Our community can make a difference as we head to the polls in October

We have a voice. Let’s be part of the conversation.

English-speaking Quebecers are an integral part of Quebec’s past, present, and future success.

In 2016, the English-speaking community of Quebec numbered a little more than 1.1 million people – about 13.7 per cent of Quebec’s population. In a handful of ridings, members of our community represent the majority of electors. In others, the percentage of English-speaking voters is greater than the margin of victory for the winning party in the last election.

English-speaking Quebecers have a voice. Yes, we are concerned about broad issues – the economy, taxes, the environment – but there are many vital issues that are specific to English-speaking Quebecers as members of a minority community.

Over the past few months, the Quebec Community Groups Network has been reaching out to various organizations representing English-speaking Quebecers across various regions and sectors to gather input about their anxieties and priorities for action. The objective is to share the critical concerns of our community with political parties, leaders, and candidates who are seeking our support and get them to commit to positive change.

We encourage all English-speaking Quebecers to increase their awareness of the issues affecting our community and to question candidates on these issues as you run into them on the election trail. We also encourage you to share your thoughts on QCGN’s Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #AnglosVote and #Qc2018.

QUEBEC’S ENGLISH-SPEAKING COMMUNITY AND THE 2018 PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS

Over the summer, the QCGN conducted broad consultations within our community that determined 16 key issues (see below) which our community would like to see addressed by the Government of Quebec. We have also written a letter to the leaders of the four main parties to seek their commitment to positive measures that meet the needs and priorities of the 1.1 million English-speaking Quebecers who make up Quebec’s English-speaking community.

The letter asks party leaders to pledge to maintain the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers and to enshrine it in law; to guarantee access to health and social services and other government programs in English; to protect the constitutional minority language rights of English-speaking Quebecers to manage and control their schools through elected school boards; and to address the employability issues and poverty facing English-speaking Quebecers. The questions, and the replies from each party, will be published here on our website and may form the basis of a media release and an op-ed before the election.

As the leaders and candidates for the Coalition Avenir Québec, Quebec Liberal Party, the Parti Québécois, Québec Solidaire, and other parties court your vote, we encourage members of the community to keep these questions and priorities in mind.

CLICK ON PARTY LOGOS TO READ REPLIES

(In French)
Secretariat & Intergovernmental Affairs
Civil Service & Government Bodies
Language
Access to Justice in English
Health & Social Services
Mental Health & Caregivers
Children and Families at Risk
Seniors
Youth
Primary & Secondary Schools
CEGEPS & Universities
Immigration & Diversity
Economic Security
Regional Community Development
Arts, Culture & Heritage
Community Media

SECRETARIAT & INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

Enshrine the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers in law.

Establish the Minister of Relations with English-speaking Quebecers and its supporting Secretariat as a permanent government entity within legislation, by amending the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif.

Require the Minister responsible for Intergovernmental and Canadian Relations to work with the Minister of Relations with English-speaking Quebecers and representative organizations of Quebec’s English-speaking community to leverage and complement Government of Canada assistance for official language minority communities.

Create an English-speaking Community Development Fund built on available federal resources, to strengthen the vitality of English-speaking Quebec via the Government of Canada’s official languages’ strategies such as Intergovernmental Cooperation on Minority Language Services.

CIVIL SERVICE & GOVERNMENT BODIES

Commit to achieving equity in participation of Quebec’s English-speaking minority across the Quebec public service by 2028.

Direct Treasury Board, in partnership with English-speaking community representative organizations, to carry out studies and consultations to identify roadblocks that now virtually exclude of English-speakers from Quebec’s public service.

Develop strategies and mechanisms to remove these obstacles, setting progress milestones that will achieve full equity within 10 years.

Improve pathways for English-speaking university and college students to obtain internships and jobs within the Quebec civil service during and after their studies.

Appoint more English-speaking Quebecers to provincial agencies, boards and para-public bodies to better reflect the composition of the communities they serve.

LANGUAGE

Acknowledge that the legislated primacy of the French language should not impede the vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking community and its institutions.

Give proper consideration to the needs and rights of the English-speaking community in all government legislation, regulations, policies, programs and services.

Mobilize opportunities to improve access to French-language skills.

