Our community has the Constitutional right to manage and control our schools. The Coalition Avenir Québec government has taken this right away from our English-speaking community – and together we must fight to take back this fundamental right. All nine of our English school boards along with the Quebec English School Boards Association have launched a legal challenge to quash Bill 40. This controversial legislation abolishes our democratically elected school boards and transforms them into government-controlled service centres. Our legal action declares that this upheaval of our education system contravenes our linguistic minority community’s right to manage and control our school system. This foundational right, under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, guarantees education in one of Canada’s two official languages. It is an essential element of linguistic duality, a cornerstone of our national identity. It took French parents in British Columbia five years to win another case that solidified minority-language education rights. Just like our West Coast counterparts, we are in this for the long haul. This is bound to be a long and costly fight. Please consider making a contribution to the Go Fund Me campaign to support this legal action to defend the Constitutional rights of Quebec’s English-speaking community and advance the minority-language rights of all Canadians. Any donation, big or small, is appreciated – but most importantly a large number of donors will unequivocally demonstrate to our governments that we believe in our rights and we will fight to protect them. Please contribute what you can and help us get the news out by sharing this appeal extensively throughout your networks.
A Montreal family is speaking out about their fight to get youth protection services in English. After escaping domestic violence in 2010, the family was sent to the Centre Jeunesse de Montréal, where they were provided with unilingual francophone caseworkers.
The family filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission but the case was dismissed. Minority-rights groups are now calling for an independent investigation into the commission’s decision.
Editorial, The Gazette
Quebec’s roughly 800,000 anglophones are used to being ignored by the government of the day.
When the Parti Québécois is power, anglophone rights are a low priority, to put it mildly. When the Liberals are in power, anglophones often feel taken for granted. Once their votes are counted and a handful of English-speaking ministers are named, they frequently feel their interests are forgotten, or sacrificed as a matter of political expediency.
With limited clout in Quebec City, anglophone Quebecers have instead poured their energies into institutions of vital importance to the community: hospitals and English school boards. Working from within these bastions of community control, they have long maintained a sense of self-determination, worked to protect their linguistic rights and thrived as a vibrant minority.
D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum, along with fellow anglophone MNAs Geoff Kelley and Kathleen Weil, do not support Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser’s proposal that the Quebec government create an office of anglophone affairs, according to reports.
The office would better serve the 600,000-strong community, says Fraser, who met with the three anglophone MNAs and came away with the impression there was “no indication” such an office would be created by this government.
By Angelica Montgomery, CJAD News
One of the only three anglophones sitting at the National Assembly says he’s oppossed to creating a provincial office for anglophone affairs, despite a renewed call from the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) and Canada’s official languages commissioner.
A similar office for francophones exists in Ontario to act as a point of service and a liason for that province’s linguistic minority.
But the MNA for D’Arcy McGee, David Birnbaum, says Quebec’s anglophone community is better served dealing directly with those in power.
By Peggy Curran, The Gazette
The future of hospitals such as St. Mary’s and the Jewish General in Montreal, Jeffrey Hale-Saint Brigid’s in Quebec City and Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins in the Eastern Townships — and the viability of the English-speaking communities that depend on them — will be at risk unless the Quebec government revamps its health reform legislation, warns a coalition of community groups.
“Bill 10 would be a catastrophe for the 22 recognized and designated public institutions it dismantles,” the Quebec Community Groups Network says in a brief to be presented to the National Assembly committee studying legislation to modify Quebec’s health and social services network Thursday morning.
By Amélie Daoust-Boisvert, Le Devoir
L’abolition de 22 des 23 établissements de santé anglophones du Québec qui découle du projet de loi 10 de Gaétan Barrette soulève l’ire de la communauté anglophone, déterminée à défendre ses institutions jusque devant les tribunaux.
Les hôpitaux anglophones ne fermeront pas, mais la communauté craint que la perte de leur gouvernance locale ne soit que la première étape vers leur marginalisation.
En entrevue éditoriale avec Le Devoir, « oui », affirment des leaders de la communauté, ils porteront leur cause devant les tribunaux en dernier recours. Pour l’heure, un vent de mobilisation se lève. Appels aux députés, pétitions, dénonciations sur la place publique, interpellation du premier ministre Philippe Couillard, tous les moyens seront mis en place, dit Sara Saber-Freedman. La présidente du conseil d’administration du Centre de réadaptation MAB-Mackay a travaillé 25 ans dans le réseau de la santé.
Townshippers’ press release
Following an initial rejection to present at the public hearings for Bill 10, Townshippers’ Association and Voice of English-speaking Québec (VEQ) have accepted an invitation to appear before the Health and Social Services Commission at the National Assembly in Quebec City at noon on Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Initially the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) was the only anglophone group invited to take part in the consultation on the proposed legislation which would see healthcare institutions merged and regional healthcare agencies abolished.
By Angelica Montgomery, CJAD News
The Couillard government is shocking the health care system with a hasty bill in a rushed effort to save money, say several opponants and participants at today’s legislative hearings.
Bill 10 will replace the management of virtually every health care institution in Quebec with large regional centers.
But as the doors to the National Assembly’s red room swing open for hearings, many are complaining of either being left out or not being given enough time to prepare.
“The whole process is not long enough,” says Sylvia Martin-Laforge, the Director General of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN)
Don Macpherson, The Gazette
It’s easier for opposition MNAs to make themselves heard defending their constituents’ interests against the government. And the voters’ expectations that they will succeed in influencing the government on their behalf are lower.
Government MNAs, however, are expected to use their influence in the government caucus or cabinet and their access to ministers to produce results.
That’s especially true for Liberal MNAs with significant English-speaking constituencies when their party is in power, because there are usually so many of them in the government caucus and cabinet.
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