English-Speaking Quebecers, Franco-Ontarians and New Brunswick Acadians Unite

A memorandum of understanding was signed on July 2nd between the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB), the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) and the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO). The objective of this partnership (the first of its kind in Canada) is to protect and promote the language rights of official language minority communities.

The three partners will now work closer together to make official languages an important issue during the next federal election campaign and to protect the language rights shared by the different provinces.

“Although the specifics of our situations may differ, our rights are fundamentally the same. Together, we will write the next chapter of language rights to ensure they are respected across Canada.” – Carol Jolin, President of the AFO

The memorandum of understanding is intended to strengthen coordination between the three organizations, which represent more than 2.4 million people – nearly 90 per cent Canadians living in official language minority communities.

“We want our governments to realize that an attack on the rights of one of our communities is an attack on us all. We will remain united in the face of any assaults on linguistic duality, a fundamental value of our Canadian identity.” – Geoffrey Chambers, President of the QCGN

The partner organizations maintain that the Government of Canada must be a leader when it comes to language rights.

“Modernizing the Official Languages Act of Canada, maintaining the right to manage education from early childhood to university, and ensuring essential services are offered in minority official languages: these are just some of the priorities identified.” – Robert Melanson, President of the SANB

Next federal election is scheduled on October 21, 2019. In the meantime, let’s hope that the momentum of solidarity that has rallied official language minority communities for several months will continue to grow!