Francophones, anglophones differ on anglos' contributions to Quebec: survey

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A new survey suggests there's a sharp difference of opinion between anglophones and francophones on the role of English-speaking Quebecers in creating Quebec society.

The survey, done by Leger Marketing for the Association of Canadian Studies, shows 63 per cent of Quebecers agree with the statement 'English-speaking Quebecers have made an important contribution to Quebec history'.

But while 90 per cent of English-speaking Quebecers and 89 per cent of allophones agree with that statement, just 55 per cent of francophones do.

Meanwhile, just 45 per cent of Quebecers agree with the statement "English-speaking Quebecers are a founding people of Quebec."

Just 37 per cent of francophones agree, while 77 per cent of anglophones and 69 percent of allophones do.

Why is there such a huge divide?

Jack Jedwab, the president of the Association of Canadian Studies, says that difference of opinion has a lot to do with the way history is taught in Quebec schools.

"That's been a debate for the past decade, in particular, about the need to provide more knowledge about the role of English-speaking Quebecers in the evolution of Quebec, but really, nothing's been done about it."

Jedwab says the study suggests French-speaking Quebecers are more likely to recognize anglos for their economic contributions to Quebec, rather than their social and cultural contributions — in part, because there remains some antipathy toward anglos on the part of some Quebec francophones.

"We need to do considerably more to ensure that Quebecers are aware of the role and evolution of English-speaking Quebecers in Quebec society," Jedwab says. "Education ministries, both this one and previous ones, seem to ignore, because they don't want to offend those francophones who hold some antipathy toward English-speaking Quebecers. 

"That's something that needs to be corrected. I'm not optimistic it will be corrected with this government, but it certainly should be."