The Quebec Community Groups Network has completed its survey to identify the annual priorities of Quebec’s English-speaking community. The survey was distributed over a two-week period to more than 200 organizations serving English-speaking Quebecers. The goal is to support our community in exercising collective influence over resources allocated to it. Following collation of the survey results, the QCGN is pleased to present the 2023-2024 Community Development Priorities of the English-speaking Communities of Quebec.
Between 2012 and 2019, the Priority-Setting Steering Committee (PSSC) of the QCGN conducted an annual online survey to monitor evolving priorities for building community vitality. In 2019, the QCGN established the Strategic Growth Plan to include a wider range of voices from Quebec’s English-speaking community in the priority-setting process. This initiative was made possible through increased funding available to organizations serving English-speaking Quebec as part of its Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future.
In 2021, the Strategic Growth Plan led to the establishment of the four Community Roundtables, which convene stakeholders to build consensus on common challenges facing our community. There are four Roundtables, each of which addresses a specific theme in community development:
- Representation, and
- Organizational and Network Health.
Through ongoing dialogue, community stakeholders taking part in the roundtables contribute to the creation of a five-year Community Development Plan, developed by and for the English-speaking community of Quebec. This year’s survey was the first conducted since the establishment of the Community Roundtables. The priorities proposed in this list are based on recurring themes in the roundtable discussions as well as the actions, orientations and strategies being developed as part of the draft Community Development Plan.
The QCGN thanks the many organizations that took the time to complete our survey. The Department of Canadian Heritage is committed to using these priorities to allocate resources for program and project funding for the next fiscal year. It also uses survey results to identify development opportunities as well as interdepartmental and intradepartmental initiatives. However, these grassroot priorities are pertinent to decision makers in all federal departments and agencies and other levels of government. We invite all elected officials and policy makers to take the priorities of our communities into account when developing programs and determining funding allocations to organizations and institutions serving our community.
This summer, the Community Roundtables will continue developing and deploying the Community Development Plan 2022-2027, which will be validated and shared in the coming weeks. It will also be posted on the QCGN website and shared with stakeholders. To consult the draft plan and executive summary, visit this link. The finalization of these priorities represents an important step in this process, which ultimately provides a framework to the community for collective action, to achieve together what we cannot accomplish on our own.
As a centre of evidence-based expertise and collective action QCGN’s mission is to encourage dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions, and leaders. This exercise is essential in helping us identify and address the strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of the English-speaking community. QCGN would be unable to achieve these goals without active input. If you would like to become involved, please contact our Manager of Community Engagement and Outreach, Riley Dalys-Fine.
The Community Growth Plan establishes a process for the English-speaking community of Quebec to influence how resources are allocated, via continuous consultation and needs assessment.
Funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the ultimate objective of the Growth Plan is to produce a community development plan for English-speaking Quebec. The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is the federal government’s official interlocutor with Quebec’s English-speaking community. We have been mandated to mobilize a full range of stakeholders to work together to build a strategic community plan to address community needs and priorities. This plan will serve as a framework for collective action to strengthen the vitality of our communities.
In 2018, the Government of Canada increased funding available to organizations serving English-speaking Quebec as part of its Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future. These new investments included a $5-million development fund to help these organizations deliver services across different regions and sectors.
Thanks to Growth Plan project funding, the QCGN is bringing together organizations and institutions representing Quebec’s English-speaking communities to develop this framework and discuss what support is required to build and sustain the vitality of our community of communities. The ultimate goal is for community stakeholders to work cooperatively to achieve together what they cannot accomplish on their own.
Since February 2020, the QCGN has provided multiple opportunities for capacity-building, networking, and resource sharing. More than 100 stakeholders from across various regions, sectors of activity, and cultural communities participated in three town halls, two forums, and three consultations. Together, we built consensus around many key challenges that we face. Our challenges include:
- Inadequate funding and funding sources;
- Difficulty recruiting and retaining staff as well as volunteer leaders;
- The need to improve networking and community collaboration;
- Accessing evidence-based information and relevant data;
- A lack of representation at decision-making levels; and
- Legislative and bureaucratic barriers.
In addition, participants identified the need for greater grassroots consultations to ensure the advocacy process truly reflects the needs and priorities of the English-speaking community and helps the QCGN assess its own priorities to better respond to the needs of the communities we represent.
If your organization would like to get involved in Growth Plan consultations, please contact Riley Dalys-Fine, Manager of Community Outreach and Engagement.
