--April 10, 2012.
Last week, a delegation from the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network made a presentation before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages (LANG) in Ottawa. Appearing on behalf of QAHN were President Kevin O’Donnell, Executive Director Matthew Farfan and Past President Rod MacLeod.
The occasion for QAHN’s presentation, which took place in the elegant Centre Block of the House of Commons, is the ongoing evaluation by the Standing Committee of the five-year Government of Canada program called the “Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008-2013,” which is scheduled to come to an end next year.
The committee has been consulting with minority-language groups all across Canada over the past few months. QAHN was called upon to offer its views of the program on behalf of Quebec’s minority-language heritage community.
As part of its appearance before the 12-member Standing Committee, which is composed of Members of Parliament from all three major parties, QAHN deposited a brief outlining its position. Titled (in English) “Preserving Our Heritage Together,” and (in French) “Maintenons ensemble notre patrimoine,” the brief describes the nature of Roadmap funding to QAHN (and through QAHN local heritage groups around Quebec) over the past few years.
Among other points, the brief summarizes QAHN’s Roadmap-funded projects, including the successful Heritage Online Multimedia (HOMEI) and Spoken Heritage Online Multimedia (SHOMI) initiatives, both completed in 2011, and StoryNet, now in progress.
As QAHN concluded in its brief, “without the Canadian government’s Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008-2013, many of the highly innovative, highly enriching, heritage projects outlined above, would, quite simply, never have gotten off the ground. Designed and overseen by the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network, with the support, input and active involvement of dozens of local and regional partner-organizations working all across Quebec, these projects have had (and have) one thing as their primary concern and goal: the preservation, enhancement and promotion of the culture and heritage of English-language communities in the province.”