Questions raised about census data after spike in anglo population reported

A statistical boom in the number of English speakers in Quebec has raised concerns about the reliability of data released last week from the 2016 census.

The census showed an increase of 57,325 people who speak English as a first language in Quebec, with more than half of that coming from outside of Montreal in cities with a large francophone population such as Rimouski, Saguenay, Drummondville, Trois-Rivieres and Shawinigan.

More than 20 other cities reported a significant increase in their Anglophone population.

Jack Jedwab, President of the Association for Canadian Studies, said that kind of explosion seems unlikely.

In an interview with Le Devoir, Jedwab called for a survey in the reliability of data from the census.

Rimouski Mayor Marc Parent said he also believes an audit is in order to confirm the data, saying that he has not seen any other evidence of a large increase in anglophones.