Report calls for action to promote vitality of greater Montreal's English-speaking communities

    Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative (GMCDI) report focuses
    on challenges facing the English-speaking community, and courses of

    QCGN is a not-for-profit organization that brings together English-
    speaking minority communities across Quebec

    MONTREAL, Sept. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Community Groups Network
(QCGN), a not-for-profit organization bringing together numerous
English-speaking sector and community organizations across Quebec, is pleased
to announce that the Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative (GMCDI)
has completed its findings and recommendations, and released its final report.
The GMCDI is a project intended to assist English-speaking communities of the
greater Montreal region in identifying challenges facing the community and
determining how to address them. As part of this process, it has engaged in
broad community consultations, including a public meeting at the Hilton
Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Montreal last April 11th, which drew over 200
    "We are proud to say that this report reflects key issues and priorities
that were expressed to us by English-speaking Montrealers during our
consultations," commented Don Taylor, chair of the Steering Committee of the
GMCDI. "It also offers recommendations that will, in partnership with
community groups and sector professionals, provide the necessary groundwork to
promote the vitality of English-speaking Montreal for the future."

    Report Findings

    In its report, GMCDI has focused on six key subjects: Demographics,
Health and Social Services, Education, Employment and Economic Development,
Social Participation, and Arts and Culture. The Steering Committee was pleased
with the great strengths and community vitality it encountered during the
course of its work. After observing and consulting, the report had a number of
important conclusions:

    - Leadership: With political interest diminishing and the lower public
      profile of the English-speaking community, there is an immediate need
      for stronger leadership.

    - Health care: Service barriers remain in some areas, due to low numbers
      of English-speaking health care professionals and uneven distribution
      of services across the Greater Montreal Area.

    - Education: There is great concern over the continuing decline in
      enrolment in English school boards, and the impact this may have on the
      quality of education.

    Report Recommendations

    GMCDI has several recommendations. Among them:

    - Create task forces to develop a more integrated and targeted approach
      to finding solutions to the issues facing the English-speaking
      community in fields such as employability and economic development,
      health and social services, and arts and culture.

    - Creation of an Internet-based community database of resources, services
      and expertise for the English-Speaking community. This information
      portal would simplify access to existing services and resources.

    - That the leadership of the English-speaking community re-mobilise, and
      address the challenge of community development in a collaborative

    The GMCDI also recommends holding a working conference to be held in
Spring of 2008 to review the progress of the Task Forces, and take stock of
the work already accomplished.
    "We are tremendously pleased with the report's results, and we are
looking forward to working with GMCDI Steering Committee and all leaders of
the English-speaking community of the Greater Montreal Area," added Sylvia
Martin-Laforge, the Director-General of QCGN. "The QCGN's role will primarily
be to facilitate putting the GMCDI recommendations into place."
    The full text of GMCDI's final report will be available in both official
languages through the QCGN website:

For further information:

For further information: Kevin Dobie, Director of Communications, QCGN,
(514) 868-9044, extension 223,

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