Ensuring the survival of English schools in Quebec is our duty

The Quebec government introduced legislation Friday that would radically change how our schools are governed. Whether the proposed modifications will pass an all-important constitutional litmus test remains to be seen.

Our English schools are institutions whose existence flows from the government of Quebec’s duty to provide eligible parents the ability to enjoy minority language educational rights defined in Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The purpose of these rights is to “preserve and promote the two official languages of Canada, and their respective cultures, by ensuring that each language flourishes, as much as possible, in provinces where it is not spoken by the majority of the population”… Read more

Bilingualism myths reinforced

By Dan Lamoureux, President, Quebec Community Groups Network, Montreal

It is with great dismay that we read the comments by lawyer Roger Lepage in this article regarding the Supreme Court decision on the Caron case. Lepage is quoted as saying that Canada protects the anglophone minority in Quebec, but not the francophone minority outside Quebec. The facts simply don’t back this up.

The Caron decision addressed Alberta’s obligation to enact, print and publish its laws and regulations in both French and English. The same question was asked in 1988 of Saskatchewan. Both cases dealt with provincial, not federal obligations.

Just a few weeks ago, the QCGN, along with the Montreal Bar, the Language Rights Support Program and the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages co-organized a conference where we discussed the importance of bilingualism for the evolution of Canadian laws and access to justice for both English and French-speaking official language minority communities… Read more

Division between French and English-speaking Montrealers: Does it still exist?

CityLife deals in an engaging and accessible way with the current events that affect English-speaking Montrealers. Hosted by Tina Tenneriello, the show delves into major issues and regularly updates viewers on the latest developments.

In this episode, aired November 18, the show talks about the division between French and English-speaking Montrealers and asks if still exist.

Watch the report

English institutions ask Philippe Couillard for more funding in open letter

MONTREAL – Eight institutions that represent anglophones in Quebec have sent an open letter to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, urging him to provide proper funding for education. The letter outlines a major concern with the erosion of the quality of public education in Quebec.

“English schools have a unique place in Quebec. They convey the rich heritage of our communities,” the letter states.

“In addition, they often receive francophone and allophone students, thus helping people from all backgrounds learn to live together.”

The groups said English students, particularly in the regions, do not always get the help they need because of sustained cuts to the education system.

Video: Global Montreal’s Senior Anchor Jamie Orchard speaks to Walter Duszara, QCGN Board of Directors Secretary

The full interview will air this weekend on Global Montreal’s Focus Montreal on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Letter to Premier Couillard: Support the vital role of English schools in Quebec

Premier Couillard,

We are organizations, institutions, parents and citizens who have a vested interest and desire to preserve a vital English community in Quebec. Like you, we are engaged in and committed to the development of our communities and Quebec as a whole.

We are concerned about the erosion of the quality of public education in our province. We see that students requiring educational and professional support do not always receive the necessary help to succeed due to sustained cuts to the education system. We also see that sustained cutbacks place a heavy burden on the school system… Read more

Pioneering agreement to strengthen English language culture

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the English Language Arts Network (ELAN), and the Quebec English-language Production Council (QEPC) have just signed a three-year co-operation and collaboration agreement that will help strengthen Quebec’s English-language audiovisual sector and culture, building on the NFB’s commitment to official-language minority communities across Canada… Read more

Quebec hospital ordered to take down bilingual signs

MONTREAL – A Quebec hospital that posted bilingual signs to help anglophone patients find their way around has been told the signs must be removed because they contravene Quebec’s language law.

After a visit of the Hotel-Dieu hospital in the town of Gaspé last summer, the Office québécois de la langue française, the province’s language watchdog, informed the regional health authority it had gone too far in permitting English…Read more

What the Quebec Community Groups Network seeks from the new federal government

Over the coming weeks and months, the Quebec Community Groups Network looks forward to establishing meaningful relationships with our new federal government, in particular with Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and the soon to be appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages. We aim to fulfill our role in communicating our community’s realities, needs and priorities and we invite Joly, her cabinet colleagues, and all of our new MPs to visit our communities — including those outside of Montreal — and get to know us better.

In partnership with the new government, the QCGN also looks forward to advancing the language rights of all Canadians and to enhancing the vitality of our English linguistic minority communities. More than 1 million Canadians are English-speaking Quebecers — the largest of Canada’s official language minority communities. Despite our relative size, far too many myths remain about our community, which is very diverse, largely bilingual, and comfortable integrating with Quebec’s French speaking majority: While we are worried about preserving our communities, the English language itself is not endangered… Read more

With Nostra Aetate, the impossible became possible

By Father John Walsh, special to Montreal Gazette

The Second Vatican Council’s watershed document Nostra Aetate (Our Time), whose 50th anniversary we are celebrating Wednesday, moved the Roman Catholic Church from a culture of confrontation into a culture of conversation.

The document built on earlier biblical scholarship by Roman Catholic exegetes who had gone beyond a literal interpretation of the sacred scriptures. The “Jews” mentioned in the Christian writings were not to be understood either as all the Jews at the time of Jesus, nor the Jews of all times. This view was given full support by Pius XII in Divino Afflante Spiritu — Inspired By The Divine Spirit (1943)… Read more

Opinion: English-speaking Quebecers and the federal election

The Quebec Community Groups Network posed five questions to the main parties vying for your votes in this federal election. They boiled down to this: Is your party committed to official-language policies and financial investments that support the strategic development of English-speaking Quebec?

We would like to thank the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party and the Green Party for taking the time to respond to our questions and we encourage community members to visit our website to see what the parties had to say… Read more