Rachel Garber

Into my email box every morning comes a little news digest of items of interest to persons of illicit language in Quebec. It’s in English, but includes items from news outlets in both French and English. For example, I learned yesterday what Clifford Lincoln said about English signage around Premier Legault’s Montreal office, and that the Montreal mayor said French is a “unifying link.”
Looking east, I discover the Francophone population of New Brunswick is growing; one-third of newcomers in 2022 primarily spoke French. And west, Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur celebrates Louis Riel Day and rights for minority languages in Manitoba. And right here, Élections Québec is investigating political donations made by a grieving couple in exchange for a meeting with Quebec’s transport minister.
For someone like me who believes the arts and nature are the real business of life, politics can be entertaining. Sort of. I acknowledge that politics, economics, education, health, and other societal issues can have devastating consequences for those who make art and champion nature. So I’m happy to receive a little daily digest to keep me au courant, with links to further reading.
The Daily Briefing emails come from the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), the mother ship of English-speaking community groups in Quebec. The emails are free and open to all. You are invited to subscribe at
The service began 25 years ago, and is now open to all English-speaking Quebecers. QCGN’s Communications Director Rita Legault noted their aim is to offer information about issues of concern to our communities. It gives short summaries of QCGN news items as well as news published in the media about various topics relating to language, politics, social issues, and more.
Even, sometimes, the arts!
Mental Health Estrie invites us to a workshop series “Improving Your Relationship with Yourself” with Risha Dave (she/her), Registered Psychotherapist, Canadian Certified Counsellor, and former MHE employee. These virtual workshops are free, open to all, and in English.
Self-Care Practices to Improve Overall Well-Being is the topic on Wednesday, February 28, and Decolonizing Self-Care is on Wednesday, March 6. Both are from 6:30 to 8 p.m. “In a society that values productivity, many of us find it difficult to prioritize rest. Join us as we take a deep dive into some of the barriers that make it difficult to care for ourselves,” MHE says. For info, or to register, email, or call 819-565-2388.
Last call! The deadline is February 29 for submissions to the Townships Young Voices Awards. A total of $3,000 is to be shared by 15 award recipients aged 11 to 29, who create short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, or photos for magazines. For info, let your fingertips do the walking to That’s where you will find the guidelines and a quick and easy online submission form. Info:
Upcoming March 12 and 26, April 9 and 23, and May 7 and 21: Card parties for seniors, with a light lunch, hosted by the Bulwer Golden Agers at the Bulwer Community Centre, 254 Jordan Hill Road, Bulwer. Activities include cribbage, carpet bowling, and cards. The parties are every two weeks on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. New members are welcome. Info: Peggy & Leigh Grapes, 819-875-3543.
A bilingual income tax assistance program in Sawyerville assists persons with limited income, free of charge. Trained volunteers prepare both Canada and Quebec returns. This service is organized by the Loisirs de Sawyerville, and is part of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program organized by the Canada Revenue Agency. It starts March 6.
To use the Community Volunteer Income Tax Service, you must be: (1) a single person with a maximum annual revenue of $35,000; (2) a couple with a maximum revenue of $45,000, plus $2,500 for each dependant; or (3) a single parent with a child, with a maximum revenue of $45,000 plus $2,500 for each additional dependant. Income from interest should not exceed $1,000. Persons with income from self-employment, bankruptcy, or deceased persons are not eligible.
The Sawyerville income tax assistance program features the same team of volunteers as in the past – Danielle, Francine, and Suzanne. On Wednesday afternoons, March 6 and 27, from 1 to 4 p.m., and March 13 and 20, from 1 to 6 p.m., they will be waiting for you at the Catholic church in Sawyerville, Église Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire, 4 Randboro Road. Use the back door to enter the basement. Check last issue’s Rachel Writes for details on what to bring. Info: Danielle, 819-889-2614.
The Centre d’Action Bénévole du Haut-Saint-François (CAB) asks if you provide support to a member of your entourage at a psychological, physical or psychosocial or other level. Is the support provided continuous or occasional, short or long term and is it offered on a non-professional basis?
Is the support in the form of help such as transportation, personal care, housework, emotional support? Does it also lead to financial repercussions for the caregiver? Does your caregiving limit your ability to take care of yourself and your physical and mental health, or to assume your other responsibilities?
If so, the CAB welcomes you to a group that gives you a chance to talk about what you are going through, share information about resources, or enjoy an outing to recharge your batteries. In English. Info: Nathalie Ledoux, 819-238-8541.
United. Sunday services are 9:30 a.m. at the Trinity United Church (Cookshire), and 11 a.m. at the Sawyerville United Church. Info: 819-889-2838. For pastoral care, call Rev. Spires at 819-452-3685.
Baptist. Sunday Services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m., at the Sawyerville Baptist Church, 33 rue de Cookshire. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Anglican. No services in Cookshire. To find services in the deanery, check the schedule at Info: 819-887-6802, or
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email by March 4 for publication March 13.

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