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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.”

Read article (In French only)

Factum of the Intervener Quebec Community groups Network

Read QCGN’s legal factum on the Supreme Court of Canada case of Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia, at

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QCGN Intervenes in B.C. School Board Case at Supreme Court of Canada

Winnipeg – September 25, 2019 – Section 23 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms –which guarantees minority language educational rights to French-speaking communities outside Quebec and to the English-speaking minority within Quebec – requires a generous and expansive interpretation that favours all official language minorities throughout Canada.

This is what the lawyerfor the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) will plead Thursday as the Supreme Court of Canada hears arguments in the case of Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia, at proceedings taking place in Winnipeg, Man.

“The QCGN is showing solidarity with Francophone minority organizations in calling for a broad and generous interpretation of Section 23,” QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers declared. “We aim to remind the court that this section applies to English-speaking as well as French-speaking minorities and explain why management and control of minority-language education is equally important in the Quebec context.”

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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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Surprise : English is an official language of Quebec

Quebec’s quiet certitudes were troubled on the morning of August 23 when the Québec Solidaire party published on its website the following sentence: “English is an official language of Quebec and Canada.” Horrors!

The consternation was compounded when the party’s co-spokesperson, Manon Massé, repeated the heresy, in English, in a tweet, and then, after launching the party’s election campaign that afternoon before the press, she replied, in French, to a reporter’s question: “Currently, because we are still in Canada, English is an official language in Quebec. What I’m saying is that Québec Solidaire is a sovereignist party, pro-independence, which, in its first mandate, will launch the process of Quebec’s independence and, in that Quebec, for Québec Solidaire, French is the official language.”

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Cabinet Shuffle Blurs Roles and Could Delay Implementation of Action Plan for Official Languages

Montreal – July 18, 2018 – The Quebec Community Groups Network congratulates Minister Mélanie Joly, who moves to Tourism, maintains the Official Languages file, and was assigned responsibility for La Francophonie. We also commend Pablo Rodriguez, the new Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. However, the QCGN is concerned that the cabinet shuffle blurs roles and may create confusion about who is responsible and accountable for Official Languages.

“The Government of Canada has just made a major commitment to Official Languages through its Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future, so we are rightfully concerned about ensuring clear lines of accountability related to the coordination of its implementation,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers. He noted that official language organizations are worried the shuffle will impede the rollout of additional resources allocated for Official Languages through Canadian Heritage.

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QCGN Set to Champion English-speaking Quebecers

Montreal – June 16, 2018 – Galvanized following an upbeat two-day meeting, members of the Quebec Community Groups Network emerged energized and ready to defend Quebec’s English-speaking community on both the federal and provincial fronts.

On the federal front, the hot topic was the new Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future – Ottawa’s multi-million-dollar investment strategy to support official language minority communities, including English-speaking Quebec. The plan will provide an additional $57.37 million over five years to Canadian Heritage to boost core funding for official language minority organizations as well as a new dedicated fund of $5.3 million over five years for Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

Click here to read full press release

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages 2017-2018 Annual Report

Click here to read the official 2017-2018 Annual Report from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

Official languages, “yes sir”

“Il en faut, de l’acharnement, pour occuper le siège de commissaire aux langues officielles dans ce pays : la défense des droits linguistiques des minorités, en particulier les francophones hors Québec, exige une volonté à toute épreuve.”

As Graham Fraser leaves office, Marco Fortier reviews the ten-year legacy of the exiting Commissioner of Official Languages. On the subject, QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge mentions that linguistic rights are something that need to be used, to be kept alive. She thanks Graham for his last 10 years of service.

Read the article in Le Devoir

Quebec raises ire of francophones in the rest of Canada

By Sue Montgomery, The Gazette

Francophones in the rest of the country are angry that Quebec failed to back them in their bid before the Supreme Court of Canada to win greater control over who can attend their schools.

The province, normally an obvious supporter both morally and financially for francophones outside its borders, disagreed with giving school boards greater leeway to admit students to French schools other than those allowed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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