LISTEN: PQ minister says anglo exodus never happened

"They should be happy to be here," Réjean Hébert says

Health minsiter Réjean Hébert
Angelica Montgomery/CJAD

A Quebec cabinet minister has told reporters that Anglophones never left the province in droves following the political climate of the 1970s and 1990s.

When challenged, the health minister Réjean Hébert later said that departures took place a long time ago.

The minister had been asked about yesterday's CBC poll, which says half of Anglophones and Allophones in Quebec have seriously thought about leaving in the past year.

"They could have anxiety but, you know, they will not leave," said Minister Hébert. "We should treat it as it is. An anxiety and not an intention to leave."

Hébert said Anglophones and Allophones in Quebec have already been through similar political climates in the 1970s and 1990s and they were always well-treated by the PQ government.

"This exodus of Anglophones and immigrants never happened, you know?" he said.

"Many years ago"

According to Statistics Canada, 200,000 Anglophones left Quebec between 1971 and 2001. The population hit a low-point 13 years ago, in 2001.

When a reporter pointed out to Hébert that thousands of people did leave, he responded "many years ago, OK?"

Hébert says he and his government can do little to calm anxieties among the non-Francophone population.

"I think people choose to stay in Quebec and they should be happy to be here."


Leave a comment:

showing 25 comments · show all comments · Subscribe to comments
Comment Like
  • 37
  1. Cindy posted on 02/26/2014 01:17 PM
    This is not the first time I have heard a story like this. I was asked for proof from a fellow employee and wanted me to have friends who left post on Facebook that they actually is crazy..
  2. Paul posted on 02/26/2014 01:31 PM
    He would be a shoo-in as the next president of the flat earth society.
  3. Realist posted on 02/26/2014 01:42 PM
    Hébert says he and his government can do little to calm anxieties among the non-Francophone population.

    Would M. Hébert perhaps consider not going forward with the repressive Charter of Values. How about giving equal services to anglophone business as they do to francophone ones. Perhaps easing the oppresive OQLF regulations that produce fines for one word in english on a business header.

    While the rewritting of history is usualy the perview of the education minister, the comments made make it seem that M. Hébert has not even glanced at the curriculm. The stated figure of 200,000 was many years ago, such as between the years of the late 1970's and year 2000.

    The refusal of some PQ members to acknowlege the harm that they have done to this province is as much a part of their national mono-vision as is the fear that they may be seen as less than Souverainiste if they admit to their errors. Je me souviens may be the motto of Quebec just not the practice.
    1. carolyn vincent posted on 02/26/2014 03:28 PM
      @Realist I read a number of years ago, that there were close to 700,000 between 1970 and 1991 who left. All those big companies pulled out with more than 200,000 leaving. I recently read in the Gazette that in the first 9 months of Marois's present government, approx. 28,500 more have gone. In 1972 the non francophone population in this area was 21%. Now we are below 5%. So are all those people hiding!!!!
    2. Jim posted on 02/27/2014 06:18 PM
      @Realist Well said. It does not bode well when the people in power do not recognize well known demographic statistics. You cannot deny them, nor should you act as if you are ignorant of them. Is this not supposed to be part of the information upon which they base their understanding of Québec history and economics, as well as, the information that they must rely upon to ensure proper governance. It is one thing to ignore facts for political gain, but this shows gross incompetence. Despite Mr. Hébert's statement, you don't see anyone else in the PQ (where is Mr. Lisée, Minister for the Anglophone community) stepping forward to correct the stance of Mr. Hébert and acknowledging the exodus of Anglophones that has taken place in Québec. Unless they are trying to give us a reason to leave and trying to thin out the no votes in a future referendum.
  4. Paul posted on 02/26/2014 01:53 PM
    With a Health Minister like this one, it easily explains why our health services are in total disarray.
  5. joeN posted on 02/26/2014 02:00 PM
    Denial or Delusional !! This guy must be self medicating with his own Rx scripts. If people stayed it's because they thought they could make it work but with the never ending referendums, economic downward spiral, constant harrasment of anything that is not to the pur laine's definition of the supreme race of Quebecois will certainly be heading elsewhere unless the fence sitting voters come to their senses and vote this sorry excuse of PQ politicians out.
  6. Perky posted on 02/26/2014 02:59 PM
    Well I headed down the 401 a year ago and was joined by many others. I am bilingual but it really has nothing to do with that.
  7. brian posted on 02/26/2014 03:01 PM
    This man is politiically smart. His pronouncement was surely made to appeal to the diehard Quebecers and the separetists in order and to gain further surport fron those who are favourable to the proposed "Charter of division"..If he sincerely believes what he said then he has never been to Ontario -more particularily Toronto .
    Another sad day in the politics of Quebec
  8. JohnH- posted on 02/26/2014 03:05 PM
    And the earth is flat.
  9. Kat posted on 02/26/2014 03:07 PM
    More lies from the PQ propaganda machine. Just like Montreal is not bilingual. No rise in student fees. Anything else?
  10. Dale Burns posted on 02/26/2014 03:33 PM
    I was on of the many who left in 1982, never looked back. Took my McGill diploma and came to Toronto with a large group of friends most of whom are very successful professionals.
  11. Walter posted on 02/26/2014 03:41 PM
    When some PQ minsters don't consider the English as an important part of Quebec.
    He is right....Nobody left:)

    Remember to the PQ, that what it all about " avoir les anglais" and don't come back.
  12. bill posted on 02/26/2014 04:01 PM
    Are these guys stupid or just patholigical liars????? I left and know many wjo have and will leave. How do they think Toronto became the financial hub of Canada? ...Montreal's left and took their businesses with them. I hate the p.q. but the feds, who are responsible for all canadians should step in and deal with what's happening.....yesterday was the threat that all canadian soldiers will be required to send their kids to feench only schools. The feds should shut down all bases there...see how much the communities support rights abuses when they are short a dollar......enough js enough..step in already feds....
  13. George Grummett posted on 02/26/2014 04:10 PM
    Come the day after the election, he won't be around any more.

    Let's just ... fageddaboudim.
  14. Against Intolerance posted on 02/26/2014 04:17 PM
    Mr. Hebert, give me your hand. Let me help you out of the cave you have been living in.
    He can't actually believe what is coming out of his mouth? And Pauline Marois is extremely tolerant. *sarcasm*
  15. bimjim posted on 02/26/2014 04:25 PM
    I guess when you live in a bubble supported by an artificial environment paid for by other people you can just make stuff up as you go along. Hopefully it is not a frothing-at-the-mouth member of the Parti Quebecois writing the history of Canada.
  16. mike posted on 02/26/2014 04:27 PM
    j'ai quitter il y a 2 mois de cela it's not anxiety it is real
  17. Herb Kershaw posted on 02/26/2014 04:54 PM
    I left in 1980. I could speak French, but I would never be part of the business community I worked it. There was and is a big difference between speaking French and Being French. I was right. Yet when I visited on business, my ability to communicate (no matter how bad), was applauded even though the people I was with spoke impeccable English.
    From a distance, it is all too Orwellian.
    I can't wait for the day to come when the run out of English speaking people and money. Maybe it is time to let them and experience reality. They would likely want to return but it would be on terms of non-discrimination and no stupid laws.
  18. Dar posted on 02/26/2014 05:27 PM
    Hahaha never happened? I have the bills from u haul when I left last November

    Never happened lol wait!!!!!!! The moon is blue here in niagara on the lake !!!!
  19. LMAO posted on 02/26/2014 05:42 PM
    PQ minister says anglo exodus never happened.

    Next he will be telling us there is no shortage of decent healthcare either. I want some of whatever he is on.
  20. Jonathan posted on 02/26/2014 06:56 PM
    My parent left, my extended family left, uncles, aunts, cousins and all, at least 20 from our family who joined the thousands and thousand of anglophones that were driven from their homes and their land for the sake of someone's ego and the ill-conceived notion that the french language was threatened. Am I glad that we left, absolutely. Living in a place where you are not wanted or appreciated is a life wasted. There is no place in Canada for Hebert and his separatist party, get in Canada or leave is the message Canadians need to tell the province of Quebec and it's people. There is no room for someone with one foot in a marraige and one foot out the door. Hebert is either stupid, ignorant, or a liar, the quiet exodus of people hasn't ever been properly documented, mainly because it was just a bunch of WASP's and RC's who made out fine elsewhere, but the fact is undeniable that the english left Quebec in DROVES in the 70's and 80's and it will happen again after the next election.
  21. Hey Mr. Health Minister... posted on 02/26/2014 08:44 PM
    Can the Minister spell Missisauga?
  22. Felix posted on 02/26/2014 10:19 PM
    They know all of this. They just do not want the regions to know. Who do you think they will believe us or the PQ? The PQ will say anything even if it is a complete lie in order to keep their power base. Remember, the regions do not listen or read English media, so they only know one side. Their actions have just shown that it has all become a personal vendetta against anything not pure Quebecois in their eyes.
  23. Mick posted on 02/26/2014 11:38 PM
    Take it from a Montreal refugee in Toronto, it's EASY to run a bilingual national call centre here with the huge labour pool that's either made the move or wants to. Voila, ridiculous rules avoided and our crack-maire would probably even support building a subway extension to make it easier still.
  24. Ken posted on 02/27/2014 08:02 AM
    hopefully every person capable of voting in the next election votes,with the future of Quebec's economy and education in mind.Montreal has been spiraling downward for over 30 years now, it's time to change that direction and vote the PQ OUT!!!!!!
    1. Walter posted on 02/27/2014 10:09 AM
      @Ken You're dreaming. The PQ is here to stay.
      Anglos have to get use to it.

      If Quebec separates from Canada. Then Montreal has the same rights to separate from Quebec. That's all that has to be said.
  25. daemoncan posted on 02/27/2014 09:53 AM
    Maybe there's other things he'd like to say aren't real. Climate change, Moon Landing, October Crisis, etc.
showing 1-25 of 34 comments · show all comments

Share this article: