Posts

Electoral system makes it hard for anglos to be heard

By Sam Allison, Special to The Gazette, April 30, 2011

MONTREAL – A good deal of ink has been spilled on Canada’s inability to form a national government. Most commentators assume that Canadians are divided, and that the election results reflect those divisions. Curiously, few seem to have noticed that Canada’s electoral system is partly responsible for our inability to form majority governments. Federal ridings are partly based on the provinces, rather than upon the demographic patterns of the nation.

Quebec is the big winner in this system of division. It has 75 out of 308 federal seats. The province has 21 per cent of the Canadian population but 24 per cent of the seats in Parliament – important in a tied Parliament. In addition, within the province, the largest ridings are the English-speaking ones.

English Canada in general and English Quebec in particular punch below their electoral weights. In an Opinion piece in The Gazette April 28, Linda Leith wrote that “anglos must make themselves heard.” But how can this happen in a skewed electoral system designed to ensure that French Canada punches above its electoral weight?

Read more…



Federal Elections 2011: QCGN seeks commitments from Federal parties

The Equity
 
As Quebecers prepare to head to the polls on May 2, the Quebec Community Groups Network is asking federal parties, their leaders and their candidates in Quebec to make a firm commitment to fulfill the Federal Government’s duties to Quebec’s English-speaking communities.
The Goverment of Canda has an obligation under the Official Languages Act to enhance the vitality of the English-speaking Community of Quebec, to support our communities and to assist in their development. It also has the duty to ensure that Canadians can enjoy their Constitutional language rights. 
”As Federal leaders and Quebec candidates hit the campaign trail, the QCGN wants to ensure they understand their obligations and that they are willing to support and assist in the development of English-speaking communities with concrete measures” said QCGN president Linda Leith.

Federal Elections 2011: QCGN seeks commitments from Federal parties
As Quebecers prepare to head to the polls on May 2, the Quebec Community Groups Network is asking federal parties, their leaders and their candidates in Quebec to make a firm commitment to fulfill the Federal Government’s duties to Quebec’s English-speaking communities.
The Goverment of Canda has an obligation under the Official Languages Act to enhance the vitality of the English-speaking Community of Quebec, to support our communities and to assist in their development. It also has the duty to ensure that Canadians can enjoy their Constitutional language rights. 

”As Federal leaders and Quebec candidates hit the campaign trail, the QCGN wants to ensure they understand their obligations and that they are willing to support and assist in the development of English-speaking communities with concrete measures” said QCGN president Linda Leith.

Read more…

QCGN Questionnaire to party leaders: answers

On April 8, the QCGN sent a questionnaire to all major parties asking them what measures they would take to ensure the vitality and sustainability of the English-speaking communities of Quebec.

We will publish answers from the parties as we receive them.

 


 

Federal Elections 2011: QCGN Seeks Commitments From Federal Parties

For Immediate Release

Federal Elections 2011: QCGN Seeks Commitments From Federal Parties

Monday, April 11, 2011 – As Quebecers prepare to head to the polls on May 2, the Quebec Community Groups Network is asking federal parties, their leaders and their candidates in Quebec to make a firm commitment to fulfill the Federal Government’s duties to Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

The Government of Canada has an obligation under the Official Languages Act to enhance the vitality of the English-speaking Community of Quebec, to support our communities and to assist in their development. It also has the duty to ensure that Canadians can enjoy their Constitutional language rights.

“As Federal leaders and Quebec candidates hit the campaign trail, the QCGN wants to ensure they understand their obligations and that they are willing to support and assist in the development of English-speaking communities with concrete measures,” said QCGN president Linda Leith. “English-speaking Quebecers are not concerned about the survival of their language, but the vitality of their communities,” she added. “Our communities are under stress in all major indicators of vitality including education, economic opportunity, youth retention, senior care, access to health and social services, poverty and renewal.”

Those concerns were corroborated by a recent report by the Senate Committee on Official Languages. The report states that Quebec’s English-speaking Community is one of two Official Language Minority Communities in Canada and that the Federal Government has an obligation under the Official Languages Act and the Constitution to enhance the vitality of our communities. The Senators, who spoke to more than two dozen English community groups and numerous government and outside experts over a span of almost two years, concluded the Federal Government is not adequately meeting its responsibilities to enhance the vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking minority.

Leith said this federal election is particularly important to Quebec’s English-speaking Communities because work has begun on the Government of Canada’s next five-year strategy that sets priorities for Official Minority Language Communities. “It is therefore imperative that our community knows that federal leaders are listening to our concerns,” she said, noting the QCGN wants to ensure that English-speaking communities get access to a complete range of federal policies and programs that take into account the specific needs and challenges.