  • Create new opportunities for improved French-language training, specifically establish free French-language training for all Quebecers.
  • Promote the integration of newcomers to Quebec by providing programs approved by the Office Québécois de la langue française (OQLF) for French
    second-language teaching and francization in English-language schools and CEGEPs.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN ENGLISH

Guarantee access to legal services, and accessible information about them, in English.

Actively recruit English-speaking Quebecers, or those with sufficient English-language skills, throughout the entire justice system – e.g. courts, police forces and administrative tribunals – to effectively meet the needs of English-speaking Quebecers.

Increase funding to government departments and non-government organizations to provide services and information in English.

Distribute information online in English to assist English-speaking Quebecers seeking government services, informing them of their rights and legal obligations.

Adopt and publish provincial laws and regulations in English, ensuring that the English version is clear and equivalent to the French one.

HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

Deliver on legislative guarantees that ensure access to health and social services in English.

Support the representation of English-speaking communities in the governance of Quebec’s health and social services system.

Create an official designation for English-speaking individuals appointed to represent the English-speaking community on the board of directors of each CISSS and CIUSSS.

Make certain that advisory committees intended to preserve the character of our community’s historical institutions are created.

  • Provide the necessary resources to support the effective functioning of these committees and other entities such as the corporations and foundations entrusted with preserving the legacy of these institutions.

Ensure the full participation of English-speaking community representatives in the development and implementation of effective access programs for health and social services in English.

Appoint community representatives to the Provincial Committee on the dispensing of health and social services in English and to regional access committees.

  • Ensure that community representatives have knowledge and experience of the history, culture and linguistic character of the English-speaking community; grasp the issues with respect to provision of services; and understand the organization of the health and social services system.
  • Provide these committees with the necessary financial resources to properly carry out their mandates.
  • Assign dedicated financial resources within the budget of each institution to support the full engagement of its service programs and personnel in the development its access program, as well as support effective and timely participation of the English-speaking community.

MENTAL HEALTH & CAREGIVERS

Take action within government policies and programs to address mental-health challenges facing English-speaking communities.

Increase government support of mental-health promotion programs for English-speaking communities, including community-school partnerships that promote school-based mental health.

Direct more resources within government mental-health promotion programs to target vulnerable English-speaking populations.

Increase government support of community-sponsored programs that assist caregivers for those with mental health problems.

SENIORS

Provide English-speaking seniors and their caregivers with improved access to Quebec government programs.

Fund programs and services for vulnerable seniors and elderly English-speaking Quebecers who face language barriers in communicating with, and accessing the information provided by public institutions and agencies.

Connect representatives of government programs with the regional organizations and community health networks that serve English-speaking communities.

Identify and address the specific needs of English-speaking communities within provincial policies and programs that serve seniors and caregivers, particularly in the areas of housing; pensions, taxes and other financial concerns; transportation in both urban and rural areas; social isolation and all forms of elder abuse.

Increase the participation of English-speaking individuals and organizations in funding programs that support seniors and caregivers.

CHILDREN & FAMILIES AT RISK

Recognize the vulnerability of English-speaking children, youth and their families within government policies and programs.

Organize, in conjunction with English-speaking community groups, a government-community forum to document the socio-economic status of Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

Increase participation of English-speaking communities in regional and provincial consultative groups that set priorities for government support of children, youth and families at risk. Increase participation of English-speaking communities in funding programs at the regional and provincial levels.

Make certain that the full range of services available to the majority community are available to English-speaking children, youth and their families.

YOUTH

Demonstrate to young English-speaking Quebecers that they have a promising future in Quebec.

Ensure a broad range of educational, training opportunities, French-language instruction, as well as job placement support for youth to help them fulfill their desire remain in Quebec and contribute to Quebec society.

Create internship programs, in partnership with private, public and volunteer sector employers, for bilingual non-francophone youth that provide university and college students and recent graduates an opportunity to hone their French-language skills in a working environment.

Support English-speaking youth who want to be bilingual and foster better relations with their Francophone counterparts.

PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Recognize and respect the constitutional minority language rights of English-speaking Quebecers to manage and control their educational institutions. 

Respect that all members of the minority language community, whether or not they have children in schools, have the right to elect representatives to manage and control their minority language education system.

Comply with s.23 (1) (a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and work cooperatively with, and not usurp the authority of minority language parents to freely exercise their linguistic minority education rights.

Develop an action plan that ensures Quebec’s English-language schools benefit from funding and services equivalent to those provided French-language schools.

