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QCGN Calls on Federal Parties and Candidates to Support the Language Rights of English-speaking Quebecers

MONTREAL, August 16, 2021 – With Canadians scheduled to go to the polls September 20, the Quebec Community Groups Network calls on all federal parties and candidates to commit to support the language rights of English-speaking Quebecers.

“We are opposed to the Government of Quebec’s pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause to suspend the fundamental freedoms, legal, and equality rights of its citizens under Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec,” commented QCGN President Marlene Jennings. “The Government of Quebec is proposing to create what we are calling a Charter-free zone that would make the National Assembly – not the courts – the arbiter of the balance between collective and individual rights and freedoms.”

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Des Anglo-Québécois inquiets face à la modernisation de la loi sur les langues officielles et au projet de loi 96

“It is no longer a question of modernizing the Official Languages ​​Act. We have returned to the negotiation of the partnership between French and English in Canada,” QCGN President Marlene Jennings says of Bill 96 before the Senate Committee of Official Languages.

Jennings comments that the Trudeau government is proposing to “territorialize language rights by crushing the vision of linguistic duality in our country.”

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You can sign up for a free webinar series to learn about your language rights in Quebec

If you’re a new or long-time Quebec resident and have ever wondered what exactly is the deal with your language rights in this province, a free webinar series hosted by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) might just be the thing for you.

Starting on Thursday, March 11, the first webinar in the series, “Language Rights and the English-speaking Community of Quebec,” will feature guest speaker Marion Sandilands, a lawyer who, according to the event description, participated in a “landmark” case involving minority language education rights.

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FEDERALLY REGULATED BUSINESSES AND THE NEW OFFICIAL LANGUAGES LANDSCAPE

In Quebec, language rights are provided to most workers under the Charter of the French Language. This differs for people who are employed by a federal institution, a Canadian Crown Corporation, or Air Canada. Their language rights are defined under the Official Languages Act (OLA).

However, the language rights of about 135,000 employees at an estimated 1,760 federally regulated private businesses in Quebec are not currently subject either the OLA or the Quebec Charter. This represents about 4.4 per cent of the province’s workforce.

So there is a ‘mischief’ in the law.

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Anglos must ensure their rights are respected

Fighting for the survival of its institutions is of key importance for the vitality of English-speaking Quebec, QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge said in an interview with CTV Montreal. Alliance Quebec founder Eric Maldoff said English-speaking Quebecers suffer from “benign neglect” on the part of government. Maldoff, Martin-Laforge and Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser contend Anglophones must get involved and fight for their rights. They also said the Quebec government needs to create a structure to look out for the interests of its minority language community.

Watch the interview with Alliance Quebec founder Eric Maldoff
Watch the CTV News follow-up story

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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Language rights should not be sacrificed

Editorial, The Gazette

Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser’s annual report is a barometer gauging the state of official bilingualism in Canada, and the latest edition indicates the situation got a little worse last year for French- and English-speaking minorities across the country.

Released this week, the report revealed that complaints rose slightly, with 476 filed in 2013-14 compared to 415 the previous year; the majority — 59 per cent — were related to the delivery of public services in both official languages; and 82 per cent came from francophones.

To read more…

Difficile d’être servi en anglais à la RAMQ

La Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec a une politique qui favorise à tout prix le français dans les communications avec sa clientèle. Au détriment de la sécurité des citoyens, selon certains groupes sociaux. La Presse dresse le portrait de pratiques qualifiées «d’intimidantes», par des anglophones de Montréal.
Lorsque Jasmine Papillon-Smith a appelé la Régie de l’assurance maladie (RAMQ) cette semaine, elle a été choquée du message d’accueil qu’elle a reçu. «La Régie vous informe qu’elle communique d’abord en français avec sa clientèle.» Un message qu’elle n’hésite pas à qualifier de tentative d’intimidation.
«Ça m’a frappée, c’était vraiment impoli. J’ai eu l’impression qu’on me disait que même si je suis malade, puisque je suis anglophone, je devrais attendre, qu’on ne veut pas me parler. C’est vraiment déplacé, insultant venant de la RAMQ qui offre des services essentiels», a souligné la jeune femme de 21 ans, étudiante à l’Université Concordia.
Depuis janvier 2012, la RAMQ a adopté une nouvelle politique linguistique en matière de service à la clientèle.
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LRSP unveils new website

The Language Rights Support Program (LRSP) launched its new website this week. Language and constitutional rights are complex. The new website aims to clarify legal information and make the  funding application process easier to follow and understand.

We encourage you to browse through their new website to find out more about your linguistic rights!

http://www.padl-lrsp.uottawa.ca

Keep centre bilingual: lobby

Rehab facility’s status concerns anglo group

The Gazette, Philip Authier

A Montreal rehabilitation centre should be allowed to retain its bilingual status even if it does not have the required numbers under the law, a group representing English-speakers across Quebec says.

“If they were being generous about an institution that already had status, why would they not continue to give the new institution status?” said Sylvia Martin-Laforge, executive director of the Quebec Community Groups Network. Read more…