Letters to the Sports Editor: Are ‘les buts’ worth more than ‘goals’?

The Montreal Gazette, letters to the Sports Editor

As a director of an organization that promotes French as a second language across Canada, I appreciated the information that you included in your article on Andrei Markov (Sports Editor’s Column, Aug. 1, “Markov should learn some French”). There are about 300,000 students in French immersion across Canada, many of those in provinces where you would not think that there would be an interest. We really have to thank the teachers who help to inspire students to learn a second or third language, especially in areas where it might not be commonly used. I find it hard to accept that we still have sterile debates in Canada over the value of two languages, while many countries around the world consider it normal to speak two, three or more languages. Recently during the World Cup, I read that South Africa recognizes 11 languages. Here we make a mountain out of what should be a molehill. Two languages (or more) are a door to the rest of the world.

Lawrence Depoe is Executive Director at Canadian Parents for French-Quebec

I, too, was upset when I read Richard Martineau’s column in Le Journal. I was upset by both Ted Bird’s blog and by Martineau. Most Quebecers, be they English or French, show much more openness toward members of the other official language. Unfortunately, they do not get the same amount of press. Almost two-thirds of Quebec anglos are bilingual, and that percentage is growing generation by generation. But while anglophones are apparently making a much greater effort at learning the language of the provincial majority, people like Bird make it look like the English-speaking community lacks respect, and the whole community suffers the backlash.

Rita Legault is Director  of Communications at the Quebec Community Groups Network

Read more…

Quebec language lobbies fight census change Lack of accurate data could adversely affect how services are provided, they argue

The Montreal Gazette, Monique Muise

MONTREAL – Several groups in Quebec have joined the chorus of voices condemning the federal government’s controversial decision to scrap the mandatory long-form census, saying the move could have serious consequences for organizations and individuals across the province.

At the forefront of the backlash is the Quebec Community Groups Network, which says the loss of data from the traditional long-form questionnaire will make it much more difficult for the government to pinpoint where Quebec’s English-speakers are concentrated, and thus allocate services accordingly.

“The services provided by government to the English-speaking minority in the province are determined, in large part, by their numbers,” Network president Linda Leith explained. Read more…

Elimination of census long form prompts QCGN complaint

Ken Schankler, The Chronicle-Telegraph

The federal government’s decision to discontinue mandatory completion of the long form in the Canada’s next census has drawn widespread opposition, provoking an investigation by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, a complaint from a high-profile Quebec organization, and even inspiring a song from a Toronto-based volunteer social services outfit.

The Quebec Community Groups Network last week filed an official complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, asking him to use his powers to investigate. Read more…

CBC interview with new elected President of the QCGN, Mrs. Linda Leith

With CBC Host Jacquie Czernin

To listen to the interview, click here.
To read Linda Leith’s bio and to learn more about the QCGN’s Board of Directors, click here.

QCGN seeks Community Service Award candidates

The Chronicle-Telegraph, Pierre Little

The Quebec Community Groups Network is seeking individuals who have made significant contributions to the vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec for the 2010 edition of the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award.

Launched during the kick off of the QCGN’s 15th anniversary celebrations last fall, the award was instituted to honour individuals like Dr. Victor and Mrs. Sheila Goldbloom who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the vitality and understanding of English-speaking Quebec. Read more…

QCGN launches call for nominations for the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom distinguished community service award

The Gaspe Spec

MONTREAL – The Quebec Community Groups Network is seeking individuals who have made sgnificant contributions to the vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec for the 2010 edition of the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award.

Launched during the kick off of the QCGN’s 15th anniversary celebrations last fall, the Award was instituted to honour individuals like Dr. Victor and Mrs. Sheila Goldbloom who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the vitality and understanding of English-speaking Quebec. Read more…

Fears of unity crisis, not anglo MNAs, swayed Charest

Don Macpherson, The Gazette 

On Friday afternoon, Premier Jean Charest assured an English-speaking reporter in Quebec City that he doesn’t take the support of anglophones for granted.  Really?  While Charest was giving this assurance, elsewhere in the provincial capital, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), composed of English-language community groups from across the province, was holding its two-day annual meeting.  The premier, with whom the QCGN hasn’t been able to get a meeting for six years, was invited. So were several of his cabinet ministers and the English-speaking members of the National Assembly, the latter all Liberals.  But even though all of them were already in town because the Assembly, the latter all Liberals.  Full version…

Francophone Quebecers still earn less than anglophones, Mouvement Montréal français claims

The Montreal Gazette, Monique Muise

MONTREAL – Francophone Quebecers are still making less than their anglophone counterparts, says a local French-language organization, despite recent reports that the reverse is true.