Allow English-speaking immigrants and refugees to attend English-language schools.

Review the Tribunal administratif du Québec process regarding English school eligibility appeals. Ensure decisions are released with fewer delays and that rulings are consistent.

Ensure that the Quebec’s high-school curriculum reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity of historic and contemporary Quebec society, and that teaching programs include local history.

CEGEPS & UNIVERSITIES

Ensure continued unrestricted access to enrollment in English CEGEPs.

Raise or remove enrollment caps for English CEGEPs.

Improve access to CEGEP level courses across Quebec by supporting cooperative arrangements between CEGEPs and enhanced distance-education applications that are of critical importance for English populations in the regions.

Promote the work of Quebec’s English CEGEPs as cultural and social hubs providing music, theatre, and learning opportunities in English.

Support the role of English-language universities as centres for community-based research and initiatives​.

  • Invest in new and ongoing research focussed on and co-created by Quebec’s English-speaking communities.
  • Establish and maintain, within an English-language university, a permanent centre devoted to producing, sharing and mobilizing knowledge about Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

IMMIGRATION & DIVERSITY

Avoid acrimonious debates on identity, multiculturalism, religious accommodation and immigration. 

Recognize English-speaking Quebec’s communities and institutions as viable partners to attract, integrate and retain newcomers to Quebec.

Acknowledge that Quebec’s linguistic, religious and cultural diversity offer enormous benefits and commit to respect Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and pledge to protect, defend, and advance the individual rights and freedoms of all Quebecers.

Identify and adopt best practices to foster the full and active participation of ethnic, religious, and cultural communities in Quebec society.

Conduct a public information campaign that increases public awareness of the benefits of a diverse society and promotes harmonious intercultural relations.

ECONOMIC SECURITY

Address poverty and employability issues facing English-speaking Quebecers and stimulate economic leadership within English-speaking communities.

Identify and tackle persistent poverty issues facing low-income English-speaking Quebecers.

Create employability programs and measures that directly address the unique challenges of unemployed and underemployed English-speaking youths and adults.

Ensure the availability of business support services in English in Quebec.

Assist English-speaking Quebecers to improve entrepreneurship skills to better seize business development opportunities.

Provide English-speaking Quebecers with labour market information tailored to help them better identify jobs for which they are qualified and competitive.

REGIONAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Ensure adequate support for rural and isolated English-speaking communities lacking a full range of services and infrastructure.

Foster greater participation of English-speaking community sector organizations in government mechanisms serving regional populations, as well as decision-making bodies such as MRCs.

Introduce flexibility to policies and criteria that currently deny English-speaking Quebecers access to certain government programs in the regions because of their low numbers.

Create employment programs and employability measures to ensure population retention and increase the return rates of young people who leave the regions for educational or job opportunities.

Support and fund institutions, particularly in the education and health & social services sectors, so they can adequately serve English-speaking residents in their primary language.

ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE

Recognize the intrinsic contributions provided by English-speaking Quebecers to Quebec’s arts, culture and heritage.

Commit to positive measures ensuring full participation of English-speaking artists, cultural workers and heritage organizations and institutions in development of government policy and related funding programs.

Recruit and hire English-speaking individuals in positions of influence to participate in cultural and heritage sector grant evaluations.

Direct the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers to link English-speaking arts, culture, production and heritage groups and relevant government bodies such as the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles.

Assure that anticipated revenues generated from taxing top media providers are applied toward supporting Quebec’s arts, culture, and heritage programs in which English organizations are consulted, and benefit equitably.

Ensure the English heritage sector is properly funded. This requires a streamlined accreditation process for heritage organizations and a fair and equitable distribution of program and project funding.

COMMUNITY MEDIA

Take steps to assist and help sustain English-language community media essential to keep minority communities informed and connected.

Support the media industry through initiatives, grants and programs to ensure minority communities are well informed and have a local news medium available to them.

Increase provincial government print advertising in English-language and bilingual community newspapers to keep the English-speaking population informed and connected, especially in rural and remote regions.

Assist in the digital transition of newspapers with flexible programs so that community newspapers can adapt their products to better serve their communities.

Evaluate the tonnage of newsprint going into municipal waste pick-up more accurately to reduce skyrocketing recycling fees paid by community newspapers.

QCGN Elections Toolbox

Who is running?

Meet with a candidate

All-candidates meetings

Question the candidates