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ABOUT THE TASK FORCE

The Task Force was formed to stop Quebec's Bill 96 and Canada's Bill C-13 & we will continue to fight for linguistic equality

The Task Force demonstrating against Bill 96

The Task Force on Linguistic Policy is a non-partisan, grassroots not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization originating from a group of dedicated citizens wanting to stop the enactment of Quebec's egregious, mean-spirited Bill 96 and Canada’s Bill C-13.

Our fight for the linguistic rights enshrined in Canada’s Constitution started in June of 2021. As members of Quebec’s English-speaking community, we saw we were being abandoned by the major political parties in Quebec’s legislature as well as our Federal parliament. The belief that French was in decline and immediate interventions were required was widespread, even if it meant the denial of rights and freedoms and the creation of second-class citizens.

This was unacceptable, and something had to be done at the grassroots level. No one was representing the interests of individuals affected by these laws; no one was giving a voice to the voiceless. 1.25 million Anglophone Quebecers were becoming stateless; a forgotten minority made to feel like they were not welcome in their home province.

Close up of 3 faces with an X of red tape over each mouth
Graphic of people divided by a chasm

We launched our website www.ProtectOurRights.ca which would later become  www.TheTaskForce.ca.  With our efforts, many more became aware of the egregious content of these Bills. Still, the governments rammed them through the consultation process, and in the end, Bill 96 was passed into law on May 21, 2022, by Quebec’s majority CAQ Government, and on June 20, 2023, C-13 received royal assent, incorporating Quebec’s newly amended Charter of the French Language into its preamble.

Quebec’s English Speaking Communities

Map of Quebec depicting the Anglophone population

What does all this mean?

Bill 96 and the proposed constitutional amendment, which establishes Quebec as a nation with the French language being the only official and common language, in conjunction with C-13, represent a fundamental restructuring of the Canadian constitution, language policy, and basic human rights and freedoms.

Clearly, the linguistic rights of Quebec’s Anglophone minority are under attack, scapegoated under the premise that French is in decline and needing protection at the expense of rights, freedoms, and respect for our contribution to society. As a community, we need to fight back, and that is what we do.

Our Beliefs

The Task Force envisions a linguistically tolerant and inclusive Quebec where constitutional rights and freedoms regarding political representation, education, health, social, judicial, and other government services are guaranteed in both official languages by law to everyone. 

Our Mission

The Task Force will represent individuals, partner with organizations and help coordinate under-represented groups to advocate for a bilingual society; taking action to expose and oppose legislative and other measures that:

  • Ignore, defy or disregard linguistic rights and freedoms as inscribed in the Canadian Constitution and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, OR

  • Reduce or hinder the vitality of, and services for, communities because of linguistic restrictions.

Our Vision

The Task Force demonstrating against Bill 96

Our Tactics

The Task Force  will deliver its mission through:
 

  • Information dissemination, legislative and policy briefs, and analysis

  • Press releases, traditional and social media engagement

  • Roundtables, speaking engagements, and network building

  • Outreach to elected officials, community, and opinion leaders

  • Events, petitions, campaigns, and demonstrations

  • Court challenges

Our Motto

WE TAKE ACTION!

We see many people joining Facebook Groups to talk and complain about their lost linguistic rights.  At the Task Force we do more than talk.  WE TAKE ACTION!  Join us, support us, and volunteer. It is together as a community that we will prevail!

Significant Milestones Achieved

  • Launched a lawsuit in Quebec’s Superior court serving both the Attorneys General of Quebec and Canada for in unconstitutionality of Bill 96

  • Filed an Application for Interlocutory Injunction requesting the cessation of future measures related to the implementation of Bill 96 

  • Frequently interviewed by French and English media

  • Issued numerous news releases and op-eds.

  • Organized, co-organized and participated in many Bill 96 protest rallies.

  • Enabled collection of stories on our website giving a voice to those affected by Bill 96 and collecting anecdotal evidence for our court cases. 

  • Filed a brief outlining issues and concerns for the C-13 Senate Committee. 

  • Presented briefs to QCGN hearings into Bll 96 

  • Produced an advertisement to counter the propaganda being disseminated by L’Imperatif Francais ridiculing Quebec Anglophones

Arms showing thumbs up

Key Strategic Pillars, Priorities and Projects

Fighting in Court

By far, our biggest program is ‘Taking Bill 96 to Court’ and consequently our focus must be on fundraising as without public donations, our efforts will simply have to cease.   There is no contesting that lawsuits are expensive.  By November 30, 2023, we had paid over $100,000 in legal fees to support our court cases.  We expect our total needs to exceed $500,000.

Organizational Depth  

We continue to mature as an organization and are working on our organizational infrastructure.   As such, our next steps are to bolster our board with prominent members of the community with goals of growing our membership.   We will also continue to search for volunteers willing to take on leadership roles to be more present in the community.  Behind the scenes, we are also working to improve our technical infrastructure to support our work.

Communication campaigns

Apparently, restoring rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution is seen as being ‘political’ and so many community groups, businesses  and organizations simply do not want to get involved, take a stand or forward our message.  Many prefer instead to ignore the effect of the growing intolerance, linguistic divisiveness and hardship to many.  We therefore intend to increase our media communications to break this barrier, using the stories collected under Our Tell Us Your Story Program to get the truth out into the public domain.

Task Force on Linguistic Policy President, Andrew Caddell

Our President, Andrew Caddell brings with him a wealth of political wisdom and experience to lead us in achieving our vision and mission.

Andrew has been active in Canadian public life for five decades as a reporter, ministerial advisor, public servant, and diplomat.

Over the course of his career. he served as  a senior policy advisor for Global Affairs Canada for fifteen (15) years, with the Solicitor General of Canada and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.  He has written notable speeches for Ministers and Prime Ministers, including Pierre Pettigrew and Paul Martin and was a key contributor in drafting policy regarding Canada’s policy at the United Nations.

In addition  to leading us at the Task Force and being a plaintiff in our lawsuits against Bill 96, Andrew is also a columnist for Ottawa’s Hill Times newspaper

Andrew-Caddell.jpg

a frequent guest on CJAD 800’s Big 5 program, and a town Councillor in the historic Quebec village of Kamouraska.  

Andrew is always up for a friendly chat about history and politics, priding himself of his family’s Scottish and Barbadian roots as well as his ancestral home in Kamouraska.  

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master's in Journalism from Carleton University.

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