New group unites anglophones in favour of Quebec independence
Group's leader says she wants to correct assumption that all anglophones are federalist
A new anglophone group in Quebec is touting the benefits of Quebec sovereignty .
Anglophones for Quebec Independence calls itself a non-partisan group. It only has a few dozen members at the moment.
Jennifer Drouin, the group's founder, says she wants to correct the assumption that all anglophones are federalist.
She addressed an audience at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society in Montreal on Friday.
"For sovereignty itself, the advantages for anglophones are the same as for francophones," she said.
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Among the advantages Drouin pointed to are greater control over healthcare funding and issues like the proposed Energy East pipeline.
"If the Saint-Lawrence floods with oil, it's not going to matter if you're an anglophone or a francophone – the consequences will be the same," she said.
Drouin said fears for anglophone rights in an independent Quebec are exaggerated, as is talk that the province's independence movement is dead.
"There have historically always been affirmations that anglophone rights will be protected. In Jacques Parizeau's 1995 victory speech, he explicitly committed his government to protecting the historical rights of English speakers in Quebec, had the ['Yes' vote] won," she said.
The group plans to act as a resource centre and also hold public meetings to discuss sovereignty with anglophones.
But anglophone rights activist Antoinette Mercurio doesn't see much hope for the group.
She says the sovereignty movement is passé.
"Pretty much the majority, if not 75 per cent of francophones don't mention independence anymore. They don't want to separate, and now these guys come up and what do they think they're gonna do?"