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Minority communities want official languages to be an election issue

Organizations which represent the three largest official language minority communities in the country want their issues to be at the forefront during the upcoming federal elections. For the first time, the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO), the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), and the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB) have signed an agreement to work together.

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QCGN Congratulates Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Election Win

Press release

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has congratulated Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his recent election victory and looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada to strengthen linguistic duality and support to the nearly 1 million Canadians who make up Canada’s English linguistic minority community.

“We at the Quebec Community Groups Network wish the Government of Canada all the very best during the upcoming mandate, and look forward to continuing our role in supporting your pledge to build an even stronger future and a more unified Canada,” QCGN President Linda Leith wrote in a congratulatory letter to Harper this week.

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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?

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Federal Elections 2011: In a tight race, Anglophone votes count

The Sherbrooke Record, by Linda Leith

As Quebecers prepare to head to the polls on Monday, the Quebec Community Groups Network is questionning which party, which leaders, and which candidates will best represent the interests of the English-speaking community of Quebec in Ottawa.

”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,” said QCGN President Linda Leith. ”The Federal Government is not doing a good job, and we should be asking all candidates in this election why not.”

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Anglos must make themselves heard

The Montreal Gazette, by Linda Leith

Linda Leith is president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, a non-profit, non-partisan group that represents the interests of English-speaking Quebecers.

As Canadians prepare to head to the polls next Monday, the Quebec Community Groups Network is questioning which party, which leaders and which candidates will best represent the interests of the English-speaking community of Quebec in Ottawa.

The concerns of that community, a group with specific challenges in finding its place in Quebec and Canada, have been largely ignored during this campaign. But as the races in many Quebec ridings heat up, all parties should be eager to court the almost one million votes held by Canadians who constitute the English-speaking minority of this province. In a tight race, our votes count.

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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…

Federal Elections 2011: In a tight race, Anglophone votes count

As Quebecers prepare to head to the polls in a few short days, the Quebec Community Groups is questioning which party, which leaders, and which candidates will best represent the interests of the English-speaking community of Quebec in Ottawa.

“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,” said QCGN President Linda Leith. “The Federal Government is not doing a good job, and we should be asking all candidates in this election why not.”

Read more…

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