LISTEN: New anglo minister says changes to Bill 101 not forthcoming
Quebec's new minister for relations with anglo Quebecers says don't expect her to spearhead changes to Quebec's language law.
Kathleen Weil spoke with Leslie Roberts on CJAD 800 on Thursday morning for the first time since being given the job in Wednesday's cabinet shuffle.
She says giving anglos access to French-language training — and by extension, access to the job market — is a much bigger priority.
"When I went in the regions, they didn't mention [easing Bill 101's restrictions]," she told Leslie. "What they mentioned is they would like to have access to French-language training so they could participate in public life...access to the job market is a big one."
She added that her kids, and many other young anglos, are fluently bilingual, but identify as members of the English-speaking community.
"Their friends are all fluently bilingual, so they don't really have a concern about Bill 101," Weil says, "but they have a concern about being recognized about being recognized as having their place here in Quebec."
Meanwhile, Weil also says there would be no movement access to English schools for immigrants coming from English-speaking countries.
"That issue is not an issue that's on the table," Weil said. "It's not part of the conversations I've had with members of the community over the years."
Weil says among the priorities she has would be to find ways to improve access to health and social services, and plans to actively promote bringing more anglos into Quebec's notoriously homogenous civil service.
And, she also plans to keep an ear open — particularly to those pockets of anglos outside of Montreal.
"It's an exciting moment, it's a historic moment for the English-speaking community. The government is going to be very creative, innovative, and really listening to the community to respond to its needs; make sure that they feel, as the premier said, fully engaged, and that their talents are recognized because, as the premier said yesterday, their presence and their talents are needed in Quebec."