March 30, 2016 5:56 pm
Updated: March 31, 2016 6:33 pm

Documentary on Anglo struggles packs Montreal cinema

WATCH ABOVE: YES Montreal debuts a documentary film that spotlights the problem of youth unemployment among anglophones in Montreal and Quebec. Global's Billy Shields reports.


MONTREAL – Dozens flooded into a cineplex theatre for the launch of a 15-minute documentary produced by Youth Employment Services Montreal.

The film explores the struggles that anglophones face when searching for jobs.

Ellen Chen is a law student at McGill University.

She speaks Mandarin, English and French, but said she isn’t confident she’ll be able to get a job in Montreal when she graduates.

“It’s always in the back of my mind,” she said.

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According to career advisers, the lack of job opportunities for anglophones leads many to move to cities like Toronto.

“Quite often, if English is an easier language for them, they leave Quebec,” said Iris Unger, YES Montreal’s executive director.

“We’re losing a lot of really talented people.”

To bring awareness to the issue, Youth Employment Services (YES) Montreal has unveiled a 15-minute documentary that explores youth unemployment in the city.

Representatives hope the film will raise awareness among employers in Montreal.

The film looks at the higher rate of unemployment for anglophone youth as opposed to francophone youth in Quebec’s largest city.

“There’s been a perception that anglophones are doing fine thank you very much,” said Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies. “And that perception needs to be attacked because they’re encountering these types of challenges.”

“And the data shows it’s worse than before.”

According to the ACS, the unemployment rate is 8.4 per cent for anglophones and just 5.9 per cent for francophones.

There’s a discrepancy though, with a 5.8 per cent unemployment rate for anglophones versus a 3.4 per cent rate for francophones.

Unger said some of that could be attributed to “self-discrimination.”

“A lot of people may not be applying because they think their French isn’t good enough,” she said.

“It’s a two-sided kind of discussion.”

WATCH: Anglophone youths are facing high rates of unemployment in Montreal. Global’s Billy Shields finds out why.

In part of the film, YESMontreal traces the trajectories of Canadian-born anglophones and foreign-born allophones who gravitate more towards English and delves into the challenges they have finding employment.

YES Montreal career adviser Stephanie Zacharkiw said she remembers meeting a recent immigrant who was trying to find work for a year.

Her language skills were unquestionably strong in both English and French and after another year, she found work – but in Toronto, not Montreal.

“She wanted to stay in Montreal so badly,” Zacharkiw said.


© 2016 Shaw Media

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