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Quebec Community Groups Network: It’s time to update the Official Languages Act

The upcoming Throne Speech provides Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a golden opportunity to make good on a longstanding pledge – and take the final steps needed to modernize the Official Languages Act.

Time and circumstances have converged. As Parliament resumes later this month, consensus on how to update the Act has already been achieved.

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Opinion: Time for CAQ government to stop seeing anglos as a problem

By Geoffrey Chambers

The focus of most Quebecers remains the pandemic, a safe return of our children to school and the reopening of our economy. However, our government appears to have shifted its focus to language. And as it does so, it is once again minimizing the importance of the contributions to this province by Quebec’s English-speaking community.

Premier François Legault and his government recently asserted there is too much “English” in the hiring practices of Quebec businesses and municipalities. These comments were based on a two-year-old study. While French-language skills are essential, knowledge of English is an asset. Yet Legault repeatedly frames this as a problem.

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EMSB renounces $250,000 in federal funds for legal challenges

“It’s very improper for the ministry to implement policies and laws that compromise the community’s constitutional rights and for them to impede the community in verifying whether those constitutional rights have in fact been compromised,” said Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. “It’s possible we have a disagreement among good faith parties and that the courts have to decide, but in that case the courts really have to decide. For one of those parties to obstruct, impede or intimidate the other which has fewer resources is just not right.”

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Should English-speaking Quebecers Care About the Official Languages Act?

Geoffrey Chambers is president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, which brings together English-language community organizations across Quebec.

The English and French languages have been at the core of the Canadian experience for centuries. But only with the adoption of the Official Languages Act in 1969 did Canada establish its first national level policy respecting and promoting two official languages. Parliament acted at the urging of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, after it concluded our nation was going through its “greatest crisis in history.” The Act has since been strengthened to better protect and promote the two languages and create an obligation for the federal government to enhance the vitality of our English and French linguistic minority communities.

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Are You on the List?

QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers reacts to the rumored news the Coalition Avenir Québec could be working on a list defining what constitutes an “historical anglo,” saying the news is rattling English-speaking Quebecers and creating a sense of anxiety.

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Is this the end of public services in English?

QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers denounces coming changes in language rules announced by Minister responsible for French language, Simon Jolin-Barrette. Chambers says such modifications are discriminatory and will only divide French and English-speaking communities. 

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Disruption within the Quebec Community Groups Network

QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers sat down with Global Montreal’s Elysia Bryan Baynes to discuss the resignation of member organizations.

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Anglo lobby president accuses CAQ of ‘engineering’ defections

The Coalition Avenir Québec and the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers are contributing to internal strife with member organizations, said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers.

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A network of anglo organizations accuses Quebec of working to divide it

Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), president alleges that the Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, Christopher Skeete, encourages the network’s member organizations to leave or disavow their positions if they want to keep their part of public funding.

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Quebec anglophone group accuses government of working to undermine it

Geoffrey Chambers, President of The Quebec Community Groups Network, the umbrella organization representing English-speaking community groups in Quebec, accused the provincial government of trying to undermine the organization. Quebec Premier François Legault dismissed the allegations, as being “completely false.”

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