In a release issued Tuesday, the Mouvement Montréal français (MMF) claims the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) erred recently when it stated that francophones make more on average. Read more…

And another thing… Concise comments on some current topics

Editorial Page, The Gazette 

A calculated snub.  The Quebec Community Groups Network, meeting this weekend in Quebec City, has a strange problem. This loose federation of anglophone groups and institutions exists for mutual support while carefully avoiding almost any activity anyone could call political. The list of member groups shows the diversity: the Canadian-Italian Business & Professional Association, the Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders, the English-Language Arts Network, the English-Speaking Catholic Council, the Quebec Federation of Home & School Associations, the Townshippers’ Association, Youth Employment Services, and more, 32 in all. The QCGN is not a voice for anglo Quebec so much as a clearing-house for anglo organizations, a self-help group rather than a political unit. Full version…

Anglos struggle to get premier’s ear: Seeking input on bill 103. Quebec Community Groups Network taking less aggressive stance than Alliance did

Philip Authier, The Gazette 

They are not as lonely as the Maytag repairman, but the president of an umbrella group representing Quebec’s English-speaking community says anglos want more face time with the provincial government.  “We are going to be upping our requests,” said Robert Donnelly, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. “We need more dialogue with provincial governments than simply waiting for commissions. What we want is face-to-face (meetings).” Full version…

Youth push for anglo school funding

The Low Down

English-speaking youths have a strong sense of attachment to Quebec and to the English-speaking community and they wish to remain in the province. But to do so they require strong schools and strong communities.

”English-speaking schools are critical in forming our identity,” said Nicola Johnston, co-chair of the Quebec Community Groups Network’s Youth Standing Committee. ”They are also important centres of our community.” Read more…

Killing myths isn’t easy: Francophones’ perceptions of anglos haven’t kept up with the times

The Montreal Gazette, Henry Aubin

A reminder this week that Quebec francophones make more money than anglophones ought to help lay to rest the politically charged notion that anglos represent some kind of privileged über-class. But don’t count on it. Too often, stereotypes involving the nature of a linguistic group (or ethnic or religious group for that matter) are impervious to contradictory evidence.

The source in this case is unimpeachable: the 2006 census. It shows that the median income of Quebec francophones of working age is seven per cent higher than that of anglophones. Seven per cent is a decisive difference, and it represents a dramatic reversal from the early 1970s when anglos were on top by a large margin. Read more…

Linguistic Rights Support Program replaces Court Challenges Program

Sarah Rogers, Special to the Record (Sherbrooke)

A new support program has taken root to help promote and develop Canada’s French- and English-speaking minority communities.  With two official language groups sprinkled across the country, the newly-launched Language Rights Support Program aims to help those groups participate in every aspect of life in Canada – in their mother tongue.  Introduced in 2008, the Language Rights Support Program (LRSP) came on the heels of its predecessor, the former Court Challenges Program. When the latter was cancelled in 2006, the announcement was met with dissent from official language minorities across the country.  Full version…

The value of schools: Quebec English schools are key to protecting anglo culture and heritage

Robert Donnelly, QCGN President

Over the past few decades, Quebec’s English-speaking community has been under demographic stress. Signs of this are most apparent in primary and secondary education, where declining enrolment is attributed to an aging population, low birth-rates and a significant number of parents choosing to send their children to the French system. A full 21.4 per cent of children enrolled in French schools have English as their mother tongue and the vast majority of them could be attending English schools. Because resource allocation is based on enrolment, the English-school population is declining and schools are closing. What of the future? Where will parents send their children to school? How will our communities attract new families? Read more…


PQ report suggests Montreal becoming too English

The Canadian Press

An attempt by the Parti Quebecois to raise the alarm about a dramatic increase in English speakers in Quebec was met with skepticism Wednesday amid concerns the party was greasing statistics to suit its political ends.  Pierre Curzi, a PQ member of the legislature, began leaking copies earlier this week of a report compiled by his office that argues English is becoming more appealing than French in the Montreal area.  Full version…