Party leaders not interested in issues of English-speaking community

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According to the Quebec Community Groups Network

Heading into the final days of the election, the Quebec Community Groups Network is concerned about the lack of interest shown by party leaders and candidates on issues of importance to English-speaking Quebecers. And despite courting our vote, the parties of have little or nothing to offer our community, said QCGN President Dan Lamoureux.

“When the word “English” comes up, leaders are mainly talking about cracking down on the use of English on signs and in the workplace,” protested Lamoureux. “No one distinguishes between the fear and loathing of the English language and the threat it represents to the French language and culture and the English-speaking minority community which is more and more bilingual and continues to contribute to Quebec society as it has done for generations and generations since this province was founded.“

The QCGN recently wrote the leaders of the Coalition Avenir Québec, the Green Party, the Liberal Party, Option Nationale, the Parti Québécois, and Québec Solidaire asking them for their  party’s positions on a number of issues of interest to the English speaking community.

“We were dismayed to receive only one reply from the three main parties with the potential to form the next government of Quebec,” said Lamoureux.

While the Liberals did not answer our questions, incumbent Premier Jean Charest’s party promised to introduce a tax credit that would allow English-speaking adults with basic French language skills to take intermediate and advanced level French courses to strengthen their competitiveness on the job market. Even the Quebec Citizens' Union, whose interim leader Alexis St-Gelais admitted his party would not form the next government, took the time to answer our questions and made some commitments to our community. But none of the other parties bothered to take the time to answer.

“How should we interpret the silence of Pauline Marois and François Legault, who are unabashedly courting the Anglophone vote despite the fact that their platforms promise such things as abolishing our school boards or holding referendums which always create a backlash against our community?” asked Lamoureux.

“We were dismayed to receive only one reply from the three main parties with the potential to form the next government of Quebec,” said Lamoureux.

Lamoureux pointed out that English-speaking Quebecers represent almost 783,500 (13.5 per cent) of voters in Quebec. “We represent a clear majority in a handful of Montreal districts, but in  many ridings dispersed throughout the province - in the Eastern Townships, on the Gaspé Peninsula, and in the Outaouais region - English-speaking Quebecers hold a significant enough number of votes to make a difference in a race where votes are divided among multiple parties. Leaders and candidates who take English voters for granted do so at their own peril.”

During the last provincial election voter turnout dropped to an historic low, Lamoureux notes, adding this phenomenom was particularly evident  in majority English ridings.  “We believe it is important for members of our community to be involved and to vote,” urged Lamoureux. “We need our voice to be heard loud and clear by all candidates, all leaders and all parties.

 The Quebec Community Groups Network (www.qcgn.ca) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 41 English-language community organizations across Quebec. Its mission is to identify, explore and address strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of English-speaking Quebec and to encourage dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders.

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  • Chris Eustace
    September 04, 2012 - 07:37

    The CAQ did submit a response.... This is it :.................... http://www.qcgn.ca/storage/website-resources/policy/2012-quebec-elections/replies-party-leaders/CAQ%20response%20letter%202012.08.29.pdf

  • Kenneth T. Tellis
    September 01, 2012 - 06:42

    If anyone expects a Vichyite group to defend the rights of the English-speaking community in Kebec, you have to be dreaming in colour after being doped up all night. Your rights are not given to you by politicians or the government, they are something that you inherited, and no government ever had the right to take it away from you. Thus all laws passed by the Kebec governments since Bill 22, of June 22, 1974, are both null and void. Because no government ever had the right to take away something it never gave you in the first place. The words of Thomas Jefferson ring out loud and clear: "I have sworn a holy war upon every form of tyranny over the mind of man!"

  • Didi Miesen
    August 31, 2012 - 11:06

    Where has the 'voice' of the QCGN been since its creation in 1994? What 40 English community groups are represented? 99% of Anglo/Allo Montrealers and surrounding areas have never heard of the QCGN - until around a year ago - if that. How come 99% of the the spokespersons for the QCGN and staff are francophone? Where are/were the 'voices' of these 41 English community groups while all our media (or almost all) was and still is being erased - our ability to work in English - or in French - or both has been erased? The QCGN - is funded with our tax dollars and has been since 1994 and yet we the Anglophone/English speaking population of greater Montreal (2.5 million of us) have had all our rights erased - with nowhere to go for help. Quebec's Human Rights Office does NOT take ANY English language discrimination cases. All English services on the /South Shore (10 minutes from downtown) with an English speaking population of 732,6000 - have been erased. Note** the QCGN does not and has never been active or made itself known here ! Why? There are many more questions to ask of this "group". But for now I'll send with: What happened to ALL the Money sent from our Federal Government - to save, promote grow and support the English minority population ? We haven't seen one dime and nothing has been saved, promoted, grown or supported. Where did those hundreds of millions go?