PQ Strategy To Quell Anglo Anxiety 'Naive' Researcher Says

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The Parti Québécois should be doing more to quell the anxiety of the province's English-speaking population about its policies, says the director of a Canadian research thinktank. (Shutterstock) | Shutterstock

The Parti Québécois should be doing more to quell the anxiety of the province's English-speaking population about its policies, says the director of a Canadian research thinktank.

Jack Jedwab, executive director of Association for Canadian Studies, said the government was being overly optimistic when it appointed Jean-Francois Lisée as the minister responsible for anglophone relations.

"It was naive to think that strategy would work … that it would significantly or even marginally diminish the type of anxiety that the anglophone community feels after a PQ victory," said.

"It'll take a lot more than sending an individual out there, as intelligent and articulate as Mr. Lisée is, to assuage anglophones."

In an EKOS poll commissioned by CBC, 76 per cent of respondents said they do not trust the PQ government. The poll also found 51 per cent of anglophones are "angry" with the PQ.

Jean-François Lisée, the PQ minister responsible for anglophone relations, said he always knew his job would be difficult.

"We have a lot of baggage behind us," he told CBC Montreal's Daybreak on Tuesday.

Lisée said the resentment dates back to the PQ's first electoral victory in 1976, when it promised to give the French language a bigger place in business and politics.

"So, doing this revolution — this linguistic revolution — clearly set the stage for something that was seen as opposition between anglo Quebecers and the PQ," Lisée said.

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