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Community Issues

Connections  to our Communities .A Statistics Canada study released last week said that Québecers are least connected to their local communities then residents of other provinces . In total only 54% of Québecers feel a sense of belonging to their communities compared to the Canadian Average of 64%. In Atlantic Canada on average 75% of residents felt a connection to their community, while 66% of persons living west of Québec reported a sense of belonging to their community in 2005 . Interesting Anglophones Quebecers had a far greater sense of belonging 62% compared to 51% of their francophone neighbours .

Of the major cities  studied Laval and Longueuil rank among the lowest level of civil spirit. This type of low civic pride often  lends to lower volunteer  participation  and municipal involvement . While even within our own community,  participation is decreasing  in schools, sports  and local groups across the board. It still remains important that we all do what we can. Therefore If you can make one New Years resolution that  you will really try to keep, Make it that you will give your time somewhere to make  a difference.You will be glad you did!

 

Connecting the two Solitudes.

The South Shore Community Partners has been serving as a vital communication link between area community health and social service provides and the English -speaking community. An growing number area CLSC and non-profit organisations who have traditional directed information about their services to the French-language community are reaching out to the English-speaking community. However because of limit communication means and a community that is spread around there is no direct way of informing people about their New English service. This is where the SSCP is now providing help in bridging these two solitudes ..by using our Network of community groups , Schools, and key contacts we have been spreading the word about these services. Along with getting the word out , we post information about these New Services on our Web-page, in Our Newsletter and forward them to another associations like the CHSSN to post on their Bulletin board . Because of these efforts the South Shore English-speaking community are now more aware of these services and from the feedback I have received from the English program leaders are participating .. two such services are :

I conclude, that I have been very impressed and encouraged by these contacts and truly see an willingness by the directors of these services to reach out to the English-community

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Community News: The changing make-up of the Québec English community and a South Shore Community Forum on Health services both provided a look at changing face of way the English speaking community needs are being looked at .was presented this month.

A recent study commissioned by the Official Languages Commission reflex the profound demographic changes that have been transforming Québec English-speaking community.

No were are not all Rich , White and Unilingual,! In fact in most regions of Québec our unemployment rates are higher then francophone. Within the Greater Montréal region income rates are equal however outside of this area our median income rate was 10% lower then francophones. The percentage of English persons who speak French continues to rise . Of the concerns expressed by the community , access to health and social services in English remains one of our communities top concerns.

As we already are aware the diversity and multi-ethnic comprisal of the English-speaking community within Greater Montréal area is far different then the community within Québec`s regions . Anyone who attends an active community groups, churches or a growing school, knows that this freshest comes from the multi-cultural make-up. It is to this understanding that the SSCP continues to build links to all communities who make use of the English-Language.

How many Anglophones do it take to make up the English-speaking community within Québec ..it all depends on what census data one uses According to the last official census in 2001..

There are 591,379 mother-tongue Anglophones in Québec down from 789,200 in 1971

There are 746,898 persons who speak English at home down from 886,100 in 1971

Using the most generous definition of first official language spoken ( Persons who have another language ie Chinese, but also speak English as the official language most used ) the size the English-speaking community has a slight grow rate of 1.1% since 1991 to now 918,955 in 2001

While always a concern the size and strength of our School system …Over the last ten years the number of students enrolled in English School boards has stabilized and in some areas increased. A large part of this is due to the number of mix English-French marriages were the children are sent to English school.

According to ministry of Education studies in the school year: 1991-1992 there were 111,392 students enrolled in English-language schools of which 71% were English, 9% francophone 20% allophone by the year 2002-2003 there were 122,834 students in the system of which 62% are English 17% are francophone , with the 20% Allophone level remaining the same . Outside of Montréal they are more francophone students then Anglophones enrolled in so called English-language CEGEPS and 20% of all university students attending English Universities are Francophone ..with numbers expected to rise.

To review the full study go to the following link. Special study - Going Forward The Evolution of Quebec`s English-Speaking Community - November www.ocol-clo.gc.ca/

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Forum on the Adaptation of Health and Social Services To the needs of Québec Cultural communities

 

On Friday November 5, the SSCP attended a very interesting forum on ways and means to improve awareness of the special needs of our Ethnic and English-speaking communities so we can be better served by the Health and Social Service Network. Fatima Houda-Pepin MNA hosted this event for La Pinière in her Brossard riding. The meeting brought together an impressive number of community members and persons in the H-SS field. After opening remarks by Madame Houda-Pepin, We were presented a series of panellist each providing an analysis of current trends in the clientele served by H-SS services within our area. Each speakers presentation was quickly followed by a summary in English and all material used was provided in both languages. The First session offered us an interesting look at the changes taking place with our Ethnic communities comprisal and the way they are being tackled specially in long term care centres and the CLSC network. Along with a valuable look at the workings of Youth Protection services and how local schools are trying to address the needs of newcomers. During the afternoon -English-language workshops were held on the issue of English-language services to the Elderly and Youth. Some of the concerns expressed were The need for more information about health services being offered, the Special cultural needs care of the elderly, lack of support services, the needs for Day centres and better Home care, plus more community input. More detail research information on were the needs of the community are being looked after (or Not) is needed and we encouraged the Local Health agency to provide an in between the statistic`s look at our communities needs. There always remains the important role of us being involved so we can bring forth our communities concerns in way that will work for positive solutions. I was please to learn how many persons were being forward the Community Newsletter* and liked the information provided

.A follow-up group will look at the issues expressed about services to the elderly with the health service network and ways to work towards a solution to the concerns expressed. If you have an interest in the issues faced by seniors and their families within the H-SS system and would like to partake in this group. You are more then welcome. Contact me and I will inform you when and where we will next be meeting. Kevin 466-1325- or email me a reply.

 

In the area of Youth Services for Cultural /English-speaking communities there is a great need for Foster care homes for English-speaking youth, a lack of support services, the need to address special needs of non-francophone youth and their families. The Riverside School Board provides a lot of extra social services support to their student population. Often these services are not fully covered by Government funding thus leading to a cash short fall. Programs are needed to provide after school activates and to deal with youth problems (i.e. Drugs, etc), Speech & Hearing Therapist. Also ways to improve communications on what Youth Services are to Ethnic communities. This is but a brief summary of the days events, for more details and ways to express your concerns on issues faced by Ethnic and English-speakers within the Health System contact John Britton 928-6777 local 4318

 

* The SSCP has been able to add a number of community members to our newsletter link, including members of Cultural communities that are English-speaking