Next week, between August 13 and 18, Bishop’s University will host 50 young leaders at the inaugural Bishop’s Forum – a week-long conference where young English-speaking Quebecers will engage in discussions about Quebec society.
“The Bishop’s Forum aims to give young English-speaking Quebecers an enhanced understanding of how Quebec society functions and greater insight into some of the key challenges we face,” said Bishop’s Principal Michael Goldbloom.
“Our hope is that this conference will help equip the participants to be engaged citizens who will choose to make their lives here in Quebec.”
Throughout the week the participants (18-24 years old) will gain a better understanding of how fundamental institutions of Quebec and Canadian society function.
They will discuss politics with former Premier Jean Charest, Quebec Youth Secretary Karine Vallières, and one of the two spokespersons’ of Québec Solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
They will talk about residential schools and reconciliation with Cree MP Romeo Saganash; about the environment with NDP leader Thomas Mulcair; about change through advocacy with human rights lawyer Pearl Eliadis; and about the role of the English-language media in Quebec with Senator Joan Fraser, a former editor of The Montreal Gazette. The week will conclude with presentations by the participants to a mock parliamentary commission on legislative changes they would hope to see.
“Through an exciting, enriching and interactive program, the Forum seeks to empower the next generation of young English-speaking leaders to build a smarter, richer, greener and more inclusive Quebec,” said Bishop’s Forum Director James Hughes, noting that youth will be better equipped to lead lasting change if they have the chance to interact with current Quebec leaders and thinkers who are shaping the province today.
Monday afternoon’s program will focus on Quebec’s English-speaking community as a series of English-speaking leaders will help participants gain a better understanding of the history, contributions and promise of the English-speaking community of Quebec.
“Our community has changed dramatically over the last 40 years and faces both new challenges and opportunities,” said Hughes, noting the Forum will explore what it is to be a member of the English-speaking community today and where and how emerging leadership can be exercised to strengthen both the community and the province.
“We must foster a sense of belonging to the English-speaking community and ensure they feel they are full and equal participants in the evolution of Quebec society,” commented Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Director General of the Quebec Community Groups Network, one of the forum’s partners. “Our youth are our future so we must do everything in our power to create opportunities for them to integrate economically and socially in Quebec. And the Bishop’s Forum is one way to do just that”.
The week-long civic leadership institute is funded by the Government of Quebec as part of its Stratégie d’action jeunesse 2016-2021. More information on the Bishop’s Forum can be found at www.bishopsforum.ubishops.ca.
Denise Lauzière, Bishop’s Forum | firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel.: 819-822-9600, ext. 2201.
For further information:
Rita Legault, Quebec Community Groups Network | email@example.com | Tel.: 514-868-9044, ext. 223 Mobile: 514-912-6555.