QUEBEC CITY -- The Legault government has set aside money this year to help English-speaking Quebecers get access to services and jobs, with a look at keeping English-speaking seniors from feeling isolated.

The English communities face issues of “vitality, access to health care and labour market integration,” the government stated in its 2020-2021 budget, unveiled on Tuesday in Quebec City.

Some $18.8 million will be spent over the next five years to support the Secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers.

Created by the CAQ government in 2018, the program supports various organizations and educational institutions within the English-speaking communities.

One of the keys to that support is help for seniors by way of wellness centres.

“The centres combat isolation and encourage active living while contributing to the vitality of their communities,” the budget plan reads.

A total of $4.7 million will go toward continuing the activities at nearly 40 existing wellness centres and establishing 25 more by 2022-2023.

Anglophones will also get some help entering the job market. The government is offering $7 million to create an employment strategy to raise the employment rate among English-speaking Quebecers. 

Despite the money spent on anglophone services, the CAQ also upped the funding of the Office quebecois de la langue francaise and other entities that promote and protect the French language.