Montreal·Special Report

Francophones split on trust of Parti Québécois, poll suggests

Results from a CBC-Ekos survey released this morning show that 33 per cent of francophones, and 75 per cent of anglophones agree they are "angry with the PQ government."

Stay or Go series looks at what's pushing people out of Quebec and what's keeping them

Six per cent of anglophones said they trust the current PQ government compared to 39 per cent of francophones. (Radio-Canada)

One in three francophones in Quebec are angry with the Parti Québécois government, new numbers from a CBC-Ekos poll suggest.

Thirty-three per cent of 1,009 francophones who participated in the survey looking at perceptions of anglophones and francophones agreed with the statement “I am angry with the PQ government.”

By comparison, 75 per cent of anglophones agreed with the same statement.

Renee Houde was born in Val d'Or, Que. to a francophone family. She says she's not surprised so many francophones said they were angry with the PQ. In fact, she's disappointed the numbers aren't higher.

“Every 10 years, you're always scared and fearful there's going to be another referendum. And it's just such a pain in the neck... can we please look after the economy?” said Houde. 

Language and separation 

She's now retired, but Houde worked as a flight attendant for Air Canada, and has lived in Toronto and Vancouver. She moved back to Montreal in early 1980s and said she's worried about the priorities of the Parti Québécois government.

“Why is it that all we're talking about is separation and language? Shouldn't we be doing something about better education, and the economy," said Houde 

"It's been 30 years, and it's the same thing, all they talk about is separation and language,”

From a very young age Houde says she realized that the English language could be an asset if she ever moved outside Quebec, and asked her parents if she could go to English school.

“We begged our dad to go to Toronto to learn English, because we knew that if you had English you could travel around, you could move, you could do whatever you wanted. And thanks to my parents, I was very fortunate,” said Houde.

When it comes to trusting the PQ government, the poll showed Quebec francophones are almost evenly split.

The survey asked participants if they agreed with the statement “I trust the PQ government,” and 42 per cent of respondents said they did not.

The vast majority — 88 per cent — of anglophones disagreed.

Stay or go?

The CBC-commissioned poll is part of an exclusive two-week series, Stay or Go, that examines what is pushing people to think about leaving Quebec, what is keeping them in the province, and what hopes they have for their future in Quebec.

The poll found that more than half of the anglophone Quebecers surveyed had seriously considered leaving the province in the last year.

One in ten francophone Quebecers also said they had thought about leaving in the same poll.

Yesterday, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois addressed those results, saying she is not worried about an exodus from the province.

"I have great respect for the Anglo Quebecers. This community is important in my perspective," said Marois. "I have always had a great respect of this community and I will continue to as leader of the government."

Marois said she believes the Parti Québécois has always been respectful to the anglophone population and that anglophones are just as important as Quebec's other founding communities. 

Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said Friday that politicians in Ottawa are watching the situation in Quebec closely and there is concern that the PQ could see themselves in majority territory following the looming election. 

"There's no question [about] what I think they're going to do if they get their majority and I think that's what you are seeing reflected in a lot of concern right now," he told CBC.

"These are cycles that I'm very much aware of aware of, but I am also very much aware that Mme. Marois represents the last hurrah and the last chance for a whole generation of sovereignists who see in her their last chance to grasp the brass ring."

Houde says if the Marois' PQ win a majority government, she plans to sell her condo in Montreal and move to Toronto, where her son lives.

“I know if she wins a majority she'll have a referendum. I can't do that. I've been through one, that's enough,” said Houde.

About the survey

A total of 2,020 Quebec residents were interviewed by phone between Feb. 10 and 18, 2014, as part of this CBC-commissioned Ekos study. The margin of error for a sample of 2,020 is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Those surveyed included 782 anglophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points 95 per cent of the time), 1,009 francophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points 95 per cent of the time) and 223 allophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 6.5 percentage points 95 per cent of the time).

Anglophones are respondents who identified their mother tongue as English; francophones are people who identified their mother tongue as French; and allophones identified their mother tongue as "other."

Percentages for total respondents have been weighted to reflect linguistic population make-up of Quebec.


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