Letter to the editor, Montreal Gazette

Re: “Emotions run high at Bill 14 hearing” (Gazette, April 10).

Jean-Paul Perreault, President of the language lobby group Impératif français said at hearings into Bill 14 that “in our view, there’s no place for anglophone hospitals in Quebec.”

Mr. Perreault is only technically correct. Since the adoption of Bill 101 in 1977, only French-language and bilingual hospitals exist in Quebec. Such is the case of the Jewish General Hospital, which proudly communicates in both official languages. Our diverse, multilingual staff is focused on providing compassionate, high-quality care in a safe environment, where French and English are respected and used effortlessly. Indeed, our research shows that our patients speak more than 90 languages.

No wonder the JGH has been cited through the years for its contributions as an outstanding partner in Quebec’s public healthcare system.

Even former Premier Jacques Parizeau has said, “The Jewish General Hospital saved the quality of my life.” What’s more, former Premier Lucien Bouchard said, “I believe undoubtedly that Montreal has, with the Jewish General Hospital, one of the best health institutions in the world.”

Even Mr. Perreault might be surprised to learn that the JGH, and the few other bilingual hospitals in Quebec, offer compassion, dignity and respect in the language that is most important to each patient. Many generations of Quebecers of all backgrounds have turned to the JGH, which proudly proclaims “Au service de tous.”

Glenn J. Nashen
Director, Public Affairs and Communications
Jewish General Hospital