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Opening Remarks to Committee on Culture and Education by the Quebec Community Groups Network

In a presentation to the general consultation and public hearings on Bill 14: An Act to amend the Charter of the French language, the Charter of human rights and freedoms and other legislative provisions the Quebec Community Groups Network expressed its strong opposition to the proposed legislation. The QCGN said the bill would do little to protect and promote the French language while introducing a whole series of new restrictions on our language that are unfair, unnecessary, and in many cases would have a detrimental effect on our already fragile communities.

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QCGN calls for productive dialogue with English-speaking community

Quebec City, April 11, 2013 – 

English-speaking Quebecers are opposed to Bill 14 and believe it should be scrapped. But that does not mean our community does not want to continue dialoging to bridge the gulf of misunderstanding that persists between the Government and its English-speaking minority. That was among the key messages the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) delivered to the Committee on Culture and Education that is studying Bill 14.

“More coercive measures will not promote or protect the French language,” said QCGN President Dan Lamoureux, noting that the government is once again failing to distinguish between English-speaking communities and the threat of English as a global language of commerce and mass culture.  “English-speaking Quebecers are not a threat.”

Lamoureux noted that, if passed, Bill 14 would restrict the right of municipalities and their citizens to decide how their own taxpayers will be served. It would revoke the right for French-speaking military personnel who may be transferred to other provinces to send their kids to English schools. It would place a greater burden on all small businesses – French and English – that will have impacts ranging from some enterprises deciding not to expand to others deciding to go to another province where the cost and irritants of doing business are less onerous.

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Opinion: Fellow anglos, don’t let Bill 14 get you down

The Gazette, Letters to the editor, Tim Thomas

As a former scholar and policy analyst, and as an anglophone who has lived in Montreal for more than 50 years, I have been struck by the resurgent themes on the Opinion page of The Gazette when it comes to Bill 14 and the language issue. Thoughts of Bill 22, St-Léonard in the 1970s, Bill 101, Alliance Quebec, the Equality Party, Howard Galganov and the partition movement have all flashed through my head.

“Here we go again,” I thought at first.

But then I realized that’s not really true, that Quebec is a much different place than it used to be.

The forces that have always driven the Quebec sovereignist movement — the desire for cultural preservation and the need for a nation-state — have been transformed dramatically by globalization. Increasingly, English has become a tool for global commerce and communication. Most forward-looking Quebecers realize this, and are telling their children that English is a necessary tool of advancement in the global economy.

The best way to live and prosper in French, then, is to nurture a healthy economy that is fully capable of dealing in English, but not threatened or overwhelmed by it.

Who knows, someday, having an English-speaking minority might even be perceived as an asset.

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QCGN Leaders Disappointed by CAQ’s Position on Bill 14

Montreal, March 8, 2013 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) and its members are disappointed that the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and its leader François Legault have decided to support parts of Bill 14.  Specifically, we are concerned that they intend to support amendments to the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms that could weaken protections against linguistic discrimination by influencing how courts interpret the rest of the Charter.

“After careful examination of the bill with our members and community stakeholders it is the position of the QCGN that Bill 14 must be defeated in its entirety,” said QCGN President Dan Lamoureux, noting that the Liberal Party has indicated they will not support the Bill. That leaves the balance of power on this issue in the hands of the CAQ and its 19 Members of the National Assembly. “In order to ensure the bill is defeated it is essential that the CAQ, or at least some of their members, vote against it.”

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Petition : Rejection of the proposed amendments to the Charter of the French language (Bill 14)

 

On February 11, the QCGN submitted its Brief to the National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education with regards to General consultation and public hearings on Bill 14: An Act to amend the Charter of the French language, the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and other legislative provisions. We now invite all Quebecers to join us in signing a Petition to reject the proposed amendments to the Charter of the French Language, aka Bill 14.
The QCGN is looking forward to testify before the Committee on Culture and Education sometime in March.

