The Quebec Community Groups Network, an umbrella group representing English-language community groups across the province, is standing by its track record as an advocacy group amid a wave of departures from unhappy member organizations.
The defection of nine member organizations from the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) speaks to the complicated job of representing anglophone interests in unsettling times, columnist Allison Hanes writes in The Montreal Gazette. Rising tensions break into open warfare, as the QCGN accuses the government of Premier François Legault of trying to sabotage its coalition and seeking to divide anglophones at a sensitive juncture.
Nine English-speaking community groups from across Quebec have resigned from the Quebec Community Groups Network last week, amid concerns over the organization’s approach and calls for its President to step down.
Nine member organizations have withdrawn from the Quebec Community Groups Network. “It’s a question of whether or not the community should speak forcefully in defence of its rights or should be more passive,” commented QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers, who noted the organizations that left are welcome back at any time.
Are you a young English speaker in Quebec who has had trouble finding and maintaining employment in your region? Do you have ideas on how to improve access to employment services and retention programs for English-speakers? If yes, then we want to hear from you! CBC Quebec, Canadian Heritage and the Quebec Community Groups Network are looking for creative and dynamic participants to work with community organizations during a two-day event in November. The goal? To identify innovative employment solutions for English-speaking young people in Quebec.
The leaders of Alliance for the Promotion of Public English-Language Education in Quebec (APPELE-Quebec criticize the Coalition Avenir Québec’s plans of abolishing school boards and express their concerns with the impact this could have on Quebec’s English-speaking community.
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With the government of Quebec tabling Bill 40, the framework for the proposed abolition of school boards, the three leaders of the Alliance for the Promotion of Public English-language Education in Quebec (APPELE-Quebec) maintain that many serious problems remain to be addressed. Geoffrey Kelley, Joan Fraser and Kevin Shaar emphasize that the bill, as it is currently constituted, will discourage community and volunteer involvement, muzzle our elected officials and increase the grip on our school system held by the education minister and ministry officials. “We will continue our analysis, and we encourage the government to allow for a full public policy debate.”
Carrying on a process that has been happening in the background of federal and provincial political discussions for the last three years or so, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO), and the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB) have been on tour since the summer trying to get the modernization of Canada’s Official Languages Act to be a priority for the country’s next government.”The Official Languages Act really needs to be brought up to date,” said Geoffrey Chambers, President of the QCGN, in a group interview with The Record last week. Joined by Carol Jolin, President of the AFO, and Ali Chaisson, Executive Director of the SANB, the QCGN president echoed words previously related by Raymond Théberge, Canada’s Commissioner of Official Langauges, in saying that the 50 year old piece of legislation is long overdue for an overhaul.
The QCGN, the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario and the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick are teaming up to demand parties involved in the Oct. 21 federal election commit to strengthening the Official Languages Act by imposing stiffer sanctions on offenders. “There’s a high degree of consensus on what should be done with the act. We would like that consensus converted into an undertaking by the parties in the election, and then an actual adoption of measures in the new parliament,” Geoffrey Chambers, president of the QCGN, told the Montreal Gazette in an editorial board interview on Thursday.
The “Bonjour-Hi” battle continues. Journal de Montréal columnist Denise Bombardier shares her thoughts on the greeting. QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers recently expressed the wish that Canadians be greeted in both official languages.
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Voters turning up on October 21 will be greeted with a “bonjour-hello”, causing the Mouvement Quebec française (MQF) to speak out against Elections Canada. Quebec Community Groups Network president Geoffrey Chambers says that a welcome in both official languages is exactly what the English-speaking community supports.
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Montreal Gazette’s Don Macpherson looks back at the Coalition Avenir Québec’s first year in power and its ups and downs with the English-speaking community.
The Montreal Gazette’s political reporter Philip Authier reflects on key moments that have marked the Coalition Avenir Québec’s first year in power. There have been a series of initiatives, most notably the plan to abolish school boards and the implementation of Bill 21, have concerned the community at large commented QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers.
As the federal election coincides with the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Official Languages Act, language- rights organizations such as the QCGN are lobbying for politicians to re-examine the Act, writes Professor Stéphanie Chouinard.
During a panel discussion on MAtv’s City Life on Coalition Avenir Québec’s first year in power, QCGN General Director Sylvia Martin-Laforge discusses the government’s public consultation tour with English-speaking Quebecers. The Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, Christopher Skeete, is also interviewed.