QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 8, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - At a first-ever meeting with Premier Philippe Couillard at the National Assembly Tuesday afternoon representatives from the Quebec Community Groups Network had a frank and positive discussion about Quebec's support to its English-speaking minority community.
Top of mind were reforms to education and health and social service networks that had major impacts on our institutions; the scarcity of English-speaking Quebecers in the provincial civil service; as well as the importance of retaining youth so they can bolster our communities, support our elders and make positive contributions to the future of Quebec.
"There is always a long list of issues facing our English-speaking minority community in Quebec. What we don't always have is a good dialogue with our government partners," said QCGN President James Shea. "We are very pleased to have had this chance to meet with the Premier and discuss our challenges at the highest level of government."
"Over the past few years, the government has instituted a number of legislative and policy changes without an understanding of the adverse impacts they would have on our institutions and our communities," commented QCGN Vice-President Geoffrey Chambers. "Our community and our government need to have a suitable process where we can have an ongoing exchange of views and address issues."
The QCGN met privately with Premier Couillard just before its annual information session with MNAs that seeks to help our political representatives better understand the needs and priorities of Quebec's English-speaking community. More than a dozen MNAs and Ministers as well as senior political staff were on hand for the information session with some 30 representatives from QCGN organizations, its board of directors and stakeholders.
More than 1 million Quebecers are English-speaking and live as a linguistic minority in Quebec. A little more than 210,000 of them live outside of the Montreal region, without easy access to our community's institutional base in the greater metropolitan area. English-speaking communities are concerned with attracting and retaining youth to ensure their renewal.
"Our goal for our meetings on Tuesday is simple," said Shea. "We want to help create closer links between members of the National Assembly and our community of communities. We want the Premier and all of our MNAs to better understand the needs and challenges of the English-speaking citizens they represent and how our English-speaking communities continue to make vital contributions to Quebec's success."
The Quebec Community Groups Network (www.qcgn.ca) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 51 English-language community organizations across Quebec. As a centre of evidence-based expertise and collective action, it identifies, explores and addresses strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec and encourages dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders.
SOURCE Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN)
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