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.

A journey from streetwise to sonnets : Poetry helps at-risk kids express themselves

The Gazette, By Peggy Curran

Fresh from the basketball court at Mountainview High, two youths are having trouble getting their heads around this sonnet business.
“Can I go wash my face? Man, sweat is like drying on my face.”
Montreal poet Larissa Andrusyshyn leads this workshop for troubled and at-risk kids, sponsored by the Quebec Writers’ Federation and the Centre for Literacy of Quebec, and she isn’t letting them off the hook that easily. Read more…

More French second language

Le Bulletin d’Aylmer

The Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ) and Canadian Parents for French – Quebec (CPF-Q) have thrown their support behind the Western Quebec School Board’s recommendation for an increase in minutes of use of French second-language. […] A study of English-speaking youth in Quebec by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has concluded that these youth see bilingualism as one of the keys to success in Quebec. Improved bilingualism is a powerful tool allowing Anglophones to participate more fully in Quebec’s society and economy. Shaun Peppy, head of RAWQ’s youth initiatives, says, “English-speaking youth are open to becoming funtionally bilingual; they need the tools to do so. The entire community must take on (this) responsibility”. Drawing on its recent consultations with youth, RAWQ and CPF-Q will begin creating informal opportunities for young people to improve ther French language skills outside of the school setting. Read more…

D’Arcy McGee students take French-speaking honours

The West Quebec Post

[…] Improved French skills are a key aspiration for Quebec’s anglophone youth as highlighted in the Quebec Community Groups Network’s recent study, “Creating Spaces”. Read more…

Du bilinguisme à la dualité

Le Droit, Pierre-André Doucet

D’emblée, le bilinguisme outille considérablement des communautés à surmonter l’hétérogénéité, notamment en permettant aux individus qui le pratiquent de s’imprégner de deux langues, en plus de deux cultures et conceptions du monde. D’ailleurs, par sa facilitation de l’acquisition d’une citoyenneté véritablement mondiale, il est encore plus pertinent dans un xxiesiècle globalisé. Le Canada doit délaisser le bilinguisme au profit de la dualité linguistique. Certes, les deux concepts se ressemblent beaucoup: pourtant, les débats houleux opposant présentement la Société des Acadiens du Nouveau-Brunswick à leur gouvernement provincial (la première craignant une «rebilinguisation» menaçant l’autonomie de la communauté francophone et acadienne, témoignent d’une différence notoire.[…] Read more…

Venerable Atwater Library is one of city’s cultural treasures

The Gazette,  By Mike Boone

“You can peruse sonnets of Browning before returning to Cabot Square to enjoy a sherry.” It is probably the only place in Montreal – indeed, the only place in Canada – where a photo of Irving Layton is displayed in proximity to one of Sir John A. Macdonald.Other than the likelihood that neither was a stranger to the enchantments of scotch, the poet and the prime minister would seem to have little in common. But there they are, hanging out, literally, from a mobile suspended above the entrance foyer of the Atwater Library. Read more…

Advice for anglos: Stay optimistic

The Gazette, by Jan Ravensbergen

Across English-speaking Quebec these days, “the optimists have the upper hand” over pessimists, Graham Fraser, Canada’s commissioner of official languages, said yesterday in Montreal. He was speaking to a group of more than 80 people to help fill gaps in knowledge among the anglophone community. Read more…

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.

Optimism on the rise, Quebec anglo told

The Gazette, by Jan Ravensbergen

MONTREAL – Within English-speaking Quebec these days, “the optimists have the upper hand,” Graham Fraser, Canada’s commissioner of official languages, said Friday […] He had departed from his prepared text to make the remarks about Sabia while speaking to a Montreal group linked with Concordia University and l’Université de Moncton. The group of more than 80 was celebrating the launch last October of the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network, a fledgling network to connect academic researchers across the province. Read more…