to the English-speaking communities of Quebec and to Francophone communities in the rest of the country. Full version…

English youth ask government to focus on community vitality and sustainabilty

English-speaking youths have a strong sense of attachment to Quebec and to the English-speaking community and they wish to remain in the province. To do so they require strong schools and strong communities. “English-speaking schools are critical in forming our identity,” said Nicola Johnston, co-chair of the Quebec Community Groups Network’s Youth Standing Committee. “They are also important centers of community.”  To remain in Quebec, and to make a meaningful contribution to our community and to society, English-speakers require adequate French-language skills to integrate into the job market, Ms. Johnston argued, noting that improving levels of bilingualism will produce fluently bilingual young people who are equipped with the skills they require to stay here. Read the full press release here.

QCGN appears before House of Commons Committee on Official Languages

For the second time in a month, the Quebec Community Groups Network appeared before the House of Commons Committee on Official Languages on Thursday morning. This time, QCGN President Robert Donnelly and Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge were there to discuss The Roadmap to Canada’s Linguistic Duality.

Click here to read Robert Donnelly’s remarks to the committee.

QCGN files complaint with Commissioner of Official Languages about Throne Speech Snub

Noting the absence of any reference to Quebec’s Official Language Minority Community in the Throne Speech, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) this week filed an official complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages expressing our dismay and concern about the omission.  QCGN President Robert Donnelly noted that the Throne Speech prioritized support for Francophone communities outside Quebec, but omitted any reference to that other official language minority in Canada – the English-speaking Community of Quebec. Full version of the press release here.

To read the QCGN’s reaction to the Throne Speech click here
For a copy of our letter to the Commissioner’s office, click here.