CBC Montreal report on School Boards

CBC Montreal interviews Quebec Community Groups (QCGN) President Geoffrey Chambers and Quebec English School Board Association (QESBA) Executive Director Russell Copeman on Coalition Avenir Québec’s plan of abolishing school boards and replacing them with service centres.

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English community will fight on for school boards despite Legault’s warning

The English-speaking community has no intention of dropping its battle to protect the existing anglophone school board system.

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) — which includes almost 60 English-language community organizations across Quebec — said in a statement Friday it “has absolutely no intention” of heeding Premier François Legault’s advice to give up because they will lose in court.

“We disagree most emphatically,” QCGN president Geoffrey Chambers said in a statement. “The Supreme Court’s ruling in Mahe versus Alberta was crystal clear.

Quebecers protest Ford government’s cuts to French language services

Quebecers are among the thousands protesting in Ottawa against the Ontario government’s decision to cut French-language services.

The crowd includes members of Quebec’s Liberal party and leaders of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), a non-profit representing 56 English-language community organizations across Quebec.

“We want to send a solidarity message and to tell the government of Ontario that this public relations problem they created for themselves is not going to end until they fix the problem,” said QCGN president Geoffrey Chambers.

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QCGN honours community builders

Hundreds of thousands of bilingual students across Canada have three stay-at-home mothers from Montreal’s South Shore to thank for their education.

Murielle Parkes, Olga Melikoff and their late colleague Valerie Neale developed the first public school French Immersion program in Canada, in a kindergarten class in Saint-Lambert near Montreal in 1965. More than 50 years later, over 400,000 students across the country spend their school days in French Immersion.

The “mothers of French Immersion” were among four English-speaking community activists honoured by the Quebec Community Groups Network on Nov. 1 at the Saint James’s Club in downtown Montreal as part of the 10th annual QCGN Community Awards.

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Focus Montreal: Minority language rights

Geoffrey Chambers of the Quebec Community Groups Network joins Global News’ Andrea Howick to discuss how the cutting of French services in Ontario is touching all linguistic minorities.

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At the Hockey Jersey Summit, different colours, same team

Quebec hasn’t just abandoned the French-speaking minorities in the other provinces. It’s also betrayed them.

In a familiar ritual as Canadian as drunken curlers, the premiers of Quebec and Ontario exchanged jerseys for the cameras before their first meeting in Toronto this week.

From Quebec, the business-as-usual mood of the visuals looked surreal, considering that François Legault had been expected to deliver a stern message to Doug Ford.

This province’s politico-media class was in an uproar over the Ford government’s cancellation of what would have been Ontario’s first all-French university, and abolition of the office of advocate for public services in French.

There was no question, however, of postponing until a happier time the friendly public exchange of the Canadiens and Maple Leafs jerseys personalized with the recipient’s name and his number in the order of his province’s premiers.

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Cuts to Ontario francophones touch all linguistic minorities: Quebec group

MONTREAL — An organization representing Quebec anglophones says linguistic minorities across the country stand to lose from Ontario’s recent moves to cut funding to institutions serving francophones.

The head of the Quebec Community Groups Network, which represents more than 50 anglophone groups across the province, said the Ontario moves are “a step backwards” after years of gains.

Geoffrey Chambers, the network president, said the trend for linguistic minorities in Canada “had been to establish new and better services — just last year a francophone advisory council was put in place in Alberta, and we got our secretariat (in Quebec). The trend line had been good for quite a long time.”

Ontario was held up as a model for other minority linguistic groups in Canada with its French Language Services Act, an office of francophone affairs and a French language services commissioner to ensure rights are respected — a position Chambers would like to see in Quebec.

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Many Anglos side with Franco-Ontarians (FR)

TORONTO – Alors que la communauté franco-ontarienne organise sa riposte aux coupures de Doug Ford, des anglophones font savoir qu’ils partagent leur colère. Et ils comptent se joindre aux actions qui seront entreprises au cours des prochaines semaines avec la ferme intention de faire reculer le gouvernement ontarien.

Jeudi 15 novembre, aux alentours de 13h30, le gouvernement Ford annonçait l’élimination du Commissariat aux services en français et l’annulation du projet d’Université de l’Ontario français. L’organisme anglo-québécois Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) a été l’un des premiers à dénoncer ces coupures.

«Notre organisme regardait l’Ontario comme un modèle en ce qui a trait à la manière dont on devrait traiter une communauté linguistique minoritaire», a écrit l’organisme dans un communiqué.

Selon QCGN, la formule ontarienne se base sur trois piliers qui sont indissociables: «Une Loi sur les services en français, qui protège les droits des Franco-Ontariens. Un Office des Affaires francophones qui s’assure que des services en français sont offerts. Puis, un Commissaire aux services en français qui s’assure que ces droits sont respectés».

