As we head to the polls October 3, our community has the power to make a difference.

English-speaking Quebecers have a voice. Let’s use it.

The Quebec election on October 3 matters. It is our chance to speak out on the type of Quebec we want to be part of.

In 2022, the English-speaking community of Quebec numbers a little more than 1.1 million people – about 13.7 per cent of Quebec’s population. English-speaking Quebecers are full-fledged citizens and an integral part of Quebec’s past, present, and future success. We depend on government services like health care in our own language.

In preparing for the election, the Quebec Community Groups Network has been reaching out to organizations representing English-speaking Quebecers across various regions and sectors to gather input about their concerns and priorities for action. 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.

Throughout the province, we heard strong opposition to Laws 96, 21 and 40, which are reflected in the positions for which we are advocating. Fundamentally, we object to the creation of a charter-free zone and the pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause to override the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We are also calling on our political leaders to recognize and respect our right to manage and control our school system.

It is important to stress that our concerns touch upon every aspect of our lives as Quebecers, from employment to care for our seniors and the promotion of arts and culture. We encourage you to read our platform and then to test it against the policies and programs of the different political parties. We also urge you to question candidates on these issues as you run into them on the election trail and encourage you to share your thoughts on QCGN’s Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #AnglosVote and #QC2022.

And once you have done that, please be sure to vote

QUESTIONS FOR PARTY LEADERS

As Quebecers prepare to go the polls Oct. 3, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is determined to ensure that the concerns of Quebec’s English-speaking community are voiced and addressed. Over the past weeks, we issued a series of questions – framed under themes – for political party leaders to address. Our questions covered a wide range of issues from Rights and Access to Justice to Education-language education and access to Health and Social Services in our own language. Click on the buttons below to read our questions. We are also posting answers from party leaders that we receive. Stay tuned!

The QCGN invited parties to answer our questions. Click on the links below to read the replies received to date.

Please note that the QCGN is non-partisan and does not endorse any political party.

QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Your Voice Reflected

To take the pulse of our community on issues that matter to English-speaking Quebecers, the QCGN is issuing a Question of the Week. In the lead-up to the 2022 Quebec general election, a new Question of the Week will be asked every Monday morning.

Everyone is welcome to participate. We invite you to take a moment to share your opinion by answering the question on our website. Click on the link below to have your say. Please also consider sharing the link with your networks.

Go to this week’s question on our home page

Past Questions of the Week

Curious about the response to our past questions of the week? You’ll find them all here.

Question 1

Since the passing of Bill 96 in June, do you think the rights of English-speaking Quebecers have been negatively affected?

Asked August 16-21, 2022

Question 2

Is government interference putting Quebec’s English-language elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions at risk?

Asked August 21-28, 2022

Question 3

Are you confident you will have access to the health care services you need in the next five years?

Asked August 29-September 4, 2022

Question 4

Do you think that the concerns of English-speaking Quebecers are taken into account in government orientations and decisions by Quebec government ministries and bodies?

Asked September 4-11, 2022

Question 5

Do you think Law 96’s restrictions on businesses will hurt Quebec’s economic competitiveness?

Asked September 12-19, 2022

Question 6

In this Quebec election campaign, are the parties focusing enough on issues that matter to English-speaking Quebecers?

Asked September 19-25, 2022

Question 7

Do you think the government of Quebec should do more to foster the full and active participation of English speakers in Quebec society?

Stay tuned for the results! Poll ends October 2, 2022

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES FACING ENGLISH-SPEAKING QUEBECERS?

Over the past few months, the Quebec Community Groups Network gathered and distilled input about our community’s priorities. We have used these to develop a platform for English-speaking Quebec. Our 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 pledge to positive change.

Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing these critical community concerns with the main parties for two reasons: to ensure they are aware of the priorities of English-speaking Quebecers and to secure a commitment from them to help us achieve our collective goals.

HUMAN RIGHTS
LANGUAGE
ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN ENGLISH
SECRETARIAT & INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
CIVIL SERVICE & GOVERNMENT BODIES
HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES
MENTAL HEALTH & CAREGIVERS
CHILDREN & FAMILIES AT RISK
SENIORS
YOUTH
PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS
CEGEPS & UNIVERSITIES
IMMIGRATION & DIVERSITY
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY
REGIONAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
ARTS, CULTURE, HERITAGE & COMMUNITY MEDIA

HUMAN RIGHTS

Re-establish the primacy of Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Re-establish the primacy of Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms as well as that of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and rescind the notwithstanding clause from the Act respecting the laicity of the State (Law 21) and the Act respecting French the official and common language of Quebec (Law 96).

