NEWS

Half Of Non-Francophones Consider Moving From Quebec

02/25/2014 05:30 EST | Updated 04/27/2014 05:59 EDT
Half of Quebec's anglophone and allophone population have considered leaving the province in the last year, a new EKOS poll commissioned by the CBC suggests. 

While only 10 per cent of francophone respondents said they had considered leaving, the top reasons why people said they have considered leaving wasn't centred on linguistics.

Most people across all groups named taxes, jobs, political uncertainty and the economy as the most significant reasons they had contemplated a departure. 

As part of an exclusive two-week series, CBC Montreal will look at what is pushing people to look at relocating out of Quebec, what is keeping them here and what hopes they have for their future in this province. 

Marc Stamos is a native Quebecer, but he is planning to move his family elsewhere after the birth of his second child. 

Stamos said his bilingualism used to be a source of pride but language has become so politicized again in the province, it's become a point of contention. 

"For the first time since the 90s, I feel like I have to assert my anglophone-ness, my English-ness," he said. "You know, things have been dormant and so calm for so long that my brother and myself and my friends were comfortable speaking French."

He said Bill 101 had a significant impact on his life, but the economy picked up and things looked better. 

"All of a sudden, our friends, our bilingual friends and even some of our French friends who are starting to want to leave again, starting to think, do they want to go through the whole roller-coaster again. Because of that, I don't want to speak French in public anymore."

Stamos, who has lived outside of the province but chose to return to raise his family, said the access to education, health care and social services that initially brought him back to Montreal isn't enough to keep him here anymore. 

Economic factors

In total, 16 per cent of respondents cited the economy as their main reason for considering a move out of province. It was tied with political uncertainty as the top reason for potentially leaving Quebec. 

Brett House, senior fellow at the Jeanne Sauve Foundation and the Centre for international Governance Innovation, says the economic picture in Quebec isn't as bleak as some of the perceptions, but the province is under performing. 

"We're mediocre right now — we're not doing great, but we're not a disaster either," he said. "We're improving a bit, but we could do a lot better.

"Quebec has the potential to be one of the two economic engines of this country, in addition to Ontario and yet, it's still performing far below what it should be." 

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