Selon le groupe, on ne peut pas s’en prendre à l’un d’eux sans provoquer de graves conséquences, ce qui le motive à prendre part au mouvement.

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Ontario’s decisions about Francophones : Caroline Mulroney breaks her silence (FR)

OTTAWA | La ministre déléguée aux Affaires francophones de l’Ontario, Caroline Mulroney, est finalement sortie de son mutisme vendredi, 24 heures après que son gouvernement eut annoncé la fin du projet d’université de langue française à Toronto et d’abolition du Commissariat aux services en français.

En entrevue à la caméra de Radio-Canada à Terre-Neuve où elle participait à une rencontre ministérielle, Mme Mulroney a indiqué que les droits des 600 000 francophones ontariens vont être protégés.

«Le travail que fait le Commissariat va toujours continuer, les droits linguistiques vont être protégés. Les Ontariens et les Ontariennes auront toujours un bureau indépendant du gouvernement pour porter plainte s’ils en ont. Il y aura un agent indépendant. L’ombudsman, comme présentement le commissaire, qui va pouvoir étudier ces plaintes et produire des rapports s’il le veut», a-t-elle dit.

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Quebec’s minority-language groups ‘outraged’ over Ontario’s plan to scrap French university

There is concern in Quebec for minority language rights after the Ontario government cancelled plans to build the province’s first francophone university.

The announcement was buried at the bottom of an economic update Doug Ford’s Ontario budget Thursday — the office of the French-language commissioner was abolished. So, too, was the plan to build the new French university in Toronto by 2020.

It’s a question of money, the government said.

“The deficit is real; our debt is real,” said Ontario Finance Minister Vid Fedeli.

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Legault’s support of Franco-Ontarians is essential, and encouraging

Under normal circumstances, Quebec Premier François Legault might have found a lot in common with Doug Ford, his Ontario counterpart, during their first tête-à-tête in Toronto Monday.

Both are businessmen-turned-politicians who have arrived in power by unseating long-entrenched Liberal governments. Both are fiscal conservatives with populist tendencies. Both have concerns about immigration. Both are at odds with Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on major priorities. Both have threatened in their brief tenures to use the notwithstanding clause should the courts stand in the way of their legislative agendas.

But looming large over a meeting between the next-door neighbours, which was supposed to focus on strengthening economic ties, was the Ford government’s unfortunate decision last week to sacrifice the rights of Franco-Ontarians in the name of clawing its way out of a financial hole. In an economic update, the Ontario government cancelled plans for a francophone university and axed the province’s French-language commissioner, absorbing its functions into the ombudsman’s office.

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The revision of history books upsets historians (FR)

Remplacement de « plusieurs images considérées comme stéréotypées », retrait d’un passage du Journal de Jacques Cartier, ajout « des conséquences négatives de l’invasion du territoire par les Français »… : les dizaines de modifications apportées au matériel didactique requis pour l’enseignement du cours d’Histoire du Québec et du Canada font sourciller les historiens Gilles Laporte et Denys Delâge — qui qualifient l’une d’elles d’« absurde » et d’« aberrante ».

Les deux membres du comité de révision scientifique de la première édition de Chroniques du Québec et du Canada : des origines à 1840(Pearson ERPI) — l’un des manuels dont le contenu a été modifié dans les derniers mois à la demande expresse du ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES) — déplorent le polissage du récit historique.

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Wave of solidarity with Franco-Ontarians

It was not just the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) of Canada who spoke up at the end of the day onThursday, flying to the rescue of Franco-Ontarians, after the announcement of the abolition of the Office of the Commissioner French-language services and the abandonment of the University of Ontario French project.

In the neighboring province, several Quebec media covered the news and the Premier, François Legault, made a comment to Radio-Canada.

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Is sovereignty dead?

With both the PQ and Bloc Québécois on the ropes, some are declaring that sovereignty is dead. We ask Montrealers from across the political spectrum to weigh in on the issue.

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QCGN to pay tribute to four remarkable community leaders Nov. 1

Four inspirational leaders of the English-speaking community are being celebrated by the Quebec Community Groups Network, with this year’s 10th anniversary of its Community Awards. Murielle Parkes and Olga Melikoff, known to many as the mothers of French immersion, and businessman John Rae are being honoured with QCGN’s 10th annual Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Community Service Award. Hayley Campbell has been chosen for the fourth annual Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award.

“The leadership, vision and other qualities provided by these award winners have provided an enduring positive impact across our Community of Communities,” QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers said. “As with every QCGN award winner, their individual dedication, persistence and hard work has served to sustain, strengthen and empower us all.”

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