“We would look to the federal government to intervene or express their concern about allowing the pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause by provinces,” says Sylvia Martin-Laforge, director general of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN). The QCGN was responding to Jean-François Roberge, Quebec’s minister responsible for secularism, after he tabled Bill 52 — legislation to extend the use of the notwithstanding clause for another five years to shield Bill 21, Quebec’s secularism law, from court challenges over violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Tag Archive for: Sylvia Martin-Laforge
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) called on provincial Finance Minister Eric Girard to consider the financial impact that some government policies have on Quebec’s English-speaking community during a pre-budget consultation on Monday.
The Government of Quebec must always consider the financial impacts of all government legislation, regulations, policies and programs on all Quebecers – and particularly on minority communities, the Quebec Community Groups Network told Finance Minister Eric Girard Monday afternoon.
“Meanwhile support should be provided to our school boards, CEGEPs, universities and other institutions to deal with the adverse financial fallout of recent government policies,” QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge told Girard, who is also the Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers. She made the comments during a pre-budget consultation with groups serving Quebec’s English-speaking minority community in Montreal Monday.
“At a time when Quebec is dealing with economic uncertainty, this is a reminder that businesses will have to comply with additional measures bringing added costs,” says QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge about the Quebec government’s recently-announced requirements for commercial signage in French.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) sounds further alarm over out-of-province students being singled out with tuition hikes. “English-speaking Quebecers will tell you they feel targeted right now,” says QCGN director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge. Among the likely consequences: “People will not be coming to Quebec because they will not feel they will be able to work in Quebec down the road…. It’s not a welcoming place for Canadians from other provinces, for international students, and workers.”
“Discrimination on the basis of language is discrimination,” says constitutional lawyer Julius Grey. He cites Section 15 of the federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as Section 10 of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Recent Quebec legislation is grounded in “identity politics,” says Sylvia Martin-Laforge, director general of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), adding that as the public discussion develops she evaluates the government’s reasoning process as ever more “troubling.” Simultaneously, Martin-Laforge says, Quebec is inflicting two black eyes on itself — one by harming Montreal’s reputation as a welcoming, inclusive university city, and the other by creating a potential impact on the economy.
QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge explains how Bill 15 could jeopardize access to health services in English. She speaks with Global Montreal’s Laura Casella.
Eric Girard, the Quebec finance minister also responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers, suggested last week he is monitoring reaction to the government’s controversial decision to double tuition for university students from the rest of Canada – but he provided no details. The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), the English-speaking community, and, indeed, a multitude of other concerned parties remain “eager to hear the results” of any intervention he may have made or may be considering on this exceptionally high-priority subject, says Sylvia Martin-Laforge, the QCGN’s director-general.
While Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) language-policy measures “in general, including the hurtful Bill 96, may be aimed at the Montreal region, they also bring collateral damage to the nearly 250,000 English-speaking Quebecers who live outside the metropolis,” states QCGN director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge.
“It’s worrying to implement a policy like that without consultation,” says QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge about the Quebec government’s tuition hike for out-of-province students looking to study at English universities.
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