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Most French-speakers support right of anglophones to get important government services in English: poll

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The majority of French-speaking Quebecers support the right for Quebec's anglophones to get important government services in English, according to a new poll.

The Léger poll, commissioned by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), a group representing the English-speaking community, looked into whether English and French speakers have different perceptions of language in the province.

The QCGN already released some data last week about the views around Bill C-13, the federal official languages bill, but the new poll had to do with the idea of equal access to certain government services.

"We were heartened to see, that, in fact, on the street, English-speaking Quebecers and French-speaking Quebecers really do have a willingness to work together. And the francophones, for sure, really believe that there should be equal access for English-speaking Quebecers," said Sylvia Martin-Laforge, the QCGN's director-general.

When asked whether anglophones should have equal access to the health-care system in their language, 84 per cent of French speakers agreed.

Eighty-five per cent of francophones said their English speakers should receive equal access to the court system.

When it came to funding for English community projects, 65 per cent of French speakers approved, according to the poll.

Martin-Laforge said it's an opportune time to send a message to Quebec politicians from all parties that there is room in the province for diversity and inclusion. There might even be some consensus among the population, she said.

"As the national assembly begins its work, we want all parties to understand, to be aware of what Quebecers feel about access to services for a minority linguistic population. I would believe that Quebecers generally are quite generous in their attitudes toward minorities," she said.

Leger conducted the poll during the first week of November, with almost 700 people from across Quebec responding.

More results are expected to be released at a later date.

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