Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette has announced plans to adopt new regulation in the hopes of improving access to health care services for English-speaking Quebecers.
Global’s Anne Leclair reports.
Quebec’s English-speaking communities are one step closer to having more of a say on access to healthcare services in English.
The Quebec government announced that it’s greenlighted the creation of a revamped provincial advisory committee that will monitor healthcare services in English and provide recommendations on how what’s needed and where.
The revised committee was held up by the merger nearly three years ago of health care agencies overseeing services in different regions in the province.
English-speaking Quebecers will now have more of a voice when it comes to health and social services for the Anglophone community.
Quebec’s health minister announced a new regulation on Monday aimed at addressing concerns that were raised three years ago with the introduction of Bill 10.
The 2015 bill massively reorganized Quebec’s healthcare and social services system, sparking an outcry from the English-speaking community that they would lose a voice due to the elimination of health boards and patients’ committees.
On Monday, several prominent English-rights advocates said they’ve been working closely with Health Minister Gaetan Barrette to address those concerns.
The newly announced regulation will create both a provincial access committee and several regional committees.
“What’s changed here is the provincial advisory committee is now a committee of our community,” said Eric Maldoff, head of the health and social services committee of the Quebec Community Groups Network.
The federal government’s announcement of $500 million in new spending for official-language minority communities was heartily welcomed by groups representing English-speaking communities in Quebec Wednesday.
The new spending brings the total investment of the federal government to $2.7 billion, the largest-ever commitment to official languages.
“The government of Canada has increased its investment in official languages by $500 million — a remarkable increase — and it has put English-speaking Quebec front and centre,” said James Shea, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), a coalition representing 56 English-language community organizations across Quebec.
The Quebec Community Groups Network says its members are happy Anglophones were mentioned in the 2018-2019 Quebec budget.
They say overall, they are pleased with the $25 million going to support English-speaking Quebecers.
Part of that money is going to scientific research, focused on anglophone communities, which the QCGN says is objective third-party research into minority issues.
QUEBEC — Following years of complaints that the needs and concerns of the province’s English-speaking minority have gone largely unheeded, Quebec announced it will invest $24.5 million over the next six years to support community institutions and work to keep young anglo Quebecers in the province.
The money will go toward the secretariat of anglophone affairs created last November, with Minister Kathleen Weil at its helm. To date, the bureau within Quebec’s civil service designed to ensure the needs of the community are reflected in government policy, had received $1 million in funding and counted five employees. Tuesday’s budget marked the first time a firm dollar figure had been connected to the secretariat.
The ambitious budget is raining money on health care, education, small businesses and more.
There will be $24.5 million of Quebec’s economic plan over the next five years given to the Department for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers to ensure the “vitality” of the province’s anglophone community.
This comes after Leitao met with several anglophone group at the beginning of March as part of the consultation process for the budget, including Youth Employment Services (YES), the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).
At the time, the QCGN insisted there was a need to establish committees to serve Montreal’s English hospitals and create organizations to act as access points for the English-speaking community.
Quebec’s health care and education systems will see a major influx of cash in 2018 as the Couillard government prepares for a fall election campaign.
The government’s fifth budget, tabled Tuesday, includes a 4.7-per cent increase in total spending, with new money and tax breaks for young families, seniors and small businesses.
There was also $2 million set aside for the new Quebec secretariat tasked with dealing with issues affecting Quebec’s anglophones, and a commitment of $24.5 million over six years if the Liberals are re-elected.
Geoffrey Chambers, vice-president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, praised the funding, saying “the fact that we’re in this exercise is a really huge step forward.”
Younger Quebecers need to respect, value and spend more time with isolated seniors, perhaps particularly in Quebec’s anglophone communities, the minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers said Friday.
“There needs to be a major public campaign to sensitize people to the value that these seniors represent for the community,” Kathleen Weil told reporters after a meeting with leaders of about a dozen organizations that serve elderly anglophones on the island of Montreal. “They deserve full respect.”
The minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers met with leaders from more than a dozen Montreal seniors’ groups Friday to hear their concerns.
Kathleen Weil acknowledged that English-speaking seniors require some adapted public services. Weil and the head of the English-language secretariat have toured the province to gather data on minorities, including information about anglophone seniors. This data will be used to create a new government action plan.
CJAD’s Leslie Roberts interview with QCGN Vice-President Geoffrey Chambers on a Montreal’s family fight to get youth protection services in English.
A Montreal family is speaking out about their fight to get youth protection services in English. After escaping domestic violence in 2010, the family was sent to the Centre Jeunesse de Montréal, where they were provided with unilingual francophone caseworkers.
The family filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission but the case was dismissed. Minority-rights groups are now calling for an independent investigation into the commission’s decision.
In an interview with Francopresse, QCGN President James Shea discusses our community’s expectations out of the 2018-2023 Action Plan.
The recent federal budget indicated that there will be an additional $400 million in support for Official Languages, however the details of how the money will be spent are not yet known.
For what is being billed as a first by a Quebec government, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão met with several anglophone groups in a closed-door session at McGill University on Wednesday as part of the consultation process for the next budget.
“There are some specific needs and we are going to try to address that,” he said. “This is just addressing issues of a very important component of our society.”
Groups attending included Youth Employment Services, the English Montreal School Board and the Quebec Community Groups Network. The QCGN was particularly interested in establishing committees to serve the English hospitals in Montreal, organizations that act as access points for the English-speaking community and their hospitals.
What do Quebec’s anglophones want in the upcoming Quebec budget?
That was the subject of a meeting at McGill University on Wednesday involving finance minister Carlos Leitao, anglo relations minister Kathleen Weil and members of more than a dozen community groups across the province.
Eric Maldoff, the chair of the health and social services committee at the Quebec Community Groups Network, says his group and others were looking for more money for the newly-created secretariat for English-speaking Quebecers, which would allow them to hire more staff to do research to better address the community’s concerns.
They were also looking for more funding for various community groups across the province, in order to better fulfill their mission to serve the anglophone community, particularly in the outlying regions.