The180

Anglophones looking for more support in Quebec

English-speaking Quebecers say they need more institutional support, and Canada's Official Languages Commissioner agrees. We ask one advocate why she says the Quebec government should treat anglophones more like other provinces treat francophones.
Sylvia Martin-Laforge, head of the Quebec Community Groups Network, says anglophones need to be treated like "a proper minority." (CBC)

Quebec's anglophones need to be treated like "a proper minority community," with a section of government designed to look after their needs. That's what Sylvia Martin-Laforge tells The 180's Jim Brown this week. She's reacting to news that Canada's Official Languages Commissioner suggested to the provincial government that it open an Office of Anglophone Affairs, but the province declined. 

Martin-Laforge says government often forgets her community when crafting and consulting on policy, and as head of an organization that speaks for English-speakers, she has no one in government she can turn to. She says other "minority" groups, like women and First Nations, have sections of bureaucracy that look after them, as do francophones in other provinces where they are the linguistic minority. She would like the same consideration. 

One of the things we feel is missing in the provincial civil service is their understanding of English-speaking Quebecers.- Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Quebec Community Groups Network

The Liberal government has three anglophone MNAs, which it says serves the community just fine. Martin-Laforge agrees they do a great job, but says it's not enough: she wants to be able to work with bureaucrats who are dedicated to researching, and reaching out to, the anglophone community. 

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