The Quebec Community Groups Network criticized the Quebec Liberal Party convention last weekend for an “epic failure to listen to Quebec anglos who are worried about Bill 96.” This rebuke followed leader Dominique Anglade’s remark that anglophones are still better off with her party than with the Coalition Avenir Québec, reflecting a somewhat condescending presumption that the community has no choice but to vote for the Liberals in next year’s election, given that Quebec Solidaire and the Parti Québécois are sovereignist parties and the CAQ government is the very author of Bill 96.
Tag Archive for: Robert Libman
Quebec’s political theatre continues its three week-run at the National Assembly on Grande-Allée, which aptly can be translated as “Broadway.” The public hearings into the government’s language legislation, Bill 96, heard from the Quebec Community Groups Network on Tuesday, one of just a handful of organizations representing the English-speaking community.
French speakers must stand up against the violation of civil rights that would occur if Bill 96 becomes law, says longtime politician Robert Libman.
Libman, who started the Equality Party in 1989 in response to anger among the English-speaking community to language laws enacted by Robert Bourassa, spoke during hearings being held by the Quebec Community Groups Network. He said he is alarmed that no one in the majority community appears to be speaking out against the proposed law, which does little to improve French and only restricts the rights of English speakers.
“It looks as if we are being drawn into another intense language battle in 2021,” says former Equality Party leader Robert Libman, “and we’re being drawn into this alone and unarmed.”
QUEBEC — The sense of concern, even alarm, is clear in Robert Libman’s voice when asked about the mood of Quebec’s English-speaking community these days.
“It looks as if we are being drawn into another intense language battle in 2021, and we’re being drawn into this alone and unarmed,” Libman said last week in an interview with the Montreal Gazette.
MONTREAL — Former Equality Party (EP) leader Robert Libman’s call last month for the creation of a new “single-issue party” that anglophones “can count on” also speaks indirectly to the unhealthy predicament community members and other minority groups face by not having the comfortable election choices that anglophones in other provinces enjoy.
Nevertheless, and with all due respect and affection for Mr. Libman as a community leader, creating a new “single-issue” protest party may be part of the solution in the short term to expressing minority concerns, but over the long haul, a different approach will be needed as the EP’s experience demonstrates.
“Dans un revirement qui pourrait être historique, des anglophones frustrés pensent délaisser le Parti libéral du Québec aux prochaines élections provinciales. Ils s’estiment tenus pour acquis.”
Many English-speaking Quebecers expressed the possibility to vote for another party than the Liberal Party of Quebec which has gained the electoral support of the community for the last 40 years. Citizens such as Gary Shapiro and former Equality Party MNA Robert Libman talked about the issue in the article.
QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge nuanced the possibility stating that all parties have something to offer, and that the Coalition Avenir Québec doesn’t have everything set.
“Premier Philippe Couillard’s Wednesday cabinet shuffle, designed to give the aging Liberal regime a mix of new youthful panache and sage management, is in reality a calculated attempt to put out the numerous brush fires endangering the Liberal brand.”
Quebec’s anglophone lobby, the QCGN, wanted a greater direct voice in decision-making. They now have a minister in the cabinet, Kathleen Weil. Although Couillard’s shuffle seems to be solving most problems he had during his mandate, it’s seen as a rejuvenated technique to boost on Quebecers’ desire for change.
One big news in the shuffle was Couillard’s decision to act on a promise he made and give the English-speaking community a greater voice in his government. The QCGN welcomed Weil as a “strong advocate” while former Equality Party Leader Robert Libman said it was nothing more than a symbolic gesture.
“Three formal complaints have been filed against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with the Commissioner of Official Languages for refusing to speak English to a Quebec anglophone Tuesday in Sherbrooke.”
In this article, Philip Authier from the Montreal Gazette brushes a portrait of the situation leading up to formal complaints received by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages questioning the possible violation of the Official Languages Act by prime minister Justin Trudeau. During a town hall meeting in Sherbrooke, Trudeau answered English questions asked by Eastern Townships citizens in French only, a behaviour he defended the following day during a press conference at Bishop’s University.
His attempt at redemption did not calm minority groups organizations, such as the QCGN, for whom its president, James Shea, asked for an apology. Other comments were issued in the article by Gerald Cutting, president of Townshippers’ Association, and Robert Libman, former leader of the Equality Party.