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Legault’s take on what it means to be a ‘historic’ English-speaker in Quebec problematic some say

Quebec Premier François Legault’s use and definition of the term “historic English-speaking community” is cause for concern, according to some in the province’s anglophone community.

“The reaction that I’m hearing from English-speaking Quebecers is that it was a self-serving few seconds,” said QCGN director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge, “speaking to us and telling us we were the best treated minority in Canada.”

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Quebec’s Bill 96 creates ‘opportunity’ for federal Liberals, senator says

Quebec’s legislation to further enforce the use of French in the province creates an “opportunity” for the federal Liberals as a national election looms this year, says a veteran Quebec senator.

“Crisis equals opportunity,” said Dennis Dawson, who was appointed to the Senate in 2005 on the recommendation of then-prime minister Paul Martin after three terms as a Liberal MP for the Quebec City-area riding of Louis-Hébert.

Sylvia Martin-Laforge, the director-general of the Quebec Community Groups Network, said her organization views Bill 96 as “problematic” and that all sides are considering their options.

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Chelsea’s English services at risk

Draft Bill 96 leaves it up to the municipal council to save Chelsea’s bilingual status.

The proposed amendment to Quebec law, the Canadian Constitution, and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms would make it harder for English-only speaking Quebec residents to access services and information in English from their municipality.
Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge said the bill “erodes the vitality” of the English community in Quebec.

Plan to cap spaces in English-language CEGEPs could have unintended consequences

Quebec’s new language reform, Bill 96, proposes to cap the number of places in English-language CEGEPs. It would also give priority to anglophone students.

However, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) said the government should be focusing on ensuring students become bilingual.

“(Students) who can fill the needs of business, the businesses already here and the businesses wanting to come in and invest in Quebec,” said QCGN director general, Sylvia Martin-Laforge.

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The Anglophone Community and the CAQ

During a panel discussion on MAtv’s City Life on Coalition Avenir Québec’s first year in power, QCGN General Director Sylvia Martin-Laforge discusses the government’s public consultation tour with English-speaking Quebecers. The Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, Christopher Skeete, is also interviewed.

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Cabinet Shuffle Blurs Roles and Could Delay Implementation of Action Plan for Official Languages

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.

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Angry, they might drop the Libs for the CAQ

“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.

Read the article on TVA Nouvelles website

Goldbloom Awards celebrate achievements of English community leaders in Quebec

The annual event established by the QCGN is meant to honour individuals who have made an impact on Quebec’s English-speaking community. Clifford Lincoln, James Carter, Sid Stevens and Earl De La Perralle, were each winners of the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award, while Claudia Di Iorio won the Young Quebecers Leading the Way Award.

Watch the coverage published on Global Montreal website

Former McGill chancellor and prominent Montreal journalist Gretta Chambers dies at 90

“Gretta Chambers, the first female chancellor of McGill University and a prominent Montreal journalist for several decades, has died at the age of 90. She passed away Saturday morning at St. Mary’s Hospital in Montreal after undergoing treatment for a heart condition. “

Daughter of a French-speaking mother and an English-speaking father, she saw her role as a builder of bridges between Quebec’s divided communities. For this role, in 2012, she received a Goldbloom Award for distinguished community service.

Sylvia Martin-Laforge, director general of the QCGN, incensed Chambers’ accomplishments and said she embodied what was needed in Quebec to bridge both linguistic communities.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

Gretta Chambers, journalist and former chancellor of McGill University, dead at 90

“Gretta Chambers, a prominent journalist and the first female chancellor of McGill University, passed away Saturday morning at the age of 90 at St. Mary’s hospital in Montreal. “

Born in 1927, and a graduate from McGill in policial science, she married former MP Egan Chambers who died in 1994. She was one of the first English-speaking journalist to write extensively about French-speaking Quebec before becoming the first female chancellor of McGill University.

Sylvia Martin-Laforge, DG of the QCGN, which awarded Chambers with a Goldbloom Award in 2012, said that Gretta was a pioneer and role model for women, and for the English-speaking community.

Read the article on CTV Montreal’s website