QCGN says Bill 96 creates ‘rights-free zone’

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has warned that if Bill 96 becomes law, it has the potential to create a “rights-free zone” in the province in the name of the protection of the use of French.
QCGN president Marlene Jennings made the statement during a bilingual virtual press conference on June 10. The QCGN has repeatedly raised concerns about the legislation since it was tabled in mid-May.

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Lametti taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to Bill 96

Asked about the issues highlighted last week by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) regarding the province’s proposed language reform, Bill 96, Canada’s Minister of Justice, David Lametti, shared that he plans to continue to study the bill carefully but generally downplayed worries.

“We’ll continue to watch the situation, but we’re comfortable to let the process move forward,” Lametti said, explaining that although he does have concerns about the way the bill makes use of the notwithstanding clause, he also considers the proposed legislation to be in a very early stage at this point.

“It’s early days. The bill hasn’t even been tabled in the National Assembly,” he observed. “We’ll see where the final wording of it lands.”

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Allison Hanes: For Legault, minority Quebecers are notwithstanding

Since winning power in 2018, Premier François Legault has become a much savvier leader, dialling down his divisive rhetoric from a few years back.

But that doesn’t mean he’s changed his stripes.

Now that he’s in charge, Legault is pretty much doing all the things he threatened to do when he was a raging populist, he’s just presenting it in a much more statesmanlike manner.

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Montrealers honoured for work preserving sacred Irish burial ground

For over a decade, a dedicated team of volunteers has fought tirelessly to preserve the burial ground of 6,000 Irish migrants who perished after their arrival in the 1800s.

At the time, 70,000 Irish refugees arrived in Montreal after leaving their homeland during the potato famine. Many died of typhus either on the boats or once they arrived.

The group’s hard work was recognized with the Richard Evans Award from the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network.

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English-rights group QCGN sounds the alarm over Quebec’s Bill 96

The Quebec Community Groups Network is seriously concerned about the impact of Bill 96 on Quebec’s English-speaking community and minorities in general. “We need to ask over and over and over: Why does protecting the French language require the blanket suspension of human rights? asks QCGN President Marlene Jennings.

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Quebec’s new language bill creates ‘charter-free zone,’ English rights group warns

The Quebec Community Groups Network says Bill 96 is wide-ranging, complex and represents a significant overhaul of Quebec’s legal order.

QCGN head Marlene Jennings told reporters today the bill seeks to modify 24 provincial statutes as well as the Constitution Act of 1867.

Jennings says the government’s pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause to shield the bill from certain constitutional challenges creates a “charter-free zone” involving a wide array of interactions between citizens and the province.

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Minorities risk being excluded by Quebec’s proposed language law, Anglo-rights group says

Wording by the Quebec government in its proposed amendment of the Canadian Constitution could exclude many from being defined as a Quebecer, according to an analysis of Bill 96 by the Quebec Community Groups Network.

The QCGN is an umbrella group made up of English-speaking community organizations. It says the proposed new language law would effectively make the province a “charter-free zone” because of its sweeping use of the notwithstanding clause.

Bill 96 was tabled by the Coalition Avenir Québec government May 13. Premier François Legault said he expects his majority government to pass it during the next session at the National Assembly.

QCGN president Marlene Jennings expressed concerns about the bill’s use of the notwithstanding clause when it was tabled.

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How will Bill 96 have implications for the English-speaking and minority communities in Quebec?

QCGN President Marlene Jennings discusses the implications of Bill 96 for Quebec’s English-speaking and minority communities with CJAD’s Elias Makos.

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Quebec’s new language bill creates ‘charter-free zone,’ English rights group warns

The Quebec Community Groups Network says Bill 96 is wide-ranging, complex and represents a significant overhaul of Quebec’s legal order.

QCGN head Marlene Jennings told reporters today the bill seeks to modify 24 provincial statutes as well as the Constitution Act of 1867.

Jennings says the government’s pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause to shield the bill from certain constitutional challenges creates a “charter-free zone” involving a wide array of interactions between citizens and the province.

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Bill 96: “direct” and “serious” consequences according to the QCGN

The adoption of Bill 96 on official languages can have an “unpredictable and far-reaching” judicial impact, says the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), an organization made up of several English-speaking groups.

“There seems to be a consensus among the population, particularity with French-speaking Quebecers, who say there is no need to worry about Bill 96. We do not agree,” says QCGN President Marlene Jennings.

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Hanes: The devil is in the details of Bill 96 — and they are alarming

Quebec anglophones were bracing for the worst when Quebec Premier François Legault tabled his long-awaited bill to beef up protection for the French language last month.

But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

As Quebec anglophones know after 45 years of language wars: the devil is often in the details. And after an exhaustive analysis of Bill 96, the Quebec Community Groups Network has detected some potentially explosive landmines buried within the draft law that could have profound implications — not only for English-speaking Quebecers, but for other minority groups, fundamental rights and freedoms, and the very bedrock of Canadian democracy.

“Bill 96 also calls for the most sweeping use of human rights overrides in the history of Quebec and Canada, ousting the application of both the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” says QCGN President Marlene Jennings.

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Bill 96: Protecting The French Language

Bill 96 is Quebec’s legislation which aims to make French the primary language of the province. Bill 96 would also declare Quebec ‘A Nation’—a move that would require opening up the Constitution. What could possibly go wrong?

Premier François Legault says the main reason for the need is the declining use of French in Quebec. Supporters of Bill 96 see it as essential because there is so much English in North America.

On the other side of the coin, is minority rights as anglophones in Quebec start to feel targeted. What has many concerned is Quebec’s plan to use the Notwithstanding clause to get what it wants. Constitutional law experts are at odds whether Quebec can unilaterally change the Constitution, which further muddies the water.

QCGN legal counsel Marion Sandilands discusses Bill 96’s impact on Canadian federalism and English language rights in Quebec with Warren Kinsella and Peter L. Biro.

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Polls reveal divisions over language rights

Non-francophones hold widely diverging views from French-speaking Quebecers on Bill 96, which aims to reinforce the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101).

A majority of anglophones and allophones also believe the debate over the proposed legislation will strain relations between the majority and minority communities.

“There is a reason for optimism here in that common cause could be built around opposition to the use of the notwithstanding clause,” says Marlene Jennings, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. “Quebecers take enormous pride in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the inclusive, open and tolerant society we have built together. When what the Quebec government is proposing becomes more widely understood, my belief is that opposition to the use of the notwithstanding clause will increase.”

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Des Anglo-Québécois inquiets face à la modernisation de la loi sur les langues officielles et au projet de loi 96

“It is no longer a question of modernizing the Official Languages ​​Act. We have returned to the negotiation of the partnership between French and English in Canada,” QCGN President Marlene Jennings says of Bill 96 before the Senate Committee of Official Languages.

Jennings comments that the Trudeau government is proposing to “territorialize language rights by crushing the vision of linguistic duality in our country.”

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L’offensive constitutionnelle du Québec divise le pays

Francophones and non-francophones are at odds over the Quebec government’s desire to amend the Constitution Act of 1867 to recognize the Quebec “nation” whose “official” and “common” language is French.

As many as 79.5% of francophones – but only 25.2% of non-francophones – “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that Quebec should be defined as a nation in the Canadian Constitution, according to a Leger poll commissioned by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) and the Association for Canadian Studies.

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