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    Civil rights group CRITIQ sees membership surge after CAQ victory | Montreal Gazette

Civil rights group CRITIQ sees membership surge after CAQ victory | Montreal Gazette

A Quebec civil rights group that has lain dormant for years has suddenly started seeing an upsurge in membership since the election of the Coalition Avenir Québec government last fall, despite the fact it has not been recruiting.
Canadian Rights in Quebec (CRITIQ), formed in 2012 in response to proposed language legislation by the Parti Québécois that would have restricted access to English services, has increased by more than 400 members in the last months, organizers say. This despite the fact their website has been inactive for two years and the group has made no recent efforts to contact potential adherents.
“We know why: Bill 21 is really what’s initiating a lot of these people, who are reaching out and Googling ‘Canadian rights’ and ‘Quebec,’ ” said Gary Shapiro, founder and chairman of the organization. “That and the school board issues. Slowly and surely (the government) is making English disappear from the province.
“I was surprised but also saddened by the fact there are people clutching at anything to help them out. It’s a sad reality. It’s the slow downhill course.”
CRITIQ was created in response to Bill 14, legislation by the Parti Québécois to reform its Charter of the French Language. It describes itself as dedicated to protecting fundamental civil rights outlined under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, promoting the strength of the province’s English and French and multicultural heritage, and working to improve Montreal’s economic outlook. In 2013, it called on the Quebec government to amend Article 1 of the city charter to make Montreal a bilingual city.
Within a few months of its inception, the group said it had 10,000 members but then flatlined after the PQ fell to the [...]

Need for Clarity on the conditions for Quebec’s secession

Since April 19, when Quebec Superior Justice Claude Dallaire delivered her decision on Quebec’s Bill 99, the Act respecting the exercise of the fundamental rights and prerogatives of the Quebec people and the Quebec State, we no longer know on what terms Quebec can legally secede. The decision totally upheld the constitutionality of Bill 99, which is totally at odds with the federal Clarity Act and quite possibly with the response of the Supreme Court of Canada to the reference on the unilateral secession of Quebec.

Whether we live in Quebec or in the rest of Canada, whether we are federalists, separatists, both or neither, we all have a right to know the law on the terms of secession.

There is only one solution: the federal government should send a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada to end the confusion, resolve the contradictions between the three texts and finally let everyone know for sure what will be the conditions, if any, if Quebecers should some day vote for a independence.

Please pass this message on.

William Johnson

April 25th, 2018|Blog, Opinion|0 Comments|

MTL Blog’s take on Special Status

Below is a link to the MTL Blog website article mentioning special status as the way to help make Montreal a better city. Give it a read, share the article, and comment your thoughts!

A must-read about Special Status!

Click the link if you would like to read the opinion on the Gazette website.


Marvin Rotrand is partially right (“City responsible for ‘declined airport’ “ Montreal Gazette, Sept. 19): Montreal’s airport is on the decline and serves mostly tourist destinations. What he is incorrect about is his thinking that Montreal’s elected officials can effect change. If there were business activity, the airlines would be capitalizing on the opportunity to service the demand and create non-stop routes.

Montreal is a city experiencing a steady decline in international business. Last year, Mayor Denis Coderre refreshed Montreal International and positioned Jacques Ménard at the helm. Their websiteis active with many stories, but the unemployment figures in Montreal portray a much more stagnant reality.

What Rotrand and all the city councillors should be doing is clamouring for special status for Montreal. It is the best and only solution for distancing Montreal from the ongoing separation and language debates.

Special status would enable Montreal to take charge of its economic destiny. The powers Montreal needs include the ability to reduce taxes in certain areas of the city to attract and retain businesses, in particular, the manufacturing sector; a say in the distribution of the tax dollars that are earned and collected in Montreal; and an ability to tweak the language laws to attract top talent to Montreal, without being obliged to send their children to a French-only school.

As well, decision-making for infrastructure and development should no longer go through Quebec but be given to Montreal. We cannot continue to be slowed down by bureaucrats who have little knowledge or interest in Montreal.

Input on immigration would enable Montreal to attract the professionals and the skill sets that Montreal needs, not what others want to allocate to us.

Montreal [...]

An Update from CRITIQ

Although we are not in the press or in the news very often, we are working very hard behind the scenes promoting and pushing for Special Status for Montréal. We encourage everyone to contact Mayor Denis Coderre and Premier Couillard to push for special status for Montréal now.

Special Status would insulate Montréal from the Federalist separation debate as well is the language issues and struggles. Montréal needs the power to have control over local transport, control over the spending from tax revenues, incentives to be able to encourage foreign direct investment, the ability to have investment friendly taxes, such as tax-free tourist zones in old Montréal, and the ability to have investment friendly language laws.

We encourage you to sign the petition for Special Status online at:

Please continue to stay involved, get the message out. In addition, Fundraising would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you,

Executive Committee

March 18th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments|

What Special Status Means to CRITIQ

Notre Montréal is a CRITIQ (Canadian Rights in Quebec) initiative encouraging Mayor Denis Coderre and Montreal residents to adopt special status for the city. CRITIQ’s efforts have been instrumental in the widespread acceptance and push for a ‘special status’ for the city of Montreal.