COMMUNITY FORUMS AND CONSULTATIONS
COMMUNITY FORUMS AND CONSULTATIONS
Through ongoing consultations and dialogue, we are building a community development plan that:
- Aligns with the needs and priorities of the community;
- Increases collaboration among community stakeholders;
- Fosters shared understanding of community needs and priorities;
- Raises awareness of the diverse realities of communities across English-speaking Quebec; and
- Validates the findings of prior consultations and proposed strategic orientations.
Beginning in September 2020, three community forums have assessed, validated, and identified areas of focus for the QCGN and the community at large. Beginning with a broad community consultation in early December, the QCGN facilitated several roundtable discussions with stakeholders from key sectors to compile a portrait of community needs. It illustrates how our community’s vitality is hindered by gaps in public policy. This portrait also serves as an evidence base for collective action.
Working Together for a More Vital Community
Our September Working Together for a More Vital Community Forum validated key findings and challenges identified during previous consultations. Stakeholders explored questions around identity, strategies to develop collective action and strengthen advocacy, and the importance of evidence-based policy. Consult:
- The PowerPoint from the forum; and
- The summary report, which provides an overview and a synthesis of discussions.
Facing Common Challenges for a More Vital Community
During our December Facing Common Challenges for a More Vital Community Consultation, stakeholders identified gaps in public policy that impact community vitality in key sectors of activity. Input from community members during the roundtable discussions identified common themes and strategic sectors for more detailed analysis. Consult:
- The PowerPoint from the consultation; and
- The summary report, which provides an overview of the consultation, key findings by sector, and defines next steps.
Building a More Vital Community Together
Held in March 2021, our Building a More Vital Community Together Forum discussed policy gaps and how they impact community vitality within specific sectors – Arts, Culture and Heritage; Education; Employment; Health and Social Services; Justice; and Community Media. Through networking and capacity-building, the forum also provided an opportunity for stakeholders to embark upon a process for building a community development plan. Consult:
- The PowerPoint from the forum (coming soon);
- Sector portraits developed during the consultations focused on gaps in four areas: funding, legislation, data, and representation; and
- The summary report, which provides an overview of the forum program and suggests the next steps in the Growth Plan process.
Please contact Riley Dalys-Fine at Riley.firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be included on our mailing list for future events and consultations.
DECLARATION FROM THE COMMUNITY PRIORITY SETTING CONFERENCE OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING COMMUNITY OF QUEBEC
March 25, 2012, Montreal, Quebec
WHEREAS we reaffirm the English-speaking Community of Quebec as an integral part of Quebec’s past, present and future, and a fundamental element of Quebec’s and Canada’s culture, history and heritage;
WHEREAS English-speaking Quebecers must have an equal opportunity to fully participate in, and contribute to, the social, cultural, economic, and political life of Quebec;
WHEREAS the Government of Canada is committed to fulfilling its duty to enhance the vitality of linguistic minority communities by supporting and assisting in their development;
WHEREAS the community has identified the following community priorities to ensure a more vital and sustainable future:
ACCESS TO SERVICES IN ENGLISH
Increased access to services and government information in English in all aspects of daily living is a pressing issue. The ability of individuals in our community to make informed decisions depends on our capacity to understand options and implications in English.
Developing relationships by fostering greater collaboration and networking among English-speaking organizations and the broader community, diversifying resources,and sharing and developing expertise will make our communities stronger.
Greater access to employment and educational opportunities and higher levels of bilingualism will support the economic prosperity of English-speaking Quebecers thus improving the resilience of our communities.
IDENTITY AND RENEWAL
Nurturing a strong sense of belonging, expressing our identity, enhancing our visibility, and working towards a Quebec society that embraces diversity will ensure the renewal of our communities.
LEADERSHIP AND REPRESENTATION
Promoting leadership development at all levels, with an emphasis on youth engagement, and encouraging volunteerism will ensure we are an integral part of Quebec and Canadian society.
Healthy institutions are the cornerstone of a dynamic community. Maintaining and supporting existing institutions and establishing new ones will strengthen our communities.
The Priority Setting Steering Committee (PSSC) calls upon our community to:
1. Work individually and collectively in a collaborative environment to develop and implement specific strategies that support these community priorities.
2. Engage with the PSSC to create an action plan for the community based on the priorities identified and validated through the Strategic Priorities Forum process.
3. Solicit all levels of government to consider these community priorities for the purposes of policy and program development in support of the English-speaking community of Quebec. Signed on behalf of the English-speaking community of Quebec, on March 2 5, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec at the conclusion of the Community Priority Setting Conference.