As we head to the polls in October, our community has the power to make a difference

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

Canada’s English linguistic minority is our nation’s most populous and diverse official language minority community. With more than 1.1 million members, English-speaking Quebec depends on resources from the Government of Canada’s official languages’ strategy to support our community sector and institutions as we work to enhance our community’s vitality and develop its potential.

In a handful of Quebec’s federal ridings, members of our minority community represent a majority of registered voters. In others, the percentage of English-speaking electors exceeds the margin of victory racked up by the winning party in the 2015 election. So English-speaking Quebecers enjoy a significant voice in federal elections.

English-speaking Quebecers are concerned about broad issues – the economy, taxes, the environment – as well as issues specific to being members of an official language minority community.

During the past few months, the Quebec Community Groups Network has reached out to organizations representing English-speaking Quebecers across our many regions and sectors. We have gathered and distilled input about our community’s priorities for action. We are sharing these critical concerns with the political parties, leaders, and candidates who seek our support. We want their commitment to positive change.

We encourage all English-speaking Quebecers to increase awareness of the issues affecting our community and our future. We urge you to question candidates on these matters as you run into them on the campaign trail. We also encourage you to share your thoughts on QCGN’s Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #AnglosVote and #Can2019.

QUEBEC’S ENGLISH-SPEAKING COMMUNITY AND THE 2019 FEDERAL ELECTION

The Official Languages Act and Modernization
Renewal of Official Languages Strategy
Bilingualism and Linguistic Duality
Intergovernmental Cooperation on Minority Languages Services
Constitutional Language Rights
Access to Justice in English
Immigration and Integration
Representation
Employment and Economic Prosperity
Regional and Rural Development
Youth
Arts, Culture and Heritage and Media

THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT & MODERNIZATION

Ensure respect for English and French as the official languages of Canada

Commit to modernizing the Official Languages Act within the term of the next Parliament.

Reinforce the principle of the equality of status of English and French, particularly in all institutions subject to the Act.

Provide substantive equality to all official language minority communities as well as robust, mandatory, and properly resourced consultation at all levels.

RENEWAL OF OFFICIAL LANGUAGES STRATEGY

Commit to the development of the next Federal Official Languages Strategy

Ensure federal investments that nurture the development of vulnerable communities isolated by geographic, economic, racial or other factors. These must have equitable access to Action Plan programs.

Commit to major investments in English-speaking Quebec’s policy-development capacity in critical areas. These include education, health and social services, arts and culture, justice, media production, women’s issues, seniors, youth, and parent associations.

BILINGUALISM & LINGUISTIC DUALITY

Showcase the benefits of bilingualism to all Canadians and ensure that our nation’s majority communities are engaged in the future of official languages

Commit to a serious and well-resourced effort that demonstrates the economic, cultural, and social benefits of bilingualism to our majority populations.

Ensure that free French-language training is available to all members of our community.

Provide English-speaking Quebecers more opportunities to successfully move their French from the classroom into the workplace.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION ON MINORITY LANGUAGE SERVICES

Commit to working with the province to provide a full range of services to English-speaking Quebecers

Ensure that all intergovernmental agreements with the Government of Quebec include linguistic clauses that would tie federal resources to the federal duty to provide services in English.

Make federal transfers to Quebec contingent on agreements built on transparency and full public accountability for use of resources.

Commit to ensuring that all federal programs be made available to members of our community. This requires particular attention when implementing programs in areas of concurrent federal and provincial power.

Commit to increasing transfer payments for services to English-speaking Quebecers. Even though half of Canadians living in minority language settings belong to our community, we receive the lowest federal per capita investment for minority language services of any province or territory.

CONSTITUTIONAL LANGUAGE RIGHTS

Entrench minority language rights and provide greater resources to protect them

Issue a clear and unequivocal statement of support to underscore the minority language educational rights of English-speaking Quebecers. We must continue to control and manage our school system through independent, community-controlled school boards.

Enshrine in law the Court Challenges Program. Transfer the Linguistic Rights Panel into the Official Languages Act, to protect it from the whims of successor governments.

Double the funding available through the Linguistic Rights Panel of the Court Challenges Program. Index these resources to inflation.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN ENGLISH

Ensure English-speaking Quebecers can access justice in English

Increase awareness of the right of English-speaking Quebecers to access the justice system in English.

Commit to improving federal/provincial cooperation and ensure that citizens in Quebec, who use English as a first language, have full access to all the services they require throughout the legal system. This would require training additional personnel, particularly English court stenographers.

Guarantee that statutes and case law are translated properly and made available in a timely manner and confer equal value on legal decisions in both official languages.

IMMIGRATION & INTEGRATION

Support integration services for English-speaking newcomers to Quebec

Provide funding to organizations working to integrate newcomers who are not covered by the Canada–Québec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens.

Create a strategy to respond to the continuously changing demographics of Quebec’s English-speaking community.

Ensure new arrivals are provided with the tools needed to integrate successfully.

REPRESENTATION

Support our ability to contribute to buttressing Official Languages at the national level

Ensure that English-speaking Quebec is recognized as a linguistic minority community distinct from the English-speaking majority in Canada.

Commit to working with English-speaking Quebec as a full and equal partner in the development of official language policies and programs, as well as for intergovernmental agreements that affect our community’s vitality.

Ensure that English-speaking Quebec is equitably represented on the Standing Committees on Official Languages, both in the House of Commons and in the Senate of Canada.

EMPLOYMENT & ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

Provide support to increase the economic prosperity of English-speaking Quebecers

Develop targeted policies and programs that create opportunities for members of our community to find secure employment within their communities.

Require federal institutions operating in Quebec outside of the National Capital Region to develop and institute a plan to recruit and retain English-speaking Quebecers in their work force at levels commensurate with our linguistic minority’s demographic weight.

Develop formal mechanisms linking federal institutions with English-speaking Quebec’s post-secondary institutions to help ensure our youth are motivated toward and prepared for careers in the public service.

Provide support for French-language training to youth and mature workers transitioning to new careers.

REGIONAL & RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Make certain that isolated and rural English-speaking communities have equitable access to federal investments

Ensure robust broadband connection across rural areas. Acknowledge this is essential to continue to develop our rural economies and to enable and improve access to remotely delivered government services.

Ensure more substantial access to vocational training programs.

YOUTH

Develop strategies to stem the exodus of young English-speaking Quebecers

Commit to specific programs for English-speaking youth to gain needed skills and work experience. They must be empowered to obtain and maintain stable employment and an economically secure future within their communities.

Invest in programs that engage English- and French-speaking youth in bi-cultural event that promote youth engagement and strengthen their collective and individual sense of belonging to Quebec and Canada.

Explore initiatives to bring youth from both language groups together to encourage a more deeply rooted and mutual understanding and a more profound appreciation of what it means to belong to an official language minority community.

ARTS, CULTURE AND HERITAGE & MEDIA

Support policies and programs to nurture a stronger sense of belonging and enhance the vitality of our communities

Increase tangible support to Arts, Culture and Heritage organizations as well as to minority language media.

Provide financial assistance for the creation and renovation of cultural spaces, thus promoting broader access to the arts and heritage.

Invest in programs that promote the unique culture of English-speaking Quebec. In particular, this should target projects delivered through community education institutions.

Maintain and augment investments in the Canada Media Fund and the Community Media Strategic Support Fund. More diversified media content created and produced within English-speaking Quebec is critical to maintain a sense of community and foster our identity.