Organizations representing Quebec anglophones say they are pleased with the increase in funding for support for the English-speaking minority contained in the provincial budget tabled on March 25.
The $10.5 million earmarked for the English-speaking community is a $4 million bump from the previous annual allocation. The funding will allow anglo groups to continue to implement programs and the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers, established under the previous government, will have “the resources to compile statistics that will provide a better understanding of the situation faced by English-speaking Quebecers,” according to a statement from the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).
QCGN president Marlene Jennings said, “This will give the community and the secretariat the evidence base it needs to advocate across government ministries for the policies and programs needed to support our linguistic minority community. We expect to be part of government consultations to ensure nothing about us is decided without us.”
In that regard, Jennings added, “While we welcome investments in our community and our vitality, we continue to be wary of this government which in recent weeks has threatened to cap enrolment at our CEGEPs and downplayed the importance of our judges being fluent in both English and French.”
Brigitte Wellens, executive director of Quebec City-based Voice of English-speaking Québec (VEQ) and president of the Regional Development Network, representing many anglo organizations outside Montreal, told the QCT, “It’s important to note that most of the funding from the secretariat goes toward human resources. Currently, between 75 and 100 people are employed thanks to those funds; $10.2 million as of April 1 represents 150 jobs in different regions and sectors. The work that will be carried out on the ground will go a long way in contributing to the relaunch of the economy.”
Wellens added, “We were also pleased to learn of the announcement of funds for francophone community organizations, who provide services in various sectors, to support them in making their services available to English-speaking Quebecers.’’
Jennings noted the budget boosts spending on Quebec’s growing population of seniors, hard hit by the pandemic, by $3 billion over five years. “This is excellent news for our community, given that our population is aging at a much faster rate than francophones,” she said. The “QCGN looks forward to understanding how the new [funding] will benefit English-speaking Quebecers.”
The 2021-22 provincial budget, released on March 25, forecasts a $12.3 billion deficit, with an additional $4 billion added to the $12 billion already spent on various pandemic alleviation programs.
Photo courtesy of QCGN
QCGN president Marlene Jennings is pleased with the increase in provincial funding for support of English-speaking minority communities in Quebec.
Photo by Danielle Burns from QCT archives
Brigitte Wellens, executive director of VEQ and president of the Regional Development Network, is also pleased to learn of the announcement.