Last week, the QCGN forwarded a questionnaire to the main parties asking them to state what their parties plan to do for our community, said Leith, noting the QCGN will publish the results of the questionnaire on its website and will follow through once the election is over.

PDF Version of the Press Release

The Quebec Community Groups Network (www.qcgn.ca) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 36 English-language community organizations across Quebec. Its mission is to identify, explore and address strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of English-speaking Quebec and to encourage dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders.

For further information: Rita Legault, Director of Communications, rita.legault@qcgn.ca
Telephone: 514-868-9044, ext. 223, cellular: 514-912-6555

Request for Proposal (RFP) Consultant needed to develop QCGN Membership Policy

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is currently reviewing its membership policy. The ultimate goal of the exercise to produce a membership policy that aligns with the vision, mission and mandate of the organization (see /about-us/) as well as its governance structures. The initial step is to produce a discussion paper with potential options for review at a meeting of the membership on June 17.

The purpose of this RFP is to invite expressions of interest to support the membership subcommittee in defining potential options that would be appropriate for the QCGN and the English-speaking community. The consultant will prepare a discussion paper for distribution to the Board and the membership in the coming weeks, facilitating a discussion on June 17 that would lead to the adoption of an approach, and produce a summary of the decisions.

To download the full document, click on the link below.

Read more…

Senate Report on English-Speaking Quebec, the first of its kind

The Chronicle-Telegraph, Amanda Halm

On March 9, 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages released a report on Anglophone life in the Province of Quebec, entitled ”The Vitality of English Speaking Community from Myth to Reality.” It is an extensive 100-page study that reviews community life, education, health and social services, media, economic development, and more. The report was two years in the making and the result of visits to Sherbrooke, Quebec and Montreal. The committee met with more than sixty witnesses (represented by more than 200 spokepersons) at public hearings to better understand life as an Anglophone minority within a Francophone population.

Read more…

English in Quebec needs protection: Senate Report

The West Island Chronicle, Sarah Leavitt

The Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages released its findings on its two-year study of English-speaking communities in Quebec and notes that the challenge lies, not in ensuring the survival of its language, but in ”ensuring the community’s survival and supporting its vitality in all regions of Quebec.”

headed by Senator maria Chaput of Manitoba and made up of various senators, including West Islander Judith Seidman, the study geban in the winter of 2009. More than 60 people were consulted in Ottawa, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Montreal where public hearings and informal meetings were held. The  study provides a socio-demographic profile of Quebec’s English-speaking population.

Read more…

Protect minority-anglo rights, Senate tells feds

Le Bulletin d’Aylmer, Julie Murray

According to a new report from the Senate Committee on Official Languages, the federal government is failing Quebec’s English-speaking minority and not living up to its obligations under the Official Languages Act. Based on public hearings and meetings in Ottawa and across Quebec, The Vitality of Quebec’s English-Speaking Communities: From Myth to Reality” concludes that Quebec anglophones don’t have adequate support from the federal government.

”The problem could stem from a lack of commitment to the English-speaking communities on the part of federal institutions within Quebec, a lack of consultations, absence of communications about existing federal programs, a poor fit between the policies of the province and the federal government, or a lack of transparency in the use of funds transferred from one government to the other,” says the report.

Read more…

Equal rights for anglos

The National Post, March 14, 2011

On March 9, the Senate Committee on Official Languages criticized the federal failure to protect English language rights in Quebec. According to a new report: “Despite all the goodwill there may be on the ground, there are major disparities when it comes to access to schools, cultural products, heritage, training or jobs in English.”

The committee heard many stories last fall of discrimination in services. Examples included the failure to build an auditorium at Quebec City’s only English CEGEP, a situation the director testified “would not be tolerated at a single francophone college in Quebec City.” A leader of a Gaspé anglophone group decried the lack of English mental-health services. The committee’s chair, Senator Maria Chaput, described similar problems as a franco Manitoban. Ironically, to hear many Quebec francophones tell it, it is French that needs bolstering -and protection from English. Fead more…



Time to abandon myths about anglos in Quebec

The Gazette, Editorial page

It remains to be seen whether the report on Quebec’s English-speaking minority released last week by the Senate’s official languages committee will make much of a difference, but it is a noble and welcome effort in aid of a community that is more typically either disdained or taken for granted.

Nearly two years in the making and backed by fact-finding visits to the main anglo population centres in the province, the report calls on the federal government to do a better job protecting the rights of the anglophone population. There was a time when such a call could reasonably have been dismissed as superfluous – and some still believe that to be the case. But the anglo population isn’t what it was in its heyday, which has been over for some decades now. Read more…