(VIDEO) Marlene Jennings has taken on a new role. She joins Global’s Laura Casella to talk about her vision for the English-speaking communities across Quebec.
The president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is facing a challenge for his job in an election to be held on Nov. 5.
Geoffrey Chambers, who is completing his first two-year term as president of the Quebec anglophone lobby group, will be up against Marlene Jennings, the current QCGN treasurer and former Liberal MP for the Montreal riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
Marlene Jennings has an extensive career in public service as a member of the Quebec Police Commission, an elected Member of Parliament, and several community groups. She served as a Trustee for the English Montreal School Board and has recently been elected as President of the Quebec Community Groups Network.
“I grew up in the Jacques Cartier area of Longueuil, and enjoyed a lovely childhood. My parents had six children, and they fostered a two more; who they eventually adopted. We all learned at an early age to be organized – otherwise the house would have been chaotic. My mother used to say; ‘If each of you leaves a glass somewhere, pretty soon we’ll all be living in a mess.’ So it was out of necessity that I leaned to be organized.” That skill would enable Marlene to manage multiple tasks, and eventually enable her to earn her law degree while working full time.
December 6, 2020 – Marlene Jennings, a former Liberal MP, is working to unite English-speaking community members in her new role as president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).
QCGN, a non-profit linking 53 English-language community organizations across the province, was subject to a public rift among its members last fall. Several organizations opted out of the network after butting heads with former president Geoffrey Chambers. But Jennings is in now, and she plans to open up a dialogue with all QCGN members, including those lost last year. à
November 24, 2020 – The Coalition Avenir Québec government will soon make changes to Quebec’s French language charter. Simon Jolin-Barrette announced that he will table legislation to modify Bill 101 early in the new year. But as Gobal’s Raquel Fletcher reports, he has revealed few details of what that plan will actually look like, which is causing some anxiety in the English community. Read more
November 20, 2020 – For arts organizations, as indeed for all of us, 2020 has meant adapting on the fly. Read Quebec: Holiday Book Fest, a joint project of the Association of English-Language Publishers of Quebec and the Quebec Writers’ Federation, is a perfect case in point.
From its launch in 2015, the event initially known as the Holiday Pop-Up Book Fair was a grassroots success, its venues and writer lineups growing every year from intimate beginnings at the Atwater Library. The biggest challenge for organizers was how to keep pace with public demand for an event that quickly became a staple of the local holiday season for readers of English writing in Quebec. Read more
On Nov. 5, a few days after completing her tenure as trustee of the English Montreal School Board, Marlene Jennings took the mantle at the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) an umbrella organization of English-language groups across the province.
The 69 year-old Jennings was elected president in an online annual general meeting, defeating the long serving Geoffrey Chambers.
November 18, 2020 – (AUDIO) QCGN President Marlene Jennings was the guest on CBC Montreal’s Radio Noon with Shawn Apel Wednesday. A wide-ranging discussion covered school board elections during the pandemic, QCGN’s relationship with the Quebec government, and the future of the Network. Listen here
November 17, 2020 – We were six long-time friends who would gather regularly for breakfast at Barbie‘s in Dorval. COVID-19 not only put an end to the breakfasts, but sadly closed Barbie’s for good.
When we last met, there was one empty chair. Pat Rourke had left us some time before, after a prolonged battle with cancer. It was not quite the same without him. Read more
November 16, 2020 – Advocates for and officials at Quebec’s English-language school boards are sounding the alarm over the fast-approaching election date to fill any seats that weren’t filled by acclamation this fall.
The province quietly announced late Friday that those elections would be held on Dec. 19 and 20. They were originally scheduled for Nov. 1, but were rescheduled due to the onset of the province’s second wave of COVID-19. Read more
November 16, 2020 – Premier François Legault says he believes elections for Quebec’s English school boards can be conducted safely in December despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Legault said Monday that public health has fully endorsed the idea of allowing the vote to take place even if it said the opposite in October. Read more
November 14, 2020 – After postponing English school board elections on the advice of public health officials, the Quebec government has done an about-face and announced voting at some English boards will take place five days before Christmas.
Although most positions on the council of commissioners were filled by acclamation in October, the important positions of board chair need to be filled at the Lester B. Pearson and Sir Wilfrid Laurier school boards. Read more
November 14, 2020 – Quebec’s Ministry of Education decided English school board elections will go ahead despite previously postponing them due to COVID-19 health concerns.
The government originally postponed the November English school board elections back in October due to public health recommendations. Affected school boards were however informed Friday evening that despite the continuous rise and spread of the virus, the elections will take place Dec. 19-20, even in designated red zones that are on highest alert. Read more
November 14, 2020 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) is speaking out against the province for what it calls “disdain for the democratic process” following a surprise announcement that schoolboard elections will be held in December.
“Given the urgency of this communication we are, exceptionally, writing to you today in English,” wrote QESBA Dan Lamoureux in an open letter to Education Minister Jean Francois Roberge. Read more