Quebec Community Groups Network cautions against quick passage of Bill 10


by Kevin Woodhouse

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), a NGO agency bringing together more than 40 English organizations and associations from across the province, has denounced the Quebec Liberal’s proposed Bill 10 and the disastrous effects the bill could have for English speaking citizens.

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QCGN recently submitted its brief on the bill to the Health and Social Services Committee in late October along with 7,000 signatures asking that the health ministry “take the time to look at all the potential side effects, including the major ones Bill 10 will have on the vitality and identity of Quebec’s English speaking community,” the QCGN noted via press release.

The QCGN cites the passing of the bill would “abolish the English speaking community’s hospitals and nursing homes as standalone institutions.” The non-profit agency is also concerned that the new bill would have serious consequences regarding health institutions bilingual status as well as restricting volunteers from taking part in the health care system.

Former Lac St. Louis MP Clifford Lincoln finds that “Bill 10 goes too far, too fast. Suddenly reducing the number of health care and social institutions from 182 to 28 will have an undeniable impact on accountability, transparency, volunteerism and citizen participation. And for Quebec’s English-speaking community this means the loss of 23 out of 24 of its bilingual institutions and boards, and their protection under law.”

With the Liberal government planning to pass the bill before the National Assembly recesses until the new year, QCGN added that “we look forward to an amended bill that maintains our involvement in the governance of our institutions and upholds the legislative guarantees that protect our community’s right to quality services in our own language.”

QCGN concluded its release with a note of caution, worries that Health Minister Gaétan Barrette has not taken adequate time “to get things right given the wide-ranging impacts this will have on our community.”