There may soon be an anglophone affairs minister at Quebec’s National Assembly.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) met with Premier Philippe Couillard last week to discuss the possibility of having a minister dedicated to serving the more than 1 million anglophones living in the province.
“We want to take advantage of this period of openness to start a dialogue and structure it so that when the fashion changes, the dialogue mechanisms will be in place and the channels will be properly established,” said Geoffrey Chambers, QCGN vice-president.
If assigned, the anglophone affairs minister would be in charge of staying in contact with the QCGN, a non-profit group made up of 51 English community organizations, as well as those in the English-speaking community.
“[This] is the case in the rest of country with official language minorities, so it wouldn’t be a wildly unprecedented step,” said Chambers.
“But it will be very pleasing to us for them to do that.”
“They don’t like the aura of corruption. They see they’re not good for the economy. They see they are just inept.”
The QCGN said it’s not the first time parties like the PQ and the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) have courted the English vote.
“We’re very pleased that the opposition parties are noticing – the fact that it exists, the fact that it’s got valid interests that should be addressed,” said Chambers.
“We want to see all of the National Assembly understand and recognize that the community exists and accept that measure have to be taken in order to provide it with services and make sure it’s treated in a respectful and fair way.”
“I think they have a responsibility in a governmental context to say and do the right things, which they haven’t always done int he past.”
Chambers said he hopes a formal ministerial position will soon be assigned.
Moving forward, the QCGN is expecting to have regular meetings with the Quebec government.