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QCGN wraps up 24th Annual General Meeting Prepared to Face Government Threats

Montreal – June 17, 2019 – The Quebec Community Groups Network concluded its two-day Annual General Meeting Saturday united and ready to contend with an unfriendly Coalition Avenir Québec government jeopardizing the fundamental rights of our minority community.

“The Government’s agenda represents an attack on our community’s rights on various fronts,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. Among them, he noted, is the threatened abolition of our democratically elected school boards; legislation forbidding many minority members from wearing religious symbols at work; and imposing various obstacles that impede our access to health and social services in our language.

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Poll shows English-speaking Quebecers are against Bill 21

QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers discusses with CTV Montreal the results of a Léger Marketing poll that show that majority of English-speaking Quebecers are against Bill 21.

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Data suggests Anglophone support for Bill 21 lower than CAQ says: QCGN

Global Montreal reports on a new poll that demonstrates a “clear majority” of English-speaking Quebecers believe the Coalition Avenir Québec’s proposed Bill 21 violates the Quebec Charter of Rights.

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Montreal Gazette: English-speaking Quebecers strongly against Bill 21, poll shows

A poll conducted by Léger Marketing that commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies and the Quebec Community Groups Network, “shatters” claims made by the Coalition Avenir Québec that English-speaking Quebecers support Bill 21, says QCGN president Geoffrey Chambers.

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English-speaking community disagrees profoundly with government on secularism bill

Montreal – May 23, 2019A clear majority of English-speaking Quebecers do not support restrictions on religious symbols worn by public officials. That conclusion stood out in a recent poll that surveyed Quebecers’ attitudes towards the Coalition Avenir Québec government’s proposed secularism bill.

An oversample of English-speaking Quebecers taken from an Association for Canadian Studies-Léger Marketing poll shows that a significant majority of Anglophones believes Bill 21 contravenes the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that the courts are the proper forum to determine whether it violates Quebecers’ basic civil rights.

“These numbers certainly shatter the government’s claim that many English-speaking Quebecers support the bill,” commented Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. “We are asking the government to reconsider adopting legislation that will create deep divisions in Quebec.”

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Anglo groups blast CAQ

A recent op-ed piece written by Quebec Community Groups Network President Geoffrey Chambers highlights how the relationship between English-speaking groups and the government has deteriorated. City News reporter Emily Campbell investigates the sources of this tension.

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Anglo Right’s Groups met Friday with Premier François Legault, What Happened at the Meeting?

Tiffany Callender, Executive Director of Côte-des-Neiges Black Community Centre and member of QCGN`s Priority Setting Steering Committee is interviewed by CJAD’s Natasha Hall to discuss how the first meeting with Premier François Legault went and the importance of consultation with English-speaking Quebec and visible minority communities.

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QCGN Calls on Premier Legault to Support English-speaking Community

Montreal – February 15, 2019 – Meeting with Premier François Legault on Friday for the first time since his election in October, the Quebec Community Groups Network called upon the Coalition Avenir Québec government to work in a collaborative environment to ensure a more vital and sustainable future for English-speaking Quebecers. 

In a cordial face-to-face meeting, QCGN representatives told Premier Legault, who is the Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers, that our community is concerned about the zealous application of the Charter of the French Language, including a demand to remove English signage in hospitals. Members of our diverse community are also deeply troubled over the proposed ban on religious symbols.

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English-rights group says Legault is wrong about Bill 101 and hospitals

An English rights group says Quebec Premier François Legault’s interpretation of how Bill 101 applies to hospitals is wrong and is calling for an immediate meeting with the premier.

On Thursday, Legault defended a regional health authority’s removal of English words from signs at the hospital in Lachute, approximately 60 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

The hospital began covering up English words in December after the Office québécois de la langue française said the hospital was not following Quebec’s language laws. The hospital offers services in English and French.

“I think that we have to follow the law, and they weren’t respecting the law. Bill 101 has to be respected. That’s what we’ll do,” Legault said. “As you know, anglophones will keep on having the right to have services in education and health care, so I don’t see the importance of having bilingual signs.”

But the Quebec Community Group’s Network, which represents 53 English-language community organizations, disagrees.

“It’s senseless to argue that you have access to health and social services in English if you do not know where the services are located,” Geoffrey Chambers, the president of the QCGN said in a release. “Not to have clear signage is an obstacle to services. If you cannot find the service, it is not available to you.”

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CAQ MNA promises action on Lachute hospital signage, walks back comments 17 hours later

Premier François Legault’s point man on relations with English-speaking Quebecers appears to have broken rank on Thursday night, saying he’s working privately to resolve a language dispute at the Lachute hospital.

MNA Christopher Skeete wrote on Twitter that he has been in contact with the health and culture ministers offices and suggested those concerned should “stay tuned.”

“The (premier) is correct that we must respect our laws, but healthcare is a different ball game,” Skeete said.

“Especially in areas like Lachute where we have a 17 per cent English-speaking population.”

Quebec’s language watchdog ordered the hospital last month to remove the English signs that say “emergency” and “parking” around the hospital, prompting outcry from local mayors.

Earlier Thursday, Legault said he would not protect the English signs, explaining that “Bill 101 must be protected.”

 

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