As we head to the polls, English-speaking Quebecers have the power to make a difference
The English community of Quebec is Canada’s most populous and diverse official language minority community. With more than 800,000 voters, our community can make a significant impact as we head to the polls Sept. 20 for Canada’s 44th election.
In 19 of the 78 federal ridings in Quebec, English speakers constitute at least 20 per cent of the electorate. In an additional 12, we make up at least 10 per cent. The MPs who will represent us will make important decisions that will affect our lives and the vitality of our communities.
English-speaking Quebecers are concerned about broad issues – the pandemic and our economic recovery, climate change, health care. But we are also concerned about issues specific to being members of an official language minority community. We are asking parties and candidates to commit to address our unique challenges.
The Government of Canada has an obligation under the Official Languages Act to enhance the vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec, to support our communities, and to assist in their development. Our minority community depends on resources from the Government of Canada’s official languages strategy to fund our community sector and institutions as we work together to enhance our community’s vitality and develop its potential.
Over many months, the QCGN has conducted a wide range of consultations with our members and stakeholders to assess the key challenges facing Quebec’s English-speaking community and the organizations that serve it. Top of mind are the unprecedented violations of fundamental freedoms and legal rights through the pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause in Bill 21, Quebec’s secularism law, and in Bill 96, which proposes to enforce and reinforce the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101). These may seem like provincial issues, however, the QCGN firmly believes that the Government of Canada has an obligation to protect the Charter rights of all Canadians and defend the Constitutional order.
Having pulled together our community’s priorities for action, we have shared the critical community concerns with the main federal parties for two reasons: to ensure they are aware of our community’s priorities; and to secure a commitment from them to help us achieve our collective goals. Read our letter to party leaders and come back to this page where we will be posting their replies.
Please click on the following links to read the party leaders’ responses:
As the leaders and parties court our votes, we encourage all English-speaking Quebecers to increase their awareness of the issues affecting our community and our future. We urge you to question candidates as you run into them on the campaign trail. We also invite you to share your thoughts on QCGN’s Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtags #AnglosVote and #Elections2021.