Click this link to read our newly published English-language document on exactly what special status means to us!

April 30th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments|
  • CRITIQ was the catalyst for the special status for Montreal movement
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    Opinion: The idea of special status for Montreal is gaining ground

Opinion: The idea of special status for Montreal is gaining ground

Originally published in the Montreal Gazette on April 20, 2014.


What would it take to get back the Montreal of decades past?

The push for a meaningful special status for Montreal inside Quebec is a response to the never-ending threat of a referendum and the continual neglect of Montreal by provincial governments.

The notion of special status has shed its reactionary stigma in recent months, as more people embrace the potential benefits. Montreal represents a huge proportion of Quebec’s population, as well as its GDP, so it does not make sense for Quebec legislators to govern as if all regions were the same. Special status legally recognizes the uniqueness of Montreal; if implemented, it would provide a framework for customized legislation to meet the city’s special needs.

As stated in a recent study conducted by BMO in tandem with Boston Consulting Group, “Montreal doesn’t have the same instruments as other Canadian metropolises to exercise its authority. It has the powers of a rural municipality.” The same study recommends endowing Montreal with the rightful powers of a metropolis — including retaining and attracting talent from across the globe, fixing the city’s infrastructure, and promoting a unique Montreal.

Hong-Kong, Dubai, New York and Toronto are all cities that have achieved some form of special status, and are operating with increased autonomy vis-à-vis their regional governments. British Columbia has even passed province-wide legislation granting increased power to municipalities across the board.

Even Mayor Denis Coderre is on board — although he needs to support this concept more deeply and forcefully. He’s been quoted as saying that Montreal needs more powers to diversify its sources of revenue, so that it isn’t so heavily reliant on property tax. [...]

April 20th, 2014|Blog, Opinion|0 Comments|
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    Letter Re: Parents queuing for coveted French immersion spots

Letter Re: Parents queuing for coveted French immersion spots

Last Fall, I was visited here by my Vancouver niece with her husband and their two girls. I had not seen this family since Danica (who now is seven years old) was a crawling baby, and there was not yet a sister (who is now five). My whole family there has never lived or worked outside of Vancouver, and is cognizant of Quebec and language issues only through their own educational and professional, all English, experiences.

The highlight of the Montreal visit was a celebratory brunch for all of us: lovely downtown restaurant, three adults, and two beautiful, chattering little girls who were allowed to order their own grown-up menu lunch. A handsome grandfatherly waiter patiently attended this lot, and accorded the kids the deference that he gave to the adults. The parents and one little girl ordered in English, I ordered in half French and half English, and Danica ordered in French. I was astounded, the parents complimented her on this “immersion course” initiative. The waiter was totally seduced. I have never had better service in any Montreal restaurant.

Danica’s sister is on a waiting list for her immersion French course in Vancouver. She has been on that waiting list for four years. I am informed that the numbers quota for her entry time may be a problem. She may have to wait for a drop-out on the list.

Parents are taking the lead in telling us that Canada is not meeting its obligations of being a fully bilingual country. Here in Quebec, parents are making similar demands, or seeking private school placement for English education. It is time that we supported, and pushed, our politicians and educators for a truly bilingual education.

The issue of Bilingual [...]

April 11th, 2014|Blog, Opinion|0 Comments|
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    Joanne Marcotte Reminds Us That Nationalists Do Want Francophones To Learn English

Joanne Marcotte Reminds Us That Nationalists Do Want Francophones To Learn English

A week from today, Quebecers will decide who will form the next provincial government. That has obviously put pressure on all the political parties to pull out every weapon imaginable to gain as much support during the home stretch of their campaigns. Critics all have different opinions on the parties and how they’ve performed in the past month. One of those critics is journalist and filmmaker Joanne Marcotte.

Marcotte is known for lifting the veil off of Quebec politics and showing the public just how complex, confusing and hypocritical it can be. She was a former Journal de Montréal/Québec journalist until she was fired just before it was announced that former Québecor Media CEO, Pierre Karl Péladeau, would be running as a candidate for the Parti Québecois. Québecor is the parent company of Journal.

This past week, after Québec Liberal leader, Philippe Couillard, took what is seen as an unpopular public stance in support of bilingualism during the last television debates via TVA, Marcotte published some interesting information on her blog. She referenced a 1992 interview between Time magazine and Jacques Parizeau. That article includes a quote from the former Parti Québecois leader and Québec premier on the subject of bilingualism.
Q. How would a free Quebec deal with English and French languages?
A. Well, we have been committed since the notorious–some would say–bill of 1977 [declaring French to be Quebec’s official language] to set up a society that functions in French. Does that mean that Quebecois should not learn English? By God, I’ll boot the rear end of anyone who can’t speak English. In our day and times, a small people like us must speak English.
Somehow the world didn’t implode after Parizeau made the [...]

March 31st, 2014|Blog|0 Comments|
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    Audio Interview: Tommy Schnurmacher X Richard Yufe on Special Status for Montreal

Audio Interview: Tommy Schnurmacher X Richard Yufe on Special Status for Montreal

Richard Yufe, spokesperson for CRITIQ, discusses the campaign to get Montrealers to sign the online petition for special status, on CJAD 800’s Tommy Schnurmacher radio show.

March 5th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments|