Tag Archive for: Commissioner of Official Languages

Madeleine Meilleur withdraws as candidate for language commissioner

“Madeleine Meilleur has pulled out of the running for the job of Canada’s language commissioner, saying the controversy surrounding her candidacy has compromised her ability to do the job.”

Faced with increasingly difficult question about the process of her nomination, Madeleine Meilleur recused from her bid to the Official Languages post via a letter to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. Minister Joly expressed her deception for this turn of events.

Her lack of knowledge about the minority situation in Quebec was also questionable. Three complaints were filed to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and another was in the plan from the QCGN. The English-speaking group was surprised to learn from Meilleur’s lack of understanding.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette


Madeleine Meilleur takes herself out of the running for languages commissioner job

“Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly says her controversial pick for the position of official languages commissioner is withdrawing her candidacy.”

In a letter to the Minister, Madeleine Meilleur expressed regrets for the controversy surrounding her nominations, and also concluded that her ability to perform would have been compromised. Opposition Leader, Andrew Scheer, mentioned that such appointment embarrassed the current government.

Community groups from both minority languages in Canada welcomed Meilleur’s decision to back down. Vice president Geoffrey Chambers felt relieved of such conclusion, since the process itself was the problem. Starting it over again might lead to less disappointment if all parties are consulted, he added.

Read the article on CBC News website

Quebec anglos need to push for their rights: Official Languages Commissioner

“Quebec anglophones, like French-speakers elsewhere in Canada, need to be vigilant about ensuring their rights and needs are respected, says Canada’s outgoing Commissioner of Official Languages.”

The Montreal Gazette editorial board interviewed Graham Fraser as he concludes his 10-year mandate as Commissioner of Official Languages.

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Official languages, “yes sir”

“Il en faut, de l’acharnement, pour occuper le siège de commissaire aux langues officielles dans ce pays : la défense des droits linguistiques des minorités, en particulier les francophones hors Québec, exige une volonté à toute épreuve.”

As Graham Fraser leaves office, Marco Fortier reviews the ten-year legacy of the exiting Commissioner of Official Languages. On the subject, QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge mentions that linguistic rights are something that need to be used, to be kept alive. She thanks Graham for his last 10 years of service.

Read the article in Le Devoir

Minority report

By Melanie Scott, The Low Down to Hull and Back News

In an ideal world, minorities and citizens who don’t get heard wouldn’t need to be represented by organizations. We wouldn’t need a Status of Women department. Or Children’s Aid. Or the Canadian Council for Refugees. Or the Fédération des communautés Francophones et Acadienne du Canada.

We need these organizations to help ensure that the voices of everyone are considered when it comes to access to services and human rights.

Anyone who witnessed the mass escape-from-Montreal by the Anglo community in Montreal in 1976 will recall the outrage of those Anglos – especially the very privileged who had plenty of money to take with them. They were content with the Francophone community being a ‘minority’ (which is how that community was treated by many Anglophones). As long as the Anglo businesses were thriving, everything was just tickety-boo.

To read more…

An Office of Anglophone Affairs is needed now more than ever

Editorial, The Gazette

Quebec’s roughly 800,000 anglophones are used to being ignored by the government of the day.

When the Parti Québécois is power, anglophone rights are a low priority, to put it mildly. When the Liberals are in power, anglophones often feel taken for granted. Once their votes are counted and a handful of English-speaking ministers are named, they frequently feel their interests are forgotten, or sacrificed as a matter of political expediency.

With limited clout in Quebec City, anglophone Quebecers have instead poured their energies into institutions of vital importance to the community: hospitals and English school boards. Working from within these bastions of community control, they have long maintained a sense of self-determination, worked to protect their linguistic rights and thrived as a vibrant minority.

To read more…

Federal language commissioner supports English affairs office for Quebec

The Suburban News

D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum, along with fellow anglophone MNAs Geoff Kelley and Kathleen Weil, do not support Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser’s proposal that the Quebec government create an office of anglophone affairs, according to reports.

The office would better serve the 600,000-strong community, says Fraser, who met with the three anglophone MNAs and came away with the impression there was “no indication” such an office would be created by this government.

Anglo MNA defends Couillard government’s rejection of anglo affairs office

By CTV Montreal News

An anglophone MNA in the Couillard cabinet is defending a government decision not to create an office for anglophone affairs.

The recommendation, intended to serve Quebec’s anglo minority, was put forward to several anglophone MNAs by Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser during a meeting last September.

D’Arcy McGee MNA and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier David Birnbaum said they had a good discussion, but he and his colleagues decided against it.

To read more…

Anglo MNA defends stand on office for anglophones

By Angelica Montgomery, CJAD News

One of the only three anglophones sitting at the National Assembly says he’s oppossed to creating a provincial office for anglophone affairs, despite a renewed call from the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) and Canada’s official languages commissioner.

A similar office for francophones exists in Ontario to act as a point of service and a liason for that province’s linguistic minority.

But the MNA for D’Arcy McGee, David Birnbaum, says Quebec’s anglophone community is better served dealing directly with those in power.

To read more…

Federal institutions must properly support Quebec’s English-speaking seniors, says Graham Fraser

OTTAWA, November 19, 2013

Quebec’s English-speaking population has a faster rate of aging than its French-speaking population and, despite higher education levels among English-speaking seniors, nearly as many of them are living below the low-income cut-off as French-speaking seniors. These are the main findings of the study released today by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, entitled Enjoying Your Senior Years in Your Own Language, Culture and Community: Federal support from key institutions and a portrait of English-speaking seniors in Quebec

“I decided that a portrait of English-speaking seniors was needed, because there has been, until now, little data on their reality. For example, over half of English-speaking seniors are unilingual, and they face the challenge of finding professionals in their region who not only are able to serve them, but who also speak their language. These seniors find themselves in a vulnerable position, or depend on a family member when they need to get information or public health services, for example,” said Graham Fraser.

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