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Minority language groups find “surprising level of consensus” in call for Official Languages Act renewal

Carrying on a process that has been happening in the background of federal and provincial political discussions for the last three years or so, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO), and the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB) have been on tour since the summer trying to get the modernization of Canada’s Official Languages Act to be a priority for the country’s next government.”The Official Languages Act really needs to be brought up to date,” said Geoffrey Chambers, President of the QCGN, in a group interview with The Record last week. Joined by Carol Jolin, President of the AFO, and Ali Chaisson, Executive Director of the SANB, the QCGN president echoed words previously related by Raymond Théberge, Canada’s Commissioner of Official Langauges, in saying that the 50 year old piece of legislation is long overdue for an overhaul.

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Minority language groups band together to demand language act revamp

The QCGN, the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario and the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick are teaming up to demand parties involved in the Oct. 21 federal election commit to strengthening the Official Languages Act by imposing stiffer sanctions on offenders.  “There’s a high degree of consensus on what should be done with the act. We would like that consensus converted into an undertaking by the parties in the election, and then an actual adoption of measures in the new parliament,” Geoffrey Chambers, president of the QCGN, told the Montreal Gazette in an editorial board interview on Thursday.

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Four Community Champions Honoured by QCGN – Work of Sen. Joan Fraser, Josh Freed, Martin Murphy, Joshua Arless to be celebrated

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MONTREAL, October 8, 2019 – Their fields of accomplishment vary widely, but four champions of Quebec’s English-speaking community being formally honoured with Community Leadership Awards by the Quebec Community Groups Network share important qualities in equal amounts: dedication and persistence.

Senator and longtime journalist Joan Fraser, commentator and humourist Josh Freed, and community advocate Martin Murphy have won QCGN’s 11th annual Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Community Service Award. Joshua Arless, a barrier-breaking school commissioner, has been chosen for the fifth annual Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award.

“Each leader chosen has in their own way added to the vitality of English-speaking Quebec in an exemplary fashion,” QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers said. “Each has taken an inspirational path that has helped advance our collective cause and move us toward the greater good.”

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The doggedness of the Anglophones

The “Bonjour-Hi” battle continues. Journal de Montréal columnist Denise Bombardier shares her thoughts on the greeting. QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers recently expressed the wish that Canadians be greeted in both official languages.

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Voters will be Greeted By a “Bonjour-Hello”

Voters turning up on October 21 will be greeted with a “bonjour-hello”, causing the Mouvement Quebec française (MQF) to speak out against Elections Canada. Quebec Community Groups Network president Geoffrey Chambers says that a welcome in both official languages is exactly what the English-speaking community supports.

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What Legault Says When He Thinks Non-Francophones Aren’t Listening

Montreal Gazette’s Don Macpherson looks back at the Coalition Avenir Québec’s first year in power and its ups and downs with the English-speaking community.

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Analysis: Pride and Pragmatism are Hallmarks of Legault’s First Year in Office

The Montreal Gazette’s political reporter Philip Authier reflects on key moments that have marked the Coalition Avenir Québec’s first year in power. There have been a series of initiatives, most notably the plan to abolish school boards and the implementation of Bill 21, have concerned the community at large commented QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers.

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Pride and Pragmatism are Hallmarks of Legault’s First Year in Office

Political reporter Philip Authier reflects on key moments that have marked the Coalition Avenir Québec’s first year in power. There have been a series of initiatives, most notably the plan to abolish school boards and the implementation of Bill 21, have concerned the community at large explained QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers.

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One year of Legault government: tense relations with minorities

From its plan to rehaul school boards to Bill 21, The Journal de Montréal analyzes the rising tensions between the Coalition Avenir Québec and minority groups, including the English-speaking community. Despite the tension, the government is willing to listen to community concerns, said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers.

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The Future of French Education in the Supreme Court

Supreme Court judges will hear from minority languages communities today in the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia case. While the case is about language education rights for French speakers in British Columbia, the QCGN is showing solidarity with Francophone minority organizations in calling for a broad and generous interpretation of Section 23 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. QCGN will be participating in the hearings, with President Geoffrey Chambers explaining that the goal “is to remind the court that this article concerns English-speaking and French-language minorities and explains why the management and control of minority language instruction is equally important in the context of Quebec.”

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