Quebec unveils where $7M earmarked for Anglos will be invested
Community Health and Social Services network, ELAN, Literacy Quebec, Senior Action Quebec to receive funds
The Quebec government has announced which Anglophone community groups will be on the receiving end of $6.9 million set aside for them in the last provincial budget.
Kathleen Weil, the minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers, said on Tuesday the province wants to invest in keeping young, highly educated anglophones in the province.
The bulk of the money, $5.7 million, will go toward the Community Health and Social Services network to help anglophones access services.
The English Language Arts Network (ELAN) received $400,000 to support its work with English-speaking artists in the province. The umbrella groups Literacy Quebec and Senior Action Quebec each received the same amount.
The announcement came bit more than a week before the official start of the election campaign on Aug. 23, as all the major political parties are trying to make an impression on voters.
'We want to support you,' Weil says
Weil said she wants to keep young Quebecers in the province — two-thirds of them leave after university, she said — and she hopes the funding will help them see a future in the province.
"We want to support you in your dream of having your own children and grandchildren grow up here," she said, addressing youth anglophones.
While most university-educated anglophones are leaving, Weil said that more than 90 per cent of francophone students stay.
Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/Isamelancon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Isamelancon</a> for hosting us today in Verdun & <a href="https://twitter.com/DavidBirnbaum1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DavidBirnbaum1</a> for participating in this historic announcement! It was so inspiring to be in the room with so many members of the English-speaking community who warmly welcomed the new grant program. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/polqc?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#polqc</a> <a href="https://t.co/tB5y5Vi3rf">pic.twitter.com/tB5y5Vi3rf</a>—@Kathleen_Weil
Guy Rodgers, ELAN's general manager, is optimistic about the future of the English-speaking community in the province.
He said that when he'd meet with students from Montreal's Concordia or McGill universities a decade ago, they "had their tickets bought" to leave Quebec.
But today, things have changed, he said.
"More and more of the young people want to stay, so this kind of support can only help," Rodgers said.
Rodgers said that a lot of anglophone artists don't know what funding is available in the province and rely on the Canada Council for the Arts, based in Ottawa, instead.
"The problem is not only matter of language, but [a] matter of communication," Rodgers said.
With files from CBC's Elias Abboud