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QCGN supports Commissioner’s call to reinforce Part VII of Official Languages Act

Montreal, October 18, 2011 – The Quebec Community Groups Network supports a call from the Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser for the Government of Canada to comply with Part VII of the Official Languages Act to support the development of Official Language Minority Communities and to foster the full recognition and use of English and French in Canadian society.

In his 2010-2011 Annual Report released earlier today, Commissioner Fraser urges the Government to “send a clear signal to let Canadians know that full recognition of English and French in Canadian society is still an essential value” and to work to ensure that Federal stakeholders develop a “Part VII reflex”.

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QCGN Congratulates Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Election Win

Press release

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has congratulated Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his recent election victory and looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada to strengthen linguistic duality and support to the nearly 1 million Canadians who make up Canada’s English linguistic minority community.

“We at the Quebec Community Groups Network wish the Government of Canada all the very best during the upcoming mandate, and look forward to continuing our role in supporting your pledge to build an even stronger future and a more unified Canada,” QCGN President Linda Leith wrote in a congratulatory letter to Harper this week.

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Forum Participants Take First Steps to Creating Provincial Network of English-speaking Seniors

More than 100 seniors and representatives from institutions and community groups from across Quebec gathered in Montreal last week to take the first important steps towards the creation of a provincial network for English-speaking seniors. The forum, hosted by the Quebec Community Groups Network, was the result of a year and a half of work by a steering committee of 16 volunteers from across the province.

Participants determined that English-speaking seniors need their own Network, not a bilingual one where their specific needs would not be addresssed, said QCGN Seniors’ Project co-ordinator Valerie Glover-Droler. “They want to establish a province-wide network of English-speaking seniors, by English-speaking seniors, for English-speaking seniors,” she said, adding that more than two dozens seniors from the Gaspé to the Outaouais stepped forward to participate in the procees.

View pictures of the event at www.qcgn.ca/photos

Videos of parts of the Forum will be available online soon.

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Senate Report on English-Speaking Quebec, the first of its kind

The Chronicle-Telegraph, Amanda Halm

On March 9, 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages released a report on Anglophone life in the Province of Quebec, entitled ”The Vitality of English Speaking Community from Myth to Reality.” It is an extensive 100-page study that reviews community life, education, health and social services, media, economic development, and more. The report was two years in the making and the result of visits to Sherbrooke, Quebec and Montreal. The committee met with more than sixty witnesses (represented by more than 200 spokepersons) at public hearings to better understand life as an Anglophone minority within a Francophone population.

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English in Quebec needs protection: Senate Report

The West Island Chronicle, Sarah Leavitt

The Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages released its findings on its two-year study of English-speaking communities in Quebec and notes that the challenge lies, not in ensuring the survival of its language, but in ”ensuring the community’s survival and supporting its vitality in all regions of Quebec.”

headed by Senator maria Chaput of Manitoba and made up of various senators, including West Islander Judith Seidman, the study geban in the winter of 2009. More than 60 people were consulted in Ottawa, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Montreal where public hearings and informal meetings were held. The  study provides a socio-demographic profile of Quebec’s English-speaking population.

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Protect minority-anglo rights, Senate tells feds

Le Bulletin d’Aylmer, Julie Murray

According to a new report from the Senate Committee on Official Languages, the federal government is failing Quebec’s English-speaking minority and not living up to its obligations under the Official Languages Act. Based on public hearings and meetings in Ottawa and across Quebec, The Vitality of Quebec’s English-Speaking Communities: From Myth to Reality” concludes that Quebec anglophones don’t have adequate support from the federal government.

”The problem could stem from a lack of commitment to the English-speaking communities on the part of federal institutions within Quebec, a lack of consultations, absence of communications about existing federal programs, a poor fit between the policies of the province and the federal government, or a lack of transparency in the use of funds transferred from one government to the other,” says the report.

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West Quebecers study future of Anglo communities in West Quebec

The West Quebec Post, Lily Ryan

Directors of the Regional Association of West Quebecers consulted a selection of their membership, February 23, in preparation for RAWQ’s long-term strategic plan. Moderated by planning facilitator Susan Grundy, fifteen members met the board at the Western Quebec Career Centre. The plan will map out where RAWQ’s resources should be directed to best support the vitality of the English-speaking communities across the Outaouais.

Heather Stronach, the Association’s manager, launched the discuttion asking participants to look ahead a few years at the evolving Anglo community’s needs. Discussion centered around RAWQ’s assistance to anglophones as they navigate French-language governmental services, including hospitals, municipalities, and provincial agencies.

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QCGN President remarks to Part VII Forum, Office of the Commission of Official Languages

QCGN President Linda Leith, who participated in a discussion on Part VII of the Official Languages Act, stated that Canada’s two official languages must enjoy equality of status and equal rights and privileges in public life. She noted this goal can only be achieved by ensuring the vitality and sustainability of the English and French linguistic minority communities, in which the two languages and their unique cultures are nurtured and protected.

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Feds must do more for Quebec’s Anglo rights; Senate report

Sherbrooke Record, Corrinna Pole

The perception of Quebec’s English speaking population needs to change and the federal government must do more to promote and protect its rights determined a Senate report that was released Thursday.

The 129-page report of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, examined the various aspects of life for English speakers in the province, the challenges facing them and offered 16 recommendations to ensure their communities survival.

“We are trying to encourage people to make themselves and their problems known,” said Senator Maria Chaput who chaired the Committee. “(Anglophones) are a minority […] and we feel this report will give them the opportunity to say out loud what they need.” Read more…

QCGN grateful for the work done by the Senate Committee on Official Languages and for the English-speaking community’s participation

For immediate release

Ottawa, March 10, 2011 – Quebec’s English-speaking community is one of two Official Language Minority Communities in Canada, and the federal government must promote and protect its rights.  Those are among the key messages in a report released by the Senate Committee on Official Languages Thursday. 

The 100-page report states that ways must be found to ensure this minority can fully develop in a context in which its future is intertwined with the future of a Quebec majority population that sees the survival of the French language as a priority.

 After 28 days of hearings in 2009 and 2010, including a weeklong field trip to Quebec last fall with stops in Quebec City, the Eastern Townships and Montreal, the Senate Committee has completed its first-ever report dedicated solely to Quebec’s English-speaking Community. “The report presents an in-depth analysis of our community and its priorities, and for that we are grateful,” said Linda Leith, president of the Quebec, Community Groups Network (QCGN). Read more (pdf version)