Photo: Jacques Boissinot The canadian Press
“When I met English-speaking communities, particularly in the region, I have seen their hand, in addition to a concern, the impression that they do not have access to public services as citizens of quebec,” explained Philippe Couillard in the aftermath of the reshuffle.
The policy Commission of the Quebec liberal Party (QLP) takes head-on the concerns of the troops of Philippe Couillard for the plight of Quebec anglophones : it suggests the Quebec government is concerned about ‘English-speaking citizens” in the development of ” any new bill or regulation.”
In an effort to “maximize” the participation of English-speaking citizens to ” the advancement of quebec society “, the political Committee presented five resolutions concerning the anglophones. These resolutions will be the subject of a debate and a vote of the members of the LIBERALS, who meet in congress in Quebec city from 24 to 26 November.
One of them suggests that the government of Quebec ensures that ” to evaluate, during the development of any new legislation or regulation, the impact of these on the English-speaking citizens, and the inclusion in any new draft law, regulation or policy provisions that relate to them “.
The policy Commission also proposes to ensure ” to have a representation of people from these communities [English] within the public service and decision-making bodies “. It also suggests to appoint the Institut de la statistique du Québec so that it collect ” more data and [to establish] a clear picture and accurate to their socio-demographic characteristics and the unique issues that they live, including those related to access to public services and the labour market “.
The outstretched hand of the liberals
The resolutions follow a series of actions by the government Couillard in order to reach out to anglophones in Quebec, that the prime minister wishes to call Quebec to the English language.” “We need you “, he said in August, in his closing speech to the congress of the young liberals. “Your presence is required, desired. We need you to build a better future for all Quebecers “, launched it in English.
Last month, in a decision marking a volte-face on his part, the prime minister appointed the minister Kathleen Weil responsible for ” relations with English-speaking Quebecers “. Philippe Couillard, who was opposed to it since 2013 such an appointment under the pretext that it would divide Quebecers — was recognized to be previously wrong. “When I met English-speaking communities, particularly in the region, I have seen their hand, in addition to the worry, a remoteness, the impression that they do not have access to public services as quebecers,” he explained in the aftermath of the reshuffle.
The leader of his government, Jean-Marc Fournier, has also expressed concern about the survival of the anglophone minority in quebec living outside Montreal. In June, the media reported that he had questioned the federal minister Mélanie Joly about the risks of assimilation to which Quebec anglophones are liable, in his opinion.
The 33rd Congress of the members of the QLP will also be the opportunity for the policy Committee presented two resolutions embodying the ideas put forward by the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ). One of them recalls, in part, a desire expressed in 2016 by the chief caquiste, François Legault, who had said that they wanted to make school mandatory until age 18.
The proposal of a liberal is different, it suggests raising the age of compulsory education to the age of majority, but only ” for students who have not obtained a high school diploma or vocational training “. This avenue has already been mentioned by the minister of Education, Sébastien Proulx, who is committed in its Policy of educational success to ” analyze the possibility of making school compulsory until the age of 18, or until completion of a first diploma or a first qualification.
Still in the notebook record of the 200 proposals for its resolution framework, the policy Commission suggested to modify the civil Code of Quebec ” to include the statute of limitations, civil actions brought by victims of sexual assault “. It is precisely this that requires the member caquiste Simon Jolin-Barrette in a bill that he filed in march 2016, and that the government refused to call.
The political Committee of the QLP also suggests instituting a civil action accelerated for victims of sexual assault and to invest more in the mastery of the “French technique” among immigrants, in order to increase employability of skilled immigrants who already speak French “.