Repeal provisions of Law 96 which limit government services and information in English to persons eligible to attend primary and secondary school in English, referred to by the current government as “historic Anglophones”. Minorities define themselves; they are not defined by the state. The English-speaking minority of Quebec does not define itself based on the ‘English-school-eligible’ category.

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.

Repeal provisions of Law 96 which prohibit professional orders from communicating with their members in English and create new requirements for knowledge of French in order to hold a professional permit in Quebec. The law opens the possibility of professional discipline for those who do not maintain an “appropriate” knowledge of French. This could create new vulnerabilities among professionals, who could be subject to the Office de la langue française scrutiny after an anonymous complaint.

Repeal provisions of Law 96 that provide the Office de la langue française with the power to seize property without a warrant and based on anonymous tips; that allow OQLF representatives to show up unannounced at francization meetings and then impose new penalties for non-compliance; and that allow the OQLF to seek injunctions and court orders and to publish a list of businesses that are considered “non-compliant.”

Amend Law 96 to allow municipalities to maintain their bilingual status unless they request to have the status removed.

Improve access to French-language

    • Create new opportunities for improved French-language training, specifically establish free French-language training for all Quebecers.
    • Address identified barriers which prevent English speakers from accessing existing French-language training, including low visibility of programs, eligibility criteria, and regional disparities.
    • Promote the integration of newcomers to Quebec by providing programs approved by the Office Québécois de la langue française 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.

Repeal provisions of Bill 96 stipulating that judges appointed by the Government of Quebec cannot be required to have a knowledge of a language other than French unless the Minister of Justice and the Minister of the French Language require such knowledge (and only after all reasonable means have been taken to avoid requiring the knowledge of another ).

Repeal provisions of Bill 96 requiring non-French-speaking Quebecers to attach certified French translations to any legal proceeding at the litigant’s expense; that all English-language decisions for legal persons must be translated into French before they come into effect; and that corporations must have a French translation of a foreign judgment or arbitration award from another jurisdiction for it to be recognized in Quebec.

Repeal provisions of Bill 96 requiring for contracts of adhesion (standard form contracts) to first be drawn up in French.

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

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

SECRETARIAT & INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

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

Amend the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif to establish the Minister of Relations with English-speaking Quebecers and its supporting Secretariat as a permanent government entity within legislation and provide these entities with sufficient resources to address significant policy issues affecting English speakers.

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.

Put in place a targeted, measured, and transparent action plan to bring funding levels to the English-speaking community in line with our populational weight of 13.8 per cent.

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 English-speakers from Quebec’s public service.

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

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

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

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

HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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

Take steps to ensure the English-speaking population of Quebec will receive health and social services in a manner which is scientifically appropriate to ensure effective communication, including certain health and social services that are legally guaranteed in English.

Maintain the following definition of an English-speaking person when it comes to the delivery of health and social services: “a person who, in his relations with an institution that provides health and social services, feels more comfortable expressing his needs and receiving services in English”.

Exempt health and social services from the provisions of Law 96 obliging the civil administration to use the French language and eliminate bureaucratic preconditions for staffing which make it much harder to hire staff who can communicate in the languages of their clients.

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

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 and expedite the adoption of the Access Programs currently undergoing evaluation and promote the development of Access Programs throughout Quebec.

Provide the Committee on the dispensing of health and social services in English and regional access committees with necessary financial resources to properly carry out their mandates and 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-based programs that assist caregivers for those with mental health problems and ensure that English-speaking Quebecers have fair and equitable access to these programs.

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 further document and address 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 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.

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 Quebecers.

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.

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 English-speaking community’s constitutional right to control and manage our education system by exempting English school boards from the application of Law 40.

Take steps to ensure that Law 21 does not apply to the education sector.

Repeal provisions of Law 96 that limit exemptions to three years for children temporarily in Quebec to pursue their primary and secondary education in English.

Introduce measures to promote voter participation in school board elections and 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.

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

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

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

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.

Reinstate the Dawson College expansion project and ensure future capital projects in the CEGEP network are based on need and established government criteria.

Consult broadly with regards to enhancing French language instruction in 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 focused 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.

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

ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

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.

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.

Provide equitable funding for community organizations providing employability programs to English-speaking Quebecers.

Introduce measures to encourage labour force participation by English-speakers in regions like Estrie, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Nord-du-Québec, Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine, and the Laurentians, where it is particularly low.

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.

Modify policies and procedures to ensure that regional organizations serving English-speaking Quebecers get equitable access to government programs despite smaller population 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 & COMMUNITY MEDIA

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.

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.

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