Liberals face mounting expectations from Anglo groups, universities

Quebec’s new government is already facing a long list of demands from community groups, universities and provincial institutions just two days after the election.

Philippe Couillard's new government gears up for 'ambitious agenda'

Quebec Premier designate Philippe Couillard speaks at a news conference at the legislature in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

Quebec’s new government is already facing a long list of demands from community groups, universities and provincial institutions, just two days after the election. 

The newly-elected members of the National Assembly met yesterday for the first time, marking the beginning of the first session of the 41st legislature.

Now expectations are mounting for Premier-delegate Philippe Couillard and what his majority Liberal government will accomplish.

David Birnbaum, the new Liberal MNA for D'Arcy-McGee, says the new government is up to the job. 

"It’s an ambitious agenda, but one that makes sense and one that I know will happen," Birbaum told CBC's Daybreak.

Anglo advocates have faith in Liberal government

One of the groups hoping to get a spot on Couillard's priority list is the Quebec Community Groups Network, an organization that advocates for Quebec’s English-speaking community.

The group says it has faith that Couillard will deal with anglophone issues that have been left on the backburner for years.

“There’s under-representation of the English-speaking community in the provincial civil service, in the civil bodies, agencies, and that demonstrates that we are not within the system,” says Sylvia Martin-Laforge, director general of the Quebec Community Groups Network.

Martin-Laforge told Daybreak that her organization is asking the government to implement concrete measures to address those issues.

She says she trusts Couillard won’t take Anglo-Quebecers for granted.

The new government is also facing demands from Quebec’s universities.

Quebec universities ask for more funding

Olivier Marcil, the vice-president of communications and external affairs at McGill University, says he welcomes the stability of a majority government.

But, Marcil adds, they have work to do.

“Universities across Quebec are underfunded in comparison to their peers across Canada,” he says.

"If it is a government that is committed to prosperity of Quebec and the economy, then it has to help the universities to be in better shape in terms of their finances."

Couillard is expected to meet with the Liberal caucus for the first time this afternoon in Quebec City.