Our Community’s Uniqueness

Word from the President
Alexander Reford

The recent controversy of the Quebec government’s “Charte des valeurs québécoises” has once again brought to light the uniqueness of the province of Quebec and its relationship to its minority communities. The proposed charter announced by the PQ government on September 10 has become the subject of intense public debate and encouraged an extraordinary participation of citizens and groups in the discussion.

The English-speaking community of the Lower St. Lawrence has never been ostentatious, certainly not in terms of wearing or promoting its religion or religious symbols. Indeed, visitors to the English-speaking communities frequently remark at the discreet nature of the Protestant churches and how humble and modest they are in comparison with the churches that are the central feature of the cities and towns along the St. Lawrence. This discretion has been notable, certainly since the Quiet Revolution and the changes that have transformed Quebec over the past 50 years.

Our organization and our community, like many others in Quebec, is asking itself the question: what is our place in Quebec society today and in the future? Our organization is taking this a step further by embarking on the development of a strategic plan to guide our organization for the next year and beyond. In addition to asking whether or not our organization is a group to provide services to the community or to protect the rights of its citizens, we are asking ourselves many other questions. Who do we serve? Who should we serve? (Can we serve the entire region of the Lower St. Lawrence or only its urban centres?) What does our community want? What should be our primary focus: education, health and social services or culture? Or all of the above?

This process is one that is both internal and external. We are asking our staff and board these questions. But we will also be asking you, our readers and community members, for your input. This is not the first time nor will it be the last time we undertake this exercise. It is a process which is vital to allowing our organization to advance and to continue to serve our community as it has done for the past decade.

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