MONTREAL, Feb. 16, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The Minister responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers and Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions, Kathleen Weil, hosted a forum today to conclude weeks of consultations. Present at the forum were over forty community organizations, institutions and stakeholders who have vast experience and expertise in different societal sectors.
Over the past months the Minister has been active on the ground conducting town hall meetings and hosting round table discussions with community organizations, institutions and citizens to hear their concerns about the community and discuss best practices moving forward. In the past two weeks the Minister and her Associate Deputy Minister William Floch conducted over sixteen hours of consultations with over sixty-five community groups and stakeholder to ensure the voices of English-speaking Quebecers from all regions of the province, with different expertise, were heard in the consultations.
Throughout this process certain themes emerged. The community is concerned about: youth retention in the regions and Montreal, access to government employment services and programs, and access to health and social services, better access to French Second Language training and better support for English-speaking Quebecers living in poverty. With the additional input from the Forum the government will work towards an action plan to bring forward concrete measures to address these challenges in the coming months.
"All talents, including those from the English-speaking community, are needed to build a new Quebec. We collectively value the rich contribution of the community to our past, and we wish to focus on the continuation of its role. The Minister, and the community, can be assured of my support in this endeavor."
Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec, Minister responsible for Youth Issues and Minister responsible for the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region
"The government has been dialoguing with institutions, community organizations and citizens to acquire a better portrait of the challenges facing the English-speaking throughout Quebec. Thanks to the deep knowledge and expertise of these stakeholders, these consultations will help us move from listening mode to action mode."
Kathleen Weil, Minister responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers and Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions
"I've spent most of my professional life defending and promoting our English-speaking community in an evolving Quebec. I'm really proud that my colleague Kathleen Weil is putting in place the tools given her by our Premier to enable our government to respond effectively to our community's needs and aspirations. This forum is a great example of this important effort."
David Birnbaum, MNA for D'Arcy-McGee and Montreal Liberal Caucus President
The Secretariat will work in close collaboration with government ministries and bodies that provide direct services to the population and with organizations that represent the English-speaking community.
It will be responsible for ensuring that the concerns of English-Speaking Quebecers are taken into account in government orientations and decisions in collaboration with government ministries and bodies.
In addition to the responsibilities of various government ministries and bodies towards English-speaking Quebecers, the Secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers 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 programmes 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.
- Secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers , http://www.mce.gouv.qc.ca/secretariats/srqea/index-en.htm
SOURCE Secrétariat des relations avec les Québécois d'expression anglaise (SRQEA)
For further information: Laurence Tôth, Press officer, Office of the Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, 418 473-8154; Joçanne Prévost, Press officer, Cabinet of the prime minister, 418 643-5321