Premier to anglophones that have left Quebec: ''come back!"

Premier ministre du Québec

Premier Philippe Couillard has a message to the anglophones that have left Quebec over the years: "it's time to come back."

"Your presence is necessary, desired," Couillard told anglophones in a speech to the Quebec Liberal Party youth wing, which met in Sherbrooke this weekend for a policy convention. "We need you for a better future for all Quebecers."

After the speech, Couillard told reporters he would not consider softening Quebec's language laws to entice more anglophones to the province.

"Bill 101 is a tool which assured linguistic peace in Quebec," he said, and it would be "out of the question" to consider modifying it.

He did say he understands anglophones' worries over our language laws, and says "let’s see what we can do."

Couillard's statements followed an at-times heated debate between the young Liberals over a pilot project to have up to 1,000 Francophone children attend English-language schools.

That motion failed after about 30 minutes of discussion.