Posts

Trudeau should have answered in French and English (FR)

“Dans son rapport préliminaire d’enquête, dont #ONfr a obtenu copie, la commissaire aux langues officielles du Canada, Ghislaine Saikaley, juge fondées les plaintes à l’encontre du gouvernement de Justin Trudeau pour les manques observés en matière de langues officielles pendant la tournée pancanadienne du premier ministre.”

A preliminary report from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Language (OCOL) presents as its principal conclusion that the Prime minister Justin Trudeau should have talked in both official languages during his cross-Canada tour. According to the OCOL, when ministers and the Prime minister are transmitting informations concerning governmental programs as heads of federal institutions and departments they are not exempted from abide to the Official Languages Act.

The article follows with comments from François Choquette, critic for Official Languages in the New Democratic Party, who thinks the apologies presented to the Quebec Community Groups Network and the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario are not enough to right the wrongs.

Read the full article on the TFO website

Fight for your democracy, says NDP’s Tom Mulcair

“The leader of Canada’s New Democrats chuckled when asked for his thoughts about democracy in Canada.”

During the Young Quebecers Leading the way forum, Mike de Souza asked a few questions to NPD leader Thomas Mulcair, who was there to speak about politics and democracy to a crowd of young Quebecers.

Thomas Mulcair answered questions about the theme of the forum, Canada in 2067, but also about the state of today’s politics and Canada-U.S. relations.

Read the full article in the National Observer

Don Macpherson: What’s wrong with Quebec’s proposed new electoral map

“You can’t please everybody, as we are reminded every time Quebec’s electoral representation commission proposes to re-draw the boundaries of the 125 provincial ridings to reflect changes in the distribution of the population.”

In this opinion piece, Macpherson summarizes the debate surrounding Quebec’s new proposed electoral map saying Manon Massé is the loudest voice in the room since she will be the one losing a riding. However, the QCGN has also voiced their opinion to not lose Westmount.

He continues by saying Coderre’s claims that Montreal needs more seats in the Assembly is bogus, since it is over-represented, and lack representation mostly because of safe seats for most parties. With upcoming results, the final version of the map is bound to displease somebody, Macpherson ends.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette

Justin Trudeau was forced to apologize for answering in French (FR)

“Le Premier ministre canadien s’est formellement excusé d’avoir répondu en langue française à des questions qui lui avaient été posées en anglais, en janvier dernier alors qu’il était à Sherbrooke (Québec). Ses regrets font suite aux critiques de nombreux citoyens qui l’ont accusé de violer la loi sur le bilinguisme au Canada.”

Read the full article in Le Figaro.

Justin Trudeau conveys ‘sincere regrets’ for not answering in English

“In Valentine’s Day messages to Quebec anglophones, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed “sincere regrets” for refusing to answer questions in English last month”

The incident dates back to January when Justin Trudeau answered in French to questions asked to him in English. Since then, several complaints were filed to the Commissioner of Official Languages.

However, Trudeau wrote a letter to the Quebec Community Groups Network on February 14 where he recognizes his wrongs and understands the importance to speak to minority language communities in their own language. He also wrote and apologized to the Townshippers’ Association.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette

Lisée à la conquête des communautés culturelles (FR)

“L’ancien ministre de la métropole et responsable de la communauté anglophone sous le gouvernement Marois a appris sa leçon. Maintenant qu’il est le chef des forces souverainistes et qu’il a en main un rapport d’étape Repensez le PQ, Jean-François Lisée se lance à la conquête des communautés culturelles et anglophones du Québec.”

Saying he wants to attract more cultural communities to the Parti Québécois, Jean-François Lisée was visiting Dawson College to make a speech to English-speaking students. He acknowledges the misconnection with those communities since the last referendum and he tries to make amend.

The Quebec Community Groups Network welcomes this political move, but do not think the English-speaking communities it represents will become members in a second.

Read the full article on TVA Nouvelles

Quebec Liberals appoint anglophone liaison officer

The Liberal government has a new point person for Quebec’s English-speaking community. Gregory Kelley will serve as the province’s anglophone liaison officer. He formerly worked in the office of government House Leader Jean-Marc Fournier and is the son of Native Affairs Minister Geoff Kelley.

The Quebec Community Groups Network said it welcomes the appointment.

View the article on CTV Montreal

Premier admits he’s been out of touch with anglophones

“Seeing former Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau go to bat to protect English school boards this year, and the screaming headlines that followed, was “horrible” and proof there’s been a “loss of contact” with anglophones, said Premier Philippe Couillard during a sit-down interview with the Montreal Gazette’s political staff.”

In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is determined to right his wrongs with the English-speaking community. He mentions many solutions he came up following a meeting he had with the Quebec Community Groups Network back in November. Among those solutions, retaining youth in regions comes first.

You can read the article and watch the video in The Montreal Gazette

Brison’s review of Official Languages Act welcome

Letter published in The Hill Times, November 28, 2016 – 

By James Shea, QCGN President 

Canadians should welcome Treasury Board President Scott Brison’s recent announcement that the Government of Canada is embarking on a much-needed review of the regulations governing Canada’s Official Languages Act.

Although the review will focus on Part IV of the act—communications with and service to the public—all parts of the act are connected to achieve three goals: to ensure respect for English and French as the official languages of Canada; to support the development of Canada’s English and French linguistic minority communities; and, to advance the use of our two official languages within Canadian society.

English-speaking Quebecers know that the constitutional language rights that guarantee the vitality of their linguistic minority are the same as those of Canada’s French official language minority communities. Our communities are intrinsically linked. We either all succeed, or we all fail. Maintaining the national core value of linguistic duality, and the health and presence of both official languages from coast to coast to coast is the only guarantee of linguistic minority community survival.

The current definition used by the federal government to determine what points of service are obligated to provide Canadians assistance in French and English, and who belongs to an official language minority community, have not been reviewed for decades. In our experience, federal institutions and Crown corporations like the Business Development Bank of Canada, Service Canada, and Canada Post, who want to expand bilingual service, are hampered in doing so by the current definition.

Brison’s moratorium on bilingual service points reverting from bilingual to unilingual status is therefore both brave and progressive, and reinforces the current federal government’s commitment to enhancing the full enjoyment by all Canadians of their linguistic rights. The upcoming consultation process to determine a new definition is an opportunity to extend our understanding of official languages beyond outdated binary notions of French and English.

The Quebec Community Groups Network looks forward to participating in this important national discussion, and hopes that its outcome leads to a modern regulatory framework that ensures the Official Languages Act remains relevant and flexible, while preserving continuity of the federal government’s duty towards the linguistic rights of all Canadians.

The full letter is available online in the Hill Times (paid subscription only)

It’s time for a liaison office in Quebec City

“It has been an unexpectedly tumultuous couple of years for Quebec’s anglophone community.”

During an historic meeting with Premier Philippe Couillard last week a QCGN delegation had the opportunity to address the needs and priorities of Quebec’s English-speaking community with the highest level of government. In an editorial published online this morning, the Montreal Gazette states that the time is ripe to create a liaison office in Quebec City that would inform government policy and proactively head off the kind of collateral damage to English-speakers’ interests seen in recent legislation on health and education. This proposal, which had been promoted by outgoing Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser, has been the subject of ongoing debate within the QCGN.

Read the Montreal Gazette editorial.
View the press coverage about our historic meeting with the Premier
Read more about previous interventions on the subject from March 2016April 2016 and Feburary 2015.