 

Advisory board tells Quebec to harden its language stance

The Gazette, Lynn Moore

MONTREAL — Rising levels of bilingualism in Quebec workplaces should be offset by tougher French language requirements for small businesses, an advisory body to the Quebec government says.

As it revamps the Charter of the French Language, the Parti Québécois government must adopt a hardline approach if French is to be the common language, the Conseil supérieur de la langue française said Wednesday.

[…]

Also advocating more conciliatory language laws is the Quebec Community Groups Network, a not-for-profit organization with 41 English-language community groups under its umbrella.

“We would rather see more cooperation and less coercion in achieving the goals of the Conseil,” network president Dan Lamoureux said.

Anglophones and new immigrants to Quebec “are all here because we believe in Quebec and we all want to be here, but it would be nice if both the government and the council recognized the fact,” he said.

“Proactive” measures such as free French courses would help as would assistance to small businesses “which don’t have the time or the money to deal with the increased red tape,” he said.

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PQ Language Bill Likely Won’t Pass

Giuseppe Valiante, QMI Agency (Sun News)

MONTREAL – Quebec’s second opposition party will likely ensure that the strictest parts of the Parti Quebecois’ language legislation will not pass, according to a leaked draft memo obtained by a Montreal news organization. The spokesman for the Coalition Avenir Quebec, Guillaume Simard-Leduc, confirmed to QMI Agency Wednesday morning that the leaked memo was real, but only a draft.

[…]

Dan Lamoureux, president of the anglophone-rights organization, Quebec Community Groups Network, said Wednesday he was relieved when he heard about the leaked memo. However, he said Bill 14 should be defeated in its entirety. “

(The bill) does not demonstrate to us as a community that we are valued,” he said.

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Chartre de la langue française: La CAQ va exiger des modifications au projet de loi

Louis Gagné, Agence QMI

Même si la Coalition avenir Québec ne fera connaître que mardi sa position à l’égard du projet de loi 14 visant à modifier la Charte de la langue française, on peut déjà prévoir que le parti n’appuiera pas la loi modificatrice telle qu’elle a été proposée par le gouvernement Marois.

Une lettre a été envoyée aux bureaux d’association des députés de la CAQ, a confirmé cette dernière.

[…]

Soulagement chez les anglophones

Le président du Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), Dan Lamoureux, s’est dit soulagé d’entendre que la CAQ allait s’opposer à plusieurs dispositions de la loi 14. Il a toutefois ajouté que le projet de loi devrait être rejeté dans son ensemble.

«Le projet de loi ne nous permet pas de nous sentir valorisés en tant que communauté», a dit le président du QCGN, un organisme voué au maintien de la vitalité de la langue anglaise au Québec.

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QCGN President interviewed on CBC regarding CAQ’s intentions towards Bill 14

QCGN President Dan Lamoureux reacted yesterday to the Coalition Avenir Québec’s leaked memo that mentioned that the party would oppose to most of Bill 14 provisions, but that it would possibly suggest changes to the bill. Lamoureux says that even though the CAQ is looking at proposing modifications to the bill, he maintains that Bill 14 should be defeated.

 

Le prochain psychodrame

Michel David, Le Devoir

Le ministre Pierre Duchesne racontait qu’il ne lisait plus sa revue de presse tellement les pronostics concernant le Sommet sur l’enseignement supérieur étaient d’un pessimisme déprimant. Force est de reconnaître que M. Duchesne, qui était devenu la cible privilégiée de l’opposition, s’en est bien tiré. 


Une autre ministre recrue sera sur la sellette au cours des prochaines semaines. Les « angryphones » ne casseront peut-être pas de vitrines, mais la ministre responsable de la Charte de la langue française, Diane de Courcy, aura fort à faire pour éviter que les audiences publiques sur le projet de loi 14 – la « nouvelle loi 101 » promise par le PQ – ne provoquent un autre psychodrame.

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