Finance minister Leitao sounding anglos out about next Quebec budget

What do Quebec's anglophones want in the upcoming Quebec budget?

That was the subject of a meeting at McGill University on Wednesday involving finance minister Carlos Leitao, anglo relations minister Kathleen Weil and members of more than a dozen community groups across the province.

Eric Maldoff, the chair of the health and social services committee at the Quebec Community Groups Network, says his group and others were looking for more money for the newly-created secretariat for English-speaking Quebecers, which would allow them to hire more staff to do research to better address the community's concerns.

They were also looking for more funding for various community groups across the province, in order to better fulfill their mission to serve the anglophone community, particularly in the outlying regions.

"If we're going to have our rights, and if we're going to have our services, the government has to come to the table with some money to support the administration and secretarial services that are necessary for our volunteers to continue to do the work they're doing," Maldoff said.

Maldoff, the first president of the now-defunct English-rights lobby group Alliance Quebec, says he's satisfied that the ministers heard their concerns.

The meeting is part of a series of pre-budget consultations Leitao is holding across the province with various groups.

The budget — the last one before Quebecers go to the polls in October — is expected to be released in a few more weeks.

No date has yet been set.