MONTREAL, Oct. 8, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Community Groups Network learned today that it is the only English-language community group scheduled to be heard at hearings on Bill 10, which proposes a massive reorganization of Quebec's health care system.
"We are outraged that our community is essentially being shut out of the debate on Bill 10," said QCGN President Dan Lamoureux, noting the proposed legislation would have a huge impact on institutions that were built and supported by Quebec's English-speaking community for many generations.
"It is unacceptable that the government wants to cut the community off from its institutions and that English-speaking groups, except for QCGN, are being deprived of the right to get involved in the debate," added Lamoureux. "This is not consistent with democratic values, and not the Quebec way of doing things."
The final list, made public today, includes 68 organizations and individuals, almost all from the health and social service network. Hearings are scheduled to take place starting in mid-October, continuing into November. The government hopes to have the bill passed before the Christmas break in mid-December.
"The composition of the list is indicative that community is being evacuated not only from the process, but from our health and social service network," commented QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge, remarking that this major sea change is happening too fast with too little consultation from the many affected. "While the QCGN can do a good job representing issues of common concern regarding governance, language and access to services, it cannot possibly represent all of the diverging interests of our community of communities."
The QCGN is calling upon Health Minister Gaétan Barrette to reconsider the list in view of the community's concerns. We are also calling on Premier Philippe Couillard and all of our Ministers and MNAs – especially those with responsibility to their English-speaking constituents – to speak up for Quebec's English-speaking minority and ensure they are heard in this important societal debate.
The QCGN pledges, if it remains the only English-speaking community representative at the hearings, to work with members and stakeholders to do all in its power to ensure that all the voices and concerns of our community of communities are heard.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (www.qcgn.ca) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 41 English-language community organizations across Quebec. As a centre of evidence-based expertise and collective action it identifies, explores and addresses strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec and encourages dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders.
SOURCE: Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN)
For further information: Rita Legault, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 514-868-9044, ext. 223, cellular: 514-912-6555