ENGLISH-SPEAKING QUEBECERS THE REAL WINNERS IN FIRST EVER TELEVISED ENGLISH LEADERS’ DEBATE By Geoffrey Chambers QCGN President The countdown to next Monday’s general election in Quebec has begun and the English electorate is being courted more than ever before. Last Monday’s first-ever English-language televised leaders debate was a watershed moment and evidence of a heightened […]
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Appearing six times a year, the Network News informs our partners and stakeholders as well as members of Quebec’s English-speaking community about the latest activities, news, and views of the Quebec Community Groups Network.
CRITICAL MONTHS AHEAD FOR QCGN AND ENGLISH-SPEAKING COMMUNITY
With Canadians scheduled to go to the polls September 20, the Quebec Community Groups Network is calling on all federal parties and candidates to commit to support the language rights of English-speaking Quebecers.
We are firmly opposed to the Government of Quebec’s pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause to suspend the fundamental freedoms, legal, and equality rights of ALL its citizens under Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec.
Less than six months ago, on Jan. 1, The Montreal Gazette published an op-ed by me predicting as 2020 drew to a close that English-speaking Quebecers were witnessing the relative language peace we had enjoyed for many years was going to fade.
Sadly, these predictions were fully and rapidly realized. As 2021 began, federal Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly promised to table a white paper as the basis for protecting and promoting French not only outside of Quebec, but also within. In Quebec City, Language Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette was ramping up to present legislation that would enforce and reinforce the Charter of the French Language.
QCGN MEETS WITH LANGUAGE MINISTER SIMON JOLIN-BARRETTE
Along with members of our Executive Committee Kevin Shaar, Eva Ludvig, Matt Aronson, and our Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge, I met with Simon Jolin-Barrette, Quebec’s minister Responsible for the French Language earlier this month. Minister Jolin-Barrette told our delegation that the government’s objective is not to take away rights from English-speaking Quebecers or divide the two language groups. He said his aim is to promote French while respecting the rights of our community.
MINISTER JOLY RELEASES VISION PAPER ON OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
February 19, Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly released her government’s plan to modernize the Official Languages Act in a reform paper titled English and French: Towards a substantive equality of official languages in Canada. The Quebec Community Groups Network was happy to see that Minister Joly reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s continued leadership on official languages.