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Government announcement
February 16, 2018

The government is listening to the voices of English-speaking Quebecers


EN DIRECT: Atelier d’échange avec la communauté d’expression anglaiseLive: Forum for exchange with english-speaking community

Posted by Kathleen Weil on Friday, February 16, 2018

Hier s’est déroulé l’Atelier d’échange avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise pour lequel plus de quarante…

Posted by Kathleen Weil on Saturday, February 17, 2018

MONTRÉAL, February 16, 2018 – The Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, Kathleen Weil, hosted a forum today to conclude several weeks of consultations. Around 40 stakeholders from all over Quebec were present to share their experiences and expertise.

Over the past several months, the Minister has been active on the ground discussing and exchanging views with organizations, institutions and community leaders, often through round table meetings, with the goal of sharing concerns and best practices. Over the past two weeks, Weil and the Deputy Minister in charge of the Secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers, William Floch, have conducted over 16 hours of online consultations with more than 65 community groups and leaders from all over Quebec.

Several themes emerged from these consultations, including youth retention in the regions and Montréal and the accessibility of government employment programs, health and social services, French-as-a-second-language classes, and programs for people living below the poverty line. Using the suggestions and comments collected today, the government will present an action plan in the coming months with concrete measures to address the concerns expressed by the English-speaking community.

Quotes:

In order to build a new Quebec, we need the talents of all Quebecers, including those from the English-speaking community. We collectively recognize this community’s rich contribution to our past and would now like to focus on the ways in which it can continue to play an active role. The Minister and the community can count on my support in this endeavor.

– Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec, Minister responsible for Youth Issues and Minister responsible for the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.

The government has been actively engaging with institutions, community organizations and citizens in order to provide an accurate overview of the challenges facing the English-speaking community across Quebec. I would like to thank the participants for their involvement and expertise. These consultations will help us move from listening mode to action mode.

– Kathleen Weil, Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers

I have dedicated most of my professional life to defending and promoting the English-speaking community in an evolving Quebec. I’m very proud that my colleague Kathleen Weil is putting in place the tools that have been given to her by our Premier to enable our government to respond effectively to the community’s needs and aspirations. This forum is a great example of this important effort.

– David Birnbaum, Member for D’Arcy-McGee and Chair of the Liberal Caucus of Montreal.

Highlights:

It should be recalled that the Secretariat is responsible for ensuring that the concerns of English-speaking Quebecers are taken into consideration in the development of government policy direction and decisions, in partnership with the relevant government ministries and bodies.

The Secretariat works in close collaboration with the government ministries and bodies that provide direct services to the population and organizations that represent the English-speaking community.

In addition to the responsibilities of various government ministries and bodies towards English-speaking Quebecers, the Secretariat has a mandate to:

  • Ensure liaisons with sectoral, regional and provincial groups that represent English-speaking Quebecers.
  • Ensure that the concerns of English-speaking Quebecers are taken into consideration in the development of government policy direction and decisions, and in matters of access to government programs and their application in conjunction with the concerned ministries and agencies.
  • Make available relevant statistics to document issues facing English-speaking Quebecers.
  • Interact with the federal government on issues, agreements, programs or policies that may have a direct or indirect impact on English-speaking Quebecers in collaboration with the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes and other ministries and bodies concerned.
  • Advise the government, ministries and bodies on relations with English-speaking Quebecers regarding the provision of services and issues, agreements, programs and policies that may have a direct or indirect impact on the community.

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