In August 2017 Bishop’s University will welcome young English-speaking Quebecers to its Lennoxville campus for a week-long Civic Leadership Institute. This initiative is being supported by the Quebec Government as part of its Stratégie d’action jeunesse 2016-2021.

The Institute, which is part of the action plan announced on Monday by Premier Philippe Couillard and Karine Vallières, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (Youth) and MNA for Richmond, is being led by Bishop’s Dean of Education, Marie-Josée Berger with the support of the Quebec Community Group’s Network (QCGN).

“One of the most important challenges facing Quebec’s English-speaking community is its capacity to retain its young people,” said Michael Goldbloom C.M., Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University. “As for all young Quebecers, the economic health and social dynamism of Quebec society will be critical determinants in whether young English-speaking adults choose to make their lives here.”

“There are additional factors which impact young English-speaking Quebecers and their decisions to remain in Quebec,” commented Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Director General of the QCGN. “Three of the most important factors are their capacity to communicate effectively in French; their employment opportunities; and their sense of engagement in – and capacity to contribute to – Quebec society.”

“Bishop’s University believes that it can contribute to this third element by enhancing their understanding of how some of the fundamental institutions of Quebec society function,” Goldbloom said.

“We are looking forward to working with the QCGN and English CEGEPs to organize a program which will give young people a better understanding of how their society operates,” said Berger, noting the program will give the students insight into how some major Quebec institutions operate, such as the National Assembly, political parties, the education and health care systems, community and not-for-profit organizations and the media. “The goal of the program will be to give young people not only a sense of what it is like to work in these major sectors but also how to influence change.”

“We believe that the more engaged that young people are in Quebec society the more likely they are to choose to make their lives here,” said Martin-Laforge.

During the Institute, participants will be asked to identify a change that they would like to see in an aspect of Quebec society and they will be given guidance about how to develop and implement a strategy to help effect that change.

This week-long Institute, to be held on the Bishop’s campus in Sherbrooke (Lennoxville), will take place in August of 2017. This opportunity for CEGEP students will be at no cost to the participants. Instructors will include a cross section of Quebec’s institutional and organizational leaders.

Contact: Denise Lauzière
Principal’s Office
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, extension 2201