Vitality of English-speaking Quebec at stake - QCGN pleads for caution in
finding right remedy for Bill 104

MONTREAL, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - In light of the opinion made public today by the Conseil Supérieur de la langue française, the Quebec Community Groups Network is worried about legislative measures that could adversely affect the short- and long-term viability of our institutions, including our schools. While we agree with the Conseil's opinion that the primacy of the French language and social cohesion in Quebec must be maintained, the government must take into account the impact that implementing the Conseil's recommendation would have on the English-speaking community.

We know the government of Quebec must apply the Supreme Court ruling on Bill 104 and we see the difficulty in finding a solution that will satisfy the Supreme Court justices, Francophones who are concerned about the survival of their language, and English-speaking Quebecers who are worried about the future of English schools. However, we question if the prescription the Conseil suggests is stronger medicine than what is needed to cure the problem.

Any legislative solution that reduces the critical mass of enrolment in our educational institutions is of concern to the English-speaking community because schools are at the very heart of our vitality. This is true of both public and private schools which are fundamental training grounds for the future leaders of our community and of Quebec.

Whatever the medicine the government chooses to address the Bill 104 ruling, we are asking politicians of all political stripes to please proceed with caution and to consider the impact any decision, and potentially divisive debates on the decision, will have on our community. As the Conseil suggests that the essential factor of social cohesion in Quebec be weighed, we count on the government to also take into account the vitality of our English-speaking communities and schools. We also encourage the government to consult with key stakeholders from the English-speaking community before making a final decision.

The Quebec Community Groups Network (www.qcgn.ca) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 32 English language community organizations across Quebec. Its mission is to identify, explore and address strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of English-speaking Quebec and to encourage dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders.

SOURCE Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN)

For further information: For further information: Rita Legault, Director of Communications, (514) 868-9044, ext. 223, cellular: (514) 912-6555, rita.legault@qcgn.ca


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