English community leaders meet Christopher Skeete in Aylmer
Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers, Christopher Skeete, was in Aylmer for the most recent stop in his multi-city tour to consult and understand the needs of English-speaking Quebecers and community groups.
The objective of this cross-Quebec tour, which has already brought Mr Skeete to New Carlisle, Quebec City, Saint-Lambert, Laval, Montréal, Pointe-Claire and Sherbrooke, is to ensure more effective coordination for government actions with respect to services to the English-speaking communities, including measures implemented and funded by several different government entities.
Among those invited to the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, was Lily Ryan, President of the Quebec Community Newspaper Association (QCNA). Ms Ryan told the Bulletin that she took home a lot of positives from the discussion held with Mr Skeete and the other guests who are leaders in education, health care, economic and community development and the arts from Abitibi-Témiscamingue and from Outaouais.
“The vitality of the English-speaking community is very strong, and self-sufficient because of the long-standing need to take care of itself from the inside, while hungry for help from the Quebec government. The list of projects funded by the Secretariat since the election of the CAQ is impressive and very encouraging,” commented Ms Ryan.
Some of the biggest news to come out of the meeting was Mr Skeete’s assurance to English-community leaders that services pertaining to people across all responsibilities of the Quebec government would include the element of serving in English, with Ms Ryan confirming that the parliamentary secretary to the premier François Legault, promised those present that “service in English will improve across ministries, from Employment to Health Care.”
Via press release after the event, Mr Skeete and his team recognized the Outaouais region’s particular challenges due to “its proximity to Ottawa” and “its funding and programming needs”, pointing to the shortage in the labour force caused by migration to Ontario as an issue of particular interest.