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Townshippers’ Association challenges the provincial government at Bill 96 hearings

With an opportunity to speak at the Bill 96 hearings on Wednesday, the Townshippers’ Association reiterated its support for strengthening and protecting the French language, but not through the Quebec government’s proposed new language law.

Gerald Cutting, president of the association, told the legislative committee in attendance that the bill is challenging the basic rights of the English population in a number of areas. He proposed going back to the drawing board with a more thorough review.

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Bill 96 hearings: ‘Our backs are against the wall,’ Townshippers say

Gerald Cutting’s words were blunt and, as he said, reflect the thoughts of many English-speaking Quebecers staring down the prospect of a tough new language law.

“Can we work together to find solutions that give us the impression this bill doesn’t target us,” the soft-spoken 73-year-old president of the Townshippers’ Association told the legislative committee studying Bill 96 overhauling the Charter of the French Language Wednesday.

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Lack of anglo representation at Bill 96 hearings is ‘deplorable,’ groups say

Quebec anglophone groups say they will be dramatically under-represented at this fall’s Bill 96 hearings.

Out of 50 speakers invited to take part in the hearings for the government’s proposed overhaul of language legislation, Sept. 21 to Oct. 7, there are just three groups representing the anglophone community.
“We’re calling for broader participation in those hearings,” Jennings said. “I think it’s deplorable that the government has cherry-picked who it wants to hear from across Quebec.

Trudeau apologizes to anglophone woman for answering in French at Sherbrooke town hall

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized for his refusal to answer a question in English when asked specifically about English mental health services at his town hall meeting in Sherbrooke, Que., last month.”

Trudeau has called Judy Ross, the woman who asked the question in English and one of the founders of Mental Health Estrie, to offer his apologies. According to Ross, he told her he made a mistake and that he has learned from the mistake.

He also sent a letter to the QCGN reiterating the importance of bilingualism in Canada and to express his sincere regrets. Our president, James Shea, said he was pleased with the letter.

Read the full article on CBC News

Justin Trudeau conveys ‘sincere regrets’ for not answering in English

“In Valentine’s Day messages to Quebec anglophones, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed “sincere regrets” for refusing to answer questions in English last month”

The incident dates back to January when Justin Trudeau answered in French to questions asked to him in English. Since then, several complaints were filed to the Commissioner of Official Languages.

However, Trudeau wrote a letter to the Quebec Community Groups Network on February 14 where he recognizes his wrongs and understands the importance to speak to minority language communities in their own language. He also wrote and apologized to the Townshippers’ Association.

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette