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Weil promises aggressive ‘Anglo’ action plan

“With only a single session left to go before the next October election, Kathleen Weil — Québec’s Minister in charge of the so-called ‘Anglo’ file – told The Suburban that the Couillard administration is determined to work out a “…real and concrete” action plan in order to preserve and protect the vitality of what’s left of Québec’s English-speaking communities throughout the province.”

The Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers, Kathleen Weil, said she is determined to come up with a real and concrete action plan for Quebec’s English-speaking communities, reports The Suburban. Last week, Weil reached out to more than 40 English-speaking community leaders at Concordia’s University.

Among the leaders, Eric Maldoff, chair of the Health and Services Committee at the QCGN, said rights of many English-speaking Quebecers were dismissed by the government.

Read the article published in The Suburban

Quebec’s next budget to address needs of anglophones: Weil

“Quebec’s minister responsible for anglophone issues is raising hopes that the concerns and needs of the province’s English-speaking communities will be tackled in a concrete way in Quebec’s next budget.”

Minister Kathleen Weil held an all-day forum at Concordia University to hear from about 40 leaders of groups and institutions that serve the English-speaking communities of Quebec. Weil told that the Liberal government intends to present a five-year action plan on issues they have brought to her attention in online consultations. She also said the new Secretariat will become a permanent part of the Quebec government.

QCGN President James Shea said Weil’s commitment is a real, true agreement to engage the English-speaking community. Sharlene Sullivan, executive director of the Neighbours Regional Association of Rouyn-Noranda said she is concerned about a “backlash” against the new-found attention English-speakers are getting from the government.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

Anglos have long list of grievances, Quebec document reveals on eve of Montreal forum

“With English-speaking Quebecers bluntly saying they feel like a “square peg in a round hole,” a cabinet minister says a plan to deal with the community’s frustration and angst will go beyond symbolism and offer concrete ideas to ensure its vitality.”

On the eve of a Montreal forum gathering minority English-language groups from across the province, the Minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers, Kathleen Weil, reported productive discussions about the future of the community during her visits of the past two months across the province. The list of grievances that has emerged: breaking the myth of wealthy privilege; increasing the number of English-speaking Quebecers within the Quebec public service; and others.

The Quebec Community Groups Network welcomed news of the forum and the promises, but said successive government have failed to act on those promises. Communications director Rita Legault said the QCGN is counting on the Minister to come up with an action plan that will make a real difference for English-speaking Quebecers.

Read the article in the Montreal Gazette

Bonjour-Hi: Couillard repents, but anglo group too furious to forgive

“Accused in writing of participating in an exercise that heaped scorn on the English-speaking community, Premier Philippe Couillard has moved to patch up relations in the wake of the Bonjour-Hi debacle.”

Premier Philippe Couillard moved to patch up relations with English-speaking Quebecers in the wake of the Bonjour-Hi debacle after receiving a letter from the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).

Sources confirmed that the letter landed in Couillard’s mail Tuesday, sparking his comments in the legislature Thursday and an unscheduled afternoon interview with Montreal radio station CJAD. During question period Couillard admitted his government underestimated the negative impact the debate would have on the English-speaking community.

Read the article on the Montreal Gazette website

Anglo secretariat lauded, but underfunded

“The man tapped to head the Quebec government’s brand new secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers, needs no introduction, as they say, to the community he is mandated to serve.”

The Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, Kathleen Weil, announced the creation of the Secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers during a press conference held at the Morrin Centre on November 24. Weil also announced the nomination of William Floch to head the Secretariat, the public service equivalent of an assistant deputy minister.

One of the preoccupations stated by Warren Thomson, president of Voice of English-speaking Quebec, is the under-representation of English-speakers in the public service. The QCGN also released a statement where they expressed their disappointment at the budget of the new secretariat. It added a shot of politics to its reaction by jabbing the Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault.

Read the article on the Quebec’s Chronicle-Telegraph website

William Floch to head new secretariat for English-speaking community

“Kathleen Weil is the first minister responsible for English-speaking Quebecers in the history of the Quebec Liberal Party and she’s delivering on a promise made by Premier Philippe Couillard”

Kathleen Weil, new Minister for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers, is poised to deliver on a promise made by Premier Philippe Couillard. William Floch, a former Canadian Heritage specialist in official languages, is being named to oversee the newly formed Secretariat for the English-speaking community. The Couillard government will officially launch the Secretariat Friday in Quebec City, at the Morrin Centre, an English-language cultural centre.

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has long lobbied for a secretariat dedicated to the province’s English-speakers.

Read the article on CTV News’ website

Community Leaders Ready to Assist Kathleen Weil, Quebec’s new Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers

Montreal – November 6, 2017 – Kathleen Weil, the new Minister Responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers, expressed her commitment to making a difference for the province’s minority community and the Quebec Community Groups Network stands ready to work with her.

To engage with the English-speaking community, the provincial government must make investments in policy capacity in key sectors and regions, the QCGN told the minister as she sat down this morning with a delegation of 14 community leaders to discuss her new role.

“Since 2013, the QCGN has advocated for the establishment of a formal mechanism within the Government of Quebec that our minority community could work with to improve our vitality for the benefit of all Quebecers,” commented QCGN President James Shea, remarking that the QCGN is pleased that Premier Philippe Couillard has named Weil and tasked her with creating a Secretariat.

“Quebec now joins all other Canadian provinces and territories in creating a well-structured, and credible organization, resourced to make a difference in its linguistic minority community,” Shea told Minister Weil, noting that the QCGN expects “a robust and capable Secretariat that will withstand the test of changing governments.”

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Kathleen Weil has long history of serving English-speaking Quebecers

“For Kathleen Weil, it was one of those ‘Mom would be proud’ moments of her life. The mother who made her daughter wear green ribbons in her hair to school on St. Patrick’s Day was very proud of her family’s Irish and Scottish roots, Weil said in an interview with the Montreal Gazette.”

Following the nomination of Kathleen Weil as minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebeckers, political columnist Philip Authier interviewed her to get a better sense of her expectations on the job. She had to defend her credentials to take on the job, especially since it’s the first time a Liberal government has created such a position.

Her past experiences as director of legal affairs at the now-defunct anglophone rights group Alliance Quebec was also mentioned. Geoffrey Chambers, vice-president of the QCGN, said it’s important for the English-speaking community to have someone that they can talk to.

Read the article on Montreal Gazette’s website

Cabinet shuffle: Couillard hopes fresh blood helps rejuvenate Liberals

“Premier Philippe Couillard’s Wednesday cabinet shuffle, designed to give the aging Liberal regime a mix of new youthful panache and sage management, is in reality a calculated attempt to put out the numerous brush fires endangering the Liberal brand.”

Quebec’s anglophone lobby, the QCGN, wanted a greater direct voice in decision-making. They now have a minister in the cabinet, Kathleen Weil. Although Couillard’s shuffle seems to be solving most problems he had during his mandate, it’s seen as a rejuvenated technique to boost on Quebecers’ desire for change.

One big news in the shuffle was Couillard’s decision to act on a promise he made and give the English-speaking community a greater voice in his government. The QCGN welcomed Weil as a “strong advocate” while former Equality Party Leader Robert Libman said it was nothing more than a symbolic gesture.

Read Philip Authier’s article in the Montreal Gazette

Kathleen Weil’s task is to mend disconnect between government and Anglo communities

“Kathleen Weil is calling her appointment as minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers ‘historic.’ “

Premier Philippe Couillard had already promised to create a secretariat to deal with English-speaking Quebecers’ issues. Now, following his latest cabinet shuffle, the government will have a minister dedicated to the task. Kathleen Weil, of Scottish-Irish descent, studied at McGill University. She said her office will relay concerns and priorities of Quebec’s English speakers to the government.

Community groups hope this cabinet shuffle means a fresh start in the province’s approach to the English-language minority. Michelle Eaton-Lusignan commented about the specific situation of the community while Helena Burke from CAMI asked to adapt programs to account for the realities of smaller communities. On Twitter, the QCGN welcomed and congratulated the new minister.

Read the article on CBC News website