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Bill 96: English rights group decries draconian details

If the current draft of Bill 96 passes, language police can come into businesses without a warrant to search through phones, computers, and documents to ensure that communications are in French.

This was a main point of discussion during English language advocacy organization Quebec Community Groups Network’s conference on draft Bill 96 on June 21.

The network – QCGN – said the waves this bill will make in Quebec society and culture remain to be seen, but will be far-reaching. “Bill 96 calls for the most sweeping use of human rights overrides in the history of Quebec and Canada,” QCGN president Marlene Jennings said during the conference.

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Proposed Bill 101 Overhaul Disregards Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms

The Quebec Community Groups Network deeply regrets that proposed changes to the Charter of the French Language override fundamental human rights and will erode the vitality of our English-speaking minority community.

“The proposed legislative changes are more far-reaching than we could have ever imagined,” QCGN President Marlene Jennings said following a quick review of Bill 96: An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec.

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Marlene Jennings seeks to rekindle connections with English-speaking organizations

December 6, 2020 – Marlene Jennings, a former Liberal MP, is working to unite English-speaking community members in her new role as president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).

QCGN, a non-profit linking 53 English-language community organizations across the province, was subject to a public rift among its members last fall. Several organizations opted out of the network after butting heads with former president Geoffrey Chambers. But Jennings is in now, and she plans to open up a dialogue with all QCGN members, including those lost last year. à

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Anglos skeptical about CAQ plan to reinforce French Language Charter

November 25, 2020 – Members of Quebec’s English-speaking community have reacted with skepticism over promises by the Legault government to respect the rights of the minority in its overhaul of the French Language Charter. “We heard the same thing about Bill 40, and the Quebec English School Boards Association is in court now defending our constitutional right to manage our own schools,” said Kevin Shaar, vice-president of the Quebec Community Groups Network. Read more

QCGN Statement Regarding the French Language

November 24, 2020 – During a recent meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages, the decline of the French language in Quebec was questioned. Other statements during the hearing suggested that Canada’s English linguistic minority does not exist. Let us quickly deal with this last point. Under the law of Quebec and Canada, there is indeed a linguistic minority community – of more than 1.1 million English-speaking Quebecers. This is Canada’s most bilingual cohort of English-speakers.

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) takes this opportunity to clearly lay out our position on the protection and promotion of the French language. Read more

Meet our CBC charities of the year

November 9, 2020 – Tyndale St-Georges and Family Ties New Carlisle have been selected as our charities this holiday season.

Throughout November and December, CBC will collaborate with both charities to showcase stories of people in our communities who are making a difference. Read more

Radio Noon Quebec with Shawn Apel

November 18, 2020 – (AUDIO) QCGN President Marlene Jennings was the guest on CBC Montreal’s Radio Noon with Shawn Apel Wednesday. A wide-ranging discussion covered school board elections during the pandemic, QCGN’s relationship with the Quebec government, and the future of the Network. Listen here 

 

Appreciation: Breakfasts at Barbie’s with Father John Walsh

November 17, 2020 – We were six long-time friends who would gather regularly for breakfast at Barbie‘s in Dorval. COVID-19 not only put an end to the breakfasts, but sadly closed Barbie’s for good.

When we last met, there was one empty chair. Pat Rourke had left us some time before, after a prolonged battle with cancer. It was not quite the same without him. Read more 

Officials lament Quebec government’s decision to reschedule English school board elections

November 16, 2020 – Advocates for and officials at Quebec’s English-language school boards are sounding the alarm over the fast-approaching election date to fill any seats that weren’t filled by acclamation this fall.

The province quietly announced late Friday that those elections would be held on Dec. 19 and 20. They were originally scheduled for Nov. 1, but were rescheduled due to the onset of the province’s second wave of COVID-19. Read more

Legault defends Quebec’s decision to hold school board elections during pandemic

November 16, 2020 – Premier François Legault says he believes elections for Quebec’s English school boards can be conducted safely in December despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legault said Monday that public health has fully endorsed the idea of allowing the vote to take place even if it said the opposite in October. Read more