The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), which represents dozens of English community groups across Quebec, is taking the government to task for infringing on anglophones’ minority rights, but that is not sitting well with one Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) MNA who is now firing back.
QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers cites Supreme Court ruling to define English-speaking community coalition’s determination to fight CAQ plan to eliminate province’s school boards. “The court,” said Chambers, “… ruled that minority language communities have the right to control and manage the educational facilities in which their children are taught both to ensure and enable that their language and culture can flourish.”
In an interview with CTV’s Paul Karwatsky, QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers discusses concerns that were raised during a first face-to-face meeting with Premier François Legault. Chambers said that while the Premier listened and agreed to consult the community more, he did not commit to following the community’s advice on issues like school boards.
The Quebec Community Groups Network got to take the concerns of the English community to the premier Friday at a private meeting. It was a rare opportunity so early in a new government’s mandate. “We’ve never met a premier of Quebec this early in his mandate or her mandate,” said QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers.
Quebec Premier François Legault met with members of the Quebec Community Groups Network on Friday for a closed-door meeting. As Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, issues discussed included the future of school boards, access to English education and wearing of religious symbols.
Murielle Parkes and Olga Melikoff, two of the parents who pushed more than 50 years ago to establish French immersion in St. Lambert, are getting recognition for their efforts with a prize from the Quebec Community Groups Network.
Listen to the interview on a All in a Weekend Montreal with Ainslie MacLellan
Disturbing, disruptive, divisive, catastrophic.
Those are some of the words the head of a network of Quebec anglophone groups used Friday to describe the incoming Coalition Avenir Québec government’s plan to ban the wearing of religious symbols on the job by public employees in positions of authority.
Under Premier-designate François Legault’s proposed new law, which he said Friday he would try to get passed in his first year, elementary and high school teachers, police officers, prosecutors, judges and prison guards would have to remove their Muslim hijab, Jewish kippa or Sikh turban or lose their jobs.
“If they actually did it, it would be catastrophic, seriously tearing the community apart,” Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, told the Montreal Gazette.
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.”
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.
June 27, marks Canadian Multiculturalism Day. In Quebec, policy-makers and intellectuals have since the introduction of federal multicultural policy expressed much ambivalence about multiculturalism and over the since the 1990’s have insisted that Quebec rejects multiculturalism and rather promotes interculturalism. It suggests that interculturalism promotes interaction between communities in contrast with multiculturalism that purportedly promotes ethnic specificity. Presumably the intercultural model gives rise to divergent approaches to newcomer adaptation with a more integrationist and less accommodation of cultural difference. In this third part of the series on difference and similarity in views between Quebec francophone and anglophone we look at issues of immigration, diversity and accommodation. As we observe the results point to some of the sharpest differences in attitudes. They also reveal that the independent of linguistic background, Quebecers do not see much difference between multiculturalism and interculturalism despite years of insistence that the two purported models offer distinct messages.
The survey was conducted by the firm Leger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies and the Quebec Community Groups Network with a national sample 1226 Quebecers 871 francophones 275 anglophones and 106 allophones and was conducted between May 14 and may 17 2018 via web panel with a probabilistic margin of error of 3.5 points 19 times out of 20.
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