2014-2015 Community Priorities
Priority Setting Steering Committee Communicates
Annual Community Priorities to Canadian Heritage
The Priority Setting Steering Committee (PSSC) of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) met with Canadian Heritage to finalize the list of annual priorities for project funding. The priority list was based on the survey of Strategic Priorities Forum participants that looked at how organizations were linking to the priorities established by the English-speaking community and what projects they were working on.
Following a preliminary meeting with the regional office of Canadian Heritage, we analyzed the survey results and extracted a list of annual priorities regrouped under each of the high level priorities that were set at the Community Priority Setting Conference in March 2012. Canadian Heritage is committed to using these priorities when analyzing project funding applications and making recommendations on funding allocations to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
We strongly encourage all groups to attach to these annual priorities in all of their funding applications whether they are to PCH or any other government department or ministry. To simplify this, we have annexed the Declaration of Community Priorities (read here) and the 2014 – 2015 Community Priorities of the English-speaking Community of Quebec (read here).
As we move forward, the PSSC will continue to inspire itself from the survey results and the list of annual priorities when advocating for policies and programs that will help us achieve a vital and sustainable community with Canadian Heritage and other federal departments, provincial ministries and other potential funders and stakeholders.
Chair, Priority Setting Steering Committee
FORUM DES PRIORITÉS STRATÉGIQUES 2012 – 2013
Vital Communities Plan Together for their Future
19 Community Consultations Sept - Dec 2011
QUEBEC'S ENGLISH-SPEAKING COMMUNITIES
EMPOWERED TO SHAPE THEIR FUTURE
Strategic Priority Forum Defines Key Concepts and Scope
Following a four-month consultation process with Quebec's English-speaking communities, the Quebec Community Groups Network's (QCGN's) Priority Setting Steering Committee has identified over 360 "enablers" that are essential to the development of a vital future in this province.
The Priority Setting Steering Committee launched the Strategic Priorities Forum in September 2011 and spoke with dozens of participants in 15 regions across Quebec, and with four sectors - including youth, cultural, education and publishing - resulting in the development of a variety of conditions that would make the English-speaking community sustainable over time.
"Enablers maintain the vitality of English-speaking communities, while ensuring equal opportunities to fully participate in the social, cultural, economic and political life of Quebec," said Noel Burke, chair of the Priority Setting Steering Committee. "The roving consultation process left every member of our community of communities satisfied that no stone was left unturned."
Burke explained that "enablers" are words or phrases that are important to "forming the foundation for priorities that can be tailored to meet the needs of specific community, regional and cultural realities." For example, words such as "collaboration," or phrases such as "expanding access to arts and culture in rural Quebec," were some of the 363 "enablers" that participants said were important. Others included "Francophone-Anglophone partnerships," "intergenerational collaboration," and "political representation."
These consultations were coupled with discussions on timelines to focus the community's active participation and dynamic working partnerships throughout the Strategic Priorities Forum's first year of the five-year ambitious process.
"Our hope is that these enablers, once in place, will lead our community towards greater vitality and sustainability," Burke said. "The use of the 'enabler' concept avoids the usual pitfalls of attempting to unite community members with competing interests to reach a consensus about overall priorities and resource allocation. More importantly, the use of enablers provides our communities with the capacity to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders and other parties interested in the elaboration of resources and support for community needs."
Burke said the feedback from the consultations was excellent. "The response to the enabler conversation has been very positive, both from the dozens of individuals and the government officials who have engaged in the process."
Following the consultations, the enablers were classified by type, setting the stage for the Strategic Priorities Forum's next phase of community involvement.
Map and List of Consultations
|Sept. 11 – The Gaspé
Oct. 6 – North Shore Region*
Oct. 13 – Quebec City
Oct. 14 – Thetford Mines
Oct. 18 – Lower North Shore*
Oct. 20 – Sector "Writing and Publishing"
Oct. 25 – Sector: "Arts, Culture and Heritage"
Oct.31 – Sector: "Literacy, Education and Employability"
Nov. 1 – Rouyn-Noranda
Nov. 4 – Magdalen Islands*
|Nov. 7 – Lower Saint Lawrence*
Nov. 10 – Western Quebec
Nov. 15 – Montreal West
Nov. 17 – Montreal East
Nov. 22 – South Shore
Nov. 19 & 26 – Laval**
Nov. 28 – Vaudreuil-Dorion
Dec. 5 – Eastern Townships
Dec. 21 – Youth
* Consultations conducted via teleconference or videoconference
** Consultation conducted in partnership with NPI-Agape
5 Focus Groups
FOCUS GROUPS ENDORSE AND REFINE DATA
Enablers Condensed into Macro-enablers
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has identified 16 conditions which will help the English-speaking community of Quebec to be sustainable in the future.
QCGN's Priority Setting Steering Committee began the next stage of the Strategic Priority Forum initiative with five focus groups set up to whittle down the identification of 363 "enablers" - words and phrases that would ensure the sustainable development of Quebec's English-speaking communities. These enablers were analysed, cross-referenced, re-grouped into 16 broad categories and renamed "macro-enablers" through consensus.
The majority of focus group participants supported the refinement of the data following the 19 province-wide consultations held between September and December 2012. Focus group participants said that the macro-enablers were comprehensive and addressed all of Quebec's English-speaking communities' critical priorities.
Some of these categories include: community networking; collaboration and partnerships; political capacity; training and employment; bilingualism and population retention.
"The focus groups ensured that the macro-enablers were truly representative of the interests of the English-speaking community of Quebec," said Lise Palmer, the consultant hired to facilitate the focus groups. "The process was fair, transparent and encouraged participants to feel ownership of and investment in the attainment of future outcomes."
QCGN Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge said that the focus groups were "instrumental" in helping the network refine the information from the previous consultations, especially in some regions or sectors that did not participate in the first phase. "They proved indispensable in helping us build awareness within the English-speaking community and in circulating information about the Strategic Priorities Forum and QCGN's role to a much wider public."
Community consensus regarding these categories was essential to the success of the Community Priority Setting Conference held in March 2012. Focus group participants strongly recommended moving away from the language of "enablers" and "macro enablers" and adopting a simpler term such as "catalyst."
Map and List of Focus Groups
Jan. 24 – Chateauguay
Feb. 9 – Montreal
Feb. 15 – Morin Heights
Feb. 20 – Lennoxville
Feb. 22 - Youth (held in Montreal)
CATALYSTS FOR CHANGE IN ONLINE SURVEY
Stage Set for Community Priority Setting Conference
Seventy per cent of Quebec's English-speaking community "completely" endorses the Quebec Community Group Network's (QCGN) six "catalysts" for creating a sustainable future, according to an online survey. Following focus group recommendations to move away from language such as "enablers" and "macro-enablers," the QCGN has developed six "catalyst" areas it feels will ensure the vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec.
The six catalysts were refined from 16 macro-enablers previously identified as conditions that would "form the foundation for sets of priorities" to address specific community, regional and cultural needs among the English- speaking community. The six catalysts are: Access to Services in English; Community Building; Vitality, Identity and Renewal; Leadership, Succession and Influence; Economic Prosperity and Strong Institutional Foundations.
Of the 559 responses received in the QCGN's online survey, Catalysts for Change, 389 people said they "completely" endorse all six catalysts. The survey, conducted during the first three weeks of March 2012, also demonstrated that 93.4 per cent of respondents felt "access to services in English" was the biggest priority, followed by 82 per cent who believed "community building" was important.
"The survey results were exhilarating," said Noel Burke, chair of the Priority Setting Steering Committee, which is undertaking the Strategic Priority Forum's five-year initiative focused on building a sustainable future for Quebec's English-speaking communities. "They validated our work and encouraged the Priority Setting Steering Committee to propose the six resulting catalysts for change as the basis of dialogue at the Community Priority Setting Conference with confidence."
The Catalysts for Change survey was designed to gauge the importance of the catalysts prior to their presentation at the March 2012 conference.
"The Priority Setting Steering Committee carefully considered next steps to ensure province-wide support and consensus for a manageable set of common concepts," Burke said.
The survey was also circulated to all conference attendees, fostering awareness and familiarity with the catalysts well in advance of the event.
Access to Services in English
Vitality, Identity and Renewal
Leadership, Succession and Influence
Strong Institutional Foundations
Community Priority Setting Conference March 2012
CONFERENCE CHARTS COURSE
FOR A VITAL AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Declaration of Community Priorities Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Quebec's English-speaking community has signed a declaration outlining six priorities it will work on over the next five years to ensure a thriving community exists long into the future.
"We must express ourselves coherently and convincingly with respect to our identity, needs, and proper place as a vibrant element of Quebec society in the 21st century," Noel Burke, chair of the Quebec Community Groups Network's (QCGN) Priority Setting Steering Committee, told over 200 people at the Strategic Priority Forum's Priority Setting Conference on March 23, 2012. "I am delighted that Canada's English linguistic minority communities have identified six interdependent community priorities to ensure a vital and sustainable future."
After community consensus was achieved at the two-day conference, the Priority Setting Steering Committee signed the Declaration of the English-speaking Community of Quebec identifying six "community priorities" that would guide the community in its strategic plan to remain sustainable in the province.
The priorities - Access to Services in English; Community Building; Economic Prosperity; Identity and Renewal; Leadership and Representation and Strong Institutions - evolved from a previous phase of the Strategic Priority Forum in which six "catalysts" were identified as representative of the community's top concerns.
"Increased access to services and government information in English in all aspects of daily living is a pressing issue," the declaration states. "The ability of individuals in our community to make informed decisions depends on our capacity to understand options and implications in English."
Priority Setting Steering Committee members, who signed the declaration on behalf of the community, urged people to "work individually and collectively in a collaborative environment to develop and implement specific strategies that support these priorities." They also encouraged organizations to "engage with the Priority Setting Steering Committee to create an action plan for the community." In addition, the declaration calls upon community members to "solicit all levels of government to consider these priorities for the purposes of policy and program development."
Burke told the conference that the English-speaking community "is blessed with strong foundations but the responsibility for our vitality is our own."
Former Official Languages Commissioner Dr. Victor Goldbloom, who delivered the keynote speech, applauded leading groups, individuals, institutions, partners and stakeholders of the English-speaking community of Quebec for coming together to undertake a purposeful collective agenda.
"This is a very impressive turnout, close to 200 people, and I have been struck by the age distribution, including so many relatively young individuals, and by the geographic distribution, coming from all over the province including its farther reaches," he said, noting the community is doing a "good job" in remaining relevant. "We derive strength from each other and we give strength to each other. And I congratulate you, the organizers and all who are here who are participating so intelligently in this conference."
Conference attendees showed their support for the declaration by loudly applauding the signing. Designed to be inspirational, educational and participatory, the conference celebrated community successes; offered networking opportunities fostering greater cohesion; and facilitated working sessions focusing on the catalysts. Acting as observers over the weekend, the Priority Setting Steering Committee listened closely, incorporating observations and recommended changes.
The Priority Setting Steering Committee's final task was to produce a strategic leadership document, the Community Development Plan for 2012-2017. It presents collective priorities, strategies for their attainment and a process for self-evaluation and validation.
THE SIX COMMUNITY PRIORITIES
The Strategic Priorities Forum 2012 – 2017:
Increased access to services and government information in English in all aspects of daily living is a pressing issue. The ability of individuals in our community to make informed decisions depends on our capacity to understand options and implications in English.
Developing relationships by fostering greater collaboration and networking among English-speaking organizations and the broader community, diversifying resources, sharing and developing expertise will make our communities stronger.
Greater access to employment and educational opportunities and higher levels of bilingualism will support the economic prosperity of English-speaking Quebecers thus improving the resilience of our communities.
Nurturing a strong sense of belonging, expressing our identity, enhancing our visibility and working towards a Quebec society that embraces diversity will ensure the renewal of our communities.
Promoting leadership development at all levels, with an emphasis on youth engagement, and encouraging volunteerism will ensure we are an integral part of Quebec and Canadian society.
Healthy institutions are the cornerstone of a dynamic community. Maintaining and supporting existing institutions and establishing new ones will strengthen our communities.
HOW WILL THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING COMMUNITY
OF QUEBEC ATTAIN THESE COMMON OBJECTIVES?
Read the Community Development Plan 2012 – 2017
Community Priorities and Enabling Strategies of the
English-speaking Community of Quebec
To Access the Complete Report
on all the Consultations and Associated Documents:
The Strategic Priorities Forum's Process Report
Images from the Strategic Priorities Forum's Priority Setting Conference, March 2012