Initiatives

Programs and initiatives

Get to know the programs that RDN helps support across the province of Quebec through its member organizations. 

srqea-CHSSN / ercc 2020-2021 (eNHANCING REGIONAL COMMUNITY CAPACITY)

To respond to this uneven coverage and varying community capacity across the regions, the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) has supported the “Enhancing Regional Community Capacity” (ERCC) initiative in phase 1.  As an ERCC recipient, the CHSSN launched RDN in its startup to build organizational capacity.

SRQEA Core FUNDING 2020-2023

Through its core funding with the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise (SRQEA), RDN supports a network of English-language community organizations across Québec in their socio-economic development in building bridges with community stakeholders and the government of Québec. 

SRQEA – ERCC 2021-2023 (eNHANCING REGIONAL COMMUNITY CAPACITY)

RDN supports the SRQEA in the implementation of Phase 2 of the ERCC initiative to continue outreach to English-speaking communities, continue program development and service offer, and to continue to build relationships with provincial government entities.

employment strategy 2021-2022

The Employment Strategy aims to increase access to employment services and employability resources for English-speaking youth, and those outside the youth sector in diverse regional municipalities across Québec. 

Social economy 2021-2023

RDN is launching the Social and Solidarity Economy English-speaking Network (SEEnet) which aims to promote entrepreneurial approaches and facilitate the active participation of the English-speaking communities of Quebec in the social and solidarity economy.

Context

Due to their lack of resources and the fact that they are generally excluded from provincial governance, English-speaking community organizations do not have full access to, and struggle to integrate into, local, regional and provincial government programs, resources and support. As a result, many English-speaking Quebecers face serious socio-economic challenges and do not benefit from services adapted to their needs and realities. This problem is due to the lack of contact and relationships between English-speaking community leaders and government stakeholders (politicians, policy makers and service providers). Government stakeholders are also aware of their lack of knowledge about the challenges, needs and priorities of English-speaking Quebecers and how to better reach and serve them effectively.

Proposed solution

The Regional Development Network (RDN) will build bridges between English-speaking community organizations and ministries such as the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAMH), the Ministry of Economy and Innovation (MEI), the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ).

RDN supports all English-language community organizations in Quebec in developing their expertise in creating or strengthening their relationships with the Quebec government and municipalities. It provides the organizations in its network with key information related to government mandates and programs to support them in their efforts to improve socio-economic development and access to services.

It represents English-speaking organizations to government (ministers, senior officials, and elected representatives) by providing factual information on English-speaking communities, raising awareness of the challenges faced by these communities, the gaps in services they face, and their contributions to Quebec society.

RDN acts as a key advisory body to government on behalf of the organizations by providing briefs, participating in committees, responding to surveys, and submitting research reports. In addition, RDN will establish direct links between the English-speaking community and Quebec ministries so that the government and the communities have the necessary knowledge to improve access to government projects and programs. In addition, it will also build relationships with English- and French-language non-governmental organizations to foster greater collaboration and stronger partnerships.

  • Objective 1: To strengthen the capacity of RDN and support its members in their socio-economic development processes and in their efforts to implement their missions.
  • Objective 2: To develop management skills for Quebec-wide initiatives serving a network of regional organizations.
  • Objective 3: Establish strong relationships with key Quebec government departments.
  • Objective 4: Establish effective relationships and partnerships with English and French speaking non-governmental organizations.

Context

Organizations serving an English-speaking community over a defined territory face multiple socio-economic challenges in fulfilling their mandates. Typecast as ‘generalist’ organizations, they face funding constraints while dealing with community needs and issues in multiple sectors, within numerous jurisdictions and in a minority language setting that is often not acknowledged, let alone recognized. In addition, many organizations must carry out their work over a large territory while serving isolated populations.

Project Statement

Funds for this project are dedicated towards supporting RDN in establishing its initial infrastructure (office), human resources, operations and governance.  The project funding also supports RDN in recruiting additional members and allow RDN to expand its reach provincially.  A website, communication tool and knowledge product will begin informing federal, provincial and regional stakeholders about RDN.  To achieve this, RDN will also work with CHSSN in order to build its capacity to function as a credible, representative and provincial organization.  

Objectives

  • Act, on behalf of its member organizations, as a point of interaction with the various actors involved in the field of socio-economic development, including governments, institutions and other organizations.
  • Provide a forum for dialogue and discussion on issues related to the socio-economic development of the communities served by member organizations;
  • Provide support to member organizations in achieving their objectives related to socio-economic development, including research, training, expertise and coordination;
  • Foster and facilitate collaborative initiatives that will contribute to the socio-economic development of the communities served by member organizations.

Context

The English-speaking community in the regions is often a small and dispersed population facing difficult challenges. As a result, service delivery and outreach to these communities is challenged.  Also, service delivery is focused on health and social services, neglecting other sectors of community socio-economic development. 

Phase I of the ERCC initiative aimed to address these issues by: (a) opening satellite offices in regions; (b) supporting organizations to expand their mandate; increasing capacity to build relationships with government and community stakeholders. The program was successful in achieving these objectives in Phase I, but it is evident that this work needs to continue in Phase 2 to: (a) expand outreach into the ESC in regions; (b) continue to develop services and programs in key socio-economic sectors; (c) continue to build the capacity of regional organizations to develop relationships with provincial government entities. As a result, residents of ESC communities across Québec are not getting the variety of services needed to address their challenges regarding socio-economic development. As well, regional organizations still need to develop service offer in key socio-economic sectors to address these challenges. Thus, there is a need to continue the work of Phase I to continue outreach, program development and relationship building.

Proposed solution

RDN supports the SRQEA in the implementation of Phase 2 of the ERCC initiative to continue outreach to English-speaking communities, continue program development and service offer, and to continue to build relationships with provincial government entities. RDN is doing so by:

  1. Working in collaboration with the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise (SRQEA) to facilitate the implementation of phase 2 of this initiative
  2. Supporting the maintenance of existing and the creation of new satellite offices in the regions;
  3. Assisting regional organizations in identifying key socio-economic sectors and developing programming in these sectors
  4. Enabling regional organizations to develop relationships with key provincial entities. 

Context

Despite adequate levels of education and professional training, English-speaking youth in the province of Québec have had more difficulty integrating into the workforce. Part of the explanation is that English-speaking youth do not take full advantage of existing employment services in their community. Conversely, organizations in these communities offering employment services do not have the capacity to serve an English-speaking clientele. 

To address this issue, the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN), in 2017, initiated a 2-year pilot project (Phase 1 of Relier les jeunes d’expression anglaise à l’offre provinciale des services d’employabilité et de ressources en matière d’emploi) in collaboration with the Committee for Anglophone Social Action (CASA) on the Gaspé coast and Townshippers’ Association in the Estrie region to assist