Posts

QCGN Cautiously Optimistic About Ottawa’s Plan to Overhaul the Official Languages Act

Montreal, February 19, 2021 – The Quebec Community Groups Network is pleased that Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly has reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s continued leadership on matters of official languages. At the same time, the QCGN calls on the federal government to address our community’s longstanding concerns about the provision of public services in English, as well as employment in federal institutions in Quebec.

Minister Joly’s reform document for official languages in Canada, French and English: towards substantive equality for official languages in Canada, released earlier today, captures important requests made by Quebec’s English-speaking community during the consultation process. Read more

Only French should have official status as a minority language in Canada: CAQ

French should be the only language given official minority status in Canada, the Quebec government says.

In document sent to the federal government representing Quebec’s vision of the Official Languages Act, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Sonia LeBel says French should be the only language recognized as needing to be protected and promoted across Canada, including Quebec.

Any modernization of the language act should take into consideration Quebec’s specific situation as the heart of the French language in North America, the document says, and Ottawa should thus think more of “equity than equality” in its future orientations.

Read more

Ottawa preparing new rules on the use of French in key sectors of the Quebec economy

Federal government being pressured by Quebec over use of French in federally regulated workplaces.

The federal government is planning to use an upcoming reform of the Official Languages Act to draft new rules on the use of French in federally regulated companies in Quebec, sources tell Radio-Canada.

The measures would form Ottawa’s response to growing pressure from the Quebec government to protect the rights of French-speaking workers in federally regulated sectors such as banking and telecommunications. As it stands, companies in these sectors do not fall under the federal Official Languages Act or Quebec’s Charter of the French Language.

Read more

Quebec’s English-speaking Community and Official Languages

On March 11, the Quebec Community Groups Network hosted a conference surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act. This important piece of legislation that sets out constitutional rights for minority language communities across Canada is often misunderstood by English-speaking Quebecers.

To help conference participants and our community take a deeper look at the Act we prepared a number of instructional materials including an infographic on Quebec’s English-speaking Communities and Official Languages as well a special issue of Canadian Diversity entitled Shifting Landscapes: English-speaking Quebec and the Official Languages Act. We also recommend ACS’s winter issues of Canadian Issues dedicated to the Official Languages Act entitled Linguistic Duality De jure and de facto.

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.

Read more

Official Languages, a “Record Skipping” for 50 years?

Marking the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Official Languages Act, Radio-Canada takes an in-depth look at the vitality of Canada’s linguistic minority communities. Many issues are on the table for Quebec’s English-speaking community, says Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. Among them, he adds, is the need for an administrative tribunal to give the Act additional teeth.

Read more (in French only)

Official languages: the necessary redesign

The Quebec Community Groups Network, and the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario met with the editorial board of Le Droit. This united front emphasizes the importance of modernizing the Official Languages Act for official minority language communities.

Read more: (in French only)

Alliance with Anglos of Quebec: The AFO missed the boat

Francophones in Ontario and Anglophones in Quebec should come together on pressing issues such as the modernization of the Official Languages Act and minority language education, but officializing the relationship goes too far, writes Sébastien Pierroz of ONfr.

Read more (In French)

QCGN Eager to Contribute to Hearings on Modernization of the Official Languages Act

Montreal, March 11, 2019The Quebec Community Groups Network looks forward to contributing to cross-country consultations by Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly on the modernization of the Official Languages Act, as Canadians celebrate the 50th anniversary of this pivotal law.

“The Official Languages Act is a lifeline for English-speaking Quebec,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. “It is the only law that protects the linguistic interests of English-speaking Quebecers as a community. Having said that, after 50 years, the Act is somewhat antiquated and is in serious need of an update. We are particularly keen that English-speaking Quebec participates in the forums and towns halls announced by the Minister today.  We must make sure that our voices are heard.”

Over the past few years, the QCGN and its Francophone counterparts across Canada have been actively involved in discussions on ways to modernize the Act, including at hearings by both the House of Commons and Senate committees on Official Languages. We now look forward to providing input to Minister Joly, who is responsible for drafting the government’s proposals to modernize the act. (Read our brief here.)

Read more

Frame of reference for the Vitality of Official-Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)

Canadian Heritage: Official Languages Support Programs (OLSP) – Support for the Community Sector

Developed by minority languages experts and community groups across Canada, Canadian Heritage’s Frame of Reference for the Vitality of Official-Language Minority Communities establishes a number of factors that are key to ensuring the vitality of minority language communities.

Download Frame of reference for the Vitality of Official-Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) (in PDF format)