As election day draws nearer, many English-speaking youth in Quebec will be deciding which party to support. While Y4Y Québec does not endorse any particular party or candidate, we would like to provide young English-speakers with information to help them make a decision. For this reason, we have decided to send this survey to each of the major parties contesting the election. It contains questions provided by our members about issues that are of importance to English-speaking youth.
We asked them the following questions:
1.) Many English-speaking youth have expressed a desire to remain in Quebec, but are worried that their schooling has provided them with an insufficient level of French comprehension to fully integrate into the labour market.
a. Does your party support the expansion of publicly-funded francisation courses for immigrants to make them available to the Quebec-born English-speaking population?
b. Is there anything you would do to help encourage graduates of Quebec’s English-speaking school system to seek employment in Quebec?
2.) English-speaking Quebecers, as well as Quebecers belonging to a visible minority, have long been under-represented in the provincial public service, as well as in para-governmental organizations. While various parties have acknowledged this issue, there has not been much progress. What measures will your party take to address the imbalance?
3.) One of the biggest issues facing Quebec's English-speaking community has been the drastic decline in primary and secondary school enrollment over the past few decades. This has a direct effect on the vitality of our communities. What measures does your party support to help address this issue?
4.) The exodus of youth from our rural regions poses significant questions about the future vitality of many communities across Quebec, particularly for the English-speaking minority. Given the high unemployment rates and lack of job opportunities there, what measures will your party take to attract and retain young people to these areas?
5.) One particular problem facing young English-speakers in some parts of Quebec is a lack of access to health care and social services in their language. According to the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN), this negatively impacts the quality of treatment that users of services receive. How will your party ensure improved access to health care and social services in English across Quebec?
Here are the answers that we received:
Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ):
Thank you for sharing your organization’s concerns with us.
1. a) We aren’t considering doing this at the moment, though the CAQ might examine this proposal.
b) The CAQ will work hard to create wealth (with better-paying jobs) and to support entrepreneurs. Going for growth would be as beneficial for Anglophones as it would be for Francophones in the opinion of the CAQ.
2. We would pursue incentive programs to recruit Anglophones into the public service.
3. The CAQ would give more autonomy to schools and reinvest in education to make sure that all youth have the necessary support to succeed.
4. Just as much for Francophones as for Anglophones, the CAQ will try to attract private investment into the regions in order to create paying jobs there. Furthermore, the CAQ would like to see a change in the financing of educational institutions in the regions so as to stop the exodus of youth, both Francophone and Anglophone.
5. Reform the funding of health services to improve budgetary stability and provide institutions with more direct support and resources.