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Quebec budget 2018: Will it affect you? Short answer: yes

Everyone is getting a slice of the pie in Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao’s fifth and final budget before the Oct. 1 elections.

The ambitious budget is raining money on health care, education, small businesses and more.

There will be $24.5 million of Quebec’s economic plan over the next five years given to the Department for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers to ensure the “vitality” of the province’s anglophone community.

This comes after Leitao met with several anglophone group at the beginning of March as part of the consultation process for the budget, including Youth Employment Services (YES), the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).

At the time, the QCGN insisted there was a need to establish committees to serve Montreal’s English hospitals and create organizations to act as access points for the English-speaking community.

 

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Quebec showers cash on small businesses, families in election-year budget

Quebec’s health care and education systems will see a major influx of cash in 2018 as the Couillard government prepares for a fall election campaign.

The government’s fifth budget, tabled Tuesday, includes a 4.7-per cent increase in total spending, with new money and tax breaks for young families, seniors and small businesses.

There was also $2 million set aside for the new Quebec secretariat tasked with dealing with issues affecting Quebec’s anglophones, and a commitment of $24.5 million over six years if the Liberals are re-elected.

Geoffrey Chambers, vice-president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, praised the funding, saying “the fact that we’re in this exercise is a really huge step forward.”

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Quebec finance minister consults with anglophones on budget

For what is being billed as a first by a Quebec government, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão met with several anglophone groups in a closed-door session at McGill University on Wednesday as part of the consultation process for the next budget.

“There are some specific needs and we are going to try to address that,” he said. “This is just addressing issues of a very important component of our society.”

Groups attending included Youth Employment Services, the English Montreal School Board and the Quebec Community Groups Network. The QCGN was particularly interested in establishing committees to serve the English hospitals in Montreal, organizations that act as access points for the English-speaking community and their hospitals.

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Finance Minister Leitão Sounding Anglos Out About Next Quebec Budget

What do Quebec’s anglophones want in the upcoming Quebec budget?

That was the subject of a meeting at McGill University on Wednesday involving finance minister Carlos Leitao, anglo relations minister Kathleen Weil and members of more than a dozen community groups across the province.

Eric Maldoff, the chair of the health and social services committee at the Quebec Community Groups Network, says his group and others were looking for more money for the newly-created secretariat for English-speaking Quebecers, which would allow them to hire more staff to do research to better address the community’s concerns.

They were also looking for more funding for various community groups across the province, in order to better fulfill their mission to serve the anglophone community, particularly in the outlying regions.

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Finance Minister Carlos Leitão gets earful from English-speaking community

English-speaking community groups used rare face time with the province’s finance minister on Wednesday to make a pitch for more funding and to reveal a litany of bureaucratic roadblocks they have encountered in trying to ensure services for the minority.

But while cagey on what he will deliver in the provincial budget to be tabled this month, Carlos Leitão argued the money may already be there and just needs to funnelled better.

“In a general sense, there will be a section in the budget that will address the issues the community has raised and will address the fact we now have a secretariat (for the English-speaking community),” Leitão told reporters.

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Leitão, Weil meet with Anglo groups for budget feedback

With Quebec’s next budget just around the corner, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão asked Anglophone communities how the government should be spending its money on Wednesday. 

Leitão and Minister for English-Speaking Quebecers Kathleen Weil held a private meeting with several groups at McGill University. It’s part of a series of consultations to prepare for the budget, which will be released in several weeks.

 

The Quebec Community Groups Network, which was at the meeting, welcomed the news, but noted that there isn’t much time for any feedback to find its way into the budget.

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Anglo community groups press MNAs for better access to public services in English

The provincial budget is set to be tabled later this month, and as part of his preparations, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão sat down to consult with anglophone community groups Wednesday.

In a first-of-its kind meeting with English-speaking community groups, the groups used their time to let the minister know they’re fighting hard to ensure access to public services in English – and they need more support.

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