QCGN react to Bill 104 ruling by Supreme Court

MONTREAL, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Community Groups Network believes the Supreme Court ruling on Bill 104 is a fair decision for the province of Quebec. Now that the Government of Quebec has been given a second chance to draft legislation, we hope it will work with all stakeholders, including the English-speaking community, to achieve a reasonable compromise between the goals of protecting the French language and preserving the vitality of English school and school boards. In that spirit we ask that we be included in the process.

"Healthy institutions are a cornerstone of a vital community," comments Marion Standish, Vice President of the Quebec Community Groups Network. "The health of our schools and school boards has a profound impact on English-speaking Quebec, having a direct influence on the retention of youth and attraction of our community."

Mrs. Standish argues further these are issues that are also vital to Quebec society as a whole. "Our community's ability to retain our youth also has an impact on the economic vitality of the province."

Schools have been described by minority language researchers as the most fundamental institution in the creation of cultural identity, said Mrs. Standish, referring in particular to the findings of researchers Rodrique Landry, of the Canadian Research Institute of Linguistic Minorities at the University of Moncton, and Richard Bourhis of the Centre d'études ethniques des universités montréalaises (CEETUM), at the University of Montreal. "It is from participation within the linguistic minority educational institutions that most of the group's human capital will emerge, which will, in turn, nourish and empower all of the group's institutional leadership," notes Professor Bourhis in a publication for the 2007 QCGN conference entitled: The Vitality of English-Speaking Communities of Quebec - From Community Decline to Revival.

Mrs. Standish stated that the QCGN advances the principles of community vitality and sustainability through research and through dialogue and collaboration and she noted that all major political voices agree that vibrant English-speaking communities are an integral part of a prosperous and strong Quebec.

"The QCGN concerns itself with matters affecting the eligibility of access to minority language education because such decisions potentially impact the viability of minority language schools," said Mrs. Standish, calling upon the Government of Quebec to reaffirm the role English language education institutions play in maintaining a vital English-speaking community. "That can be achieved by ensuring renewal through enrolment and through other methods such as guaranteeing English schools have the resources they need to survive even when their numbers begin to dwindle."

SOURCE Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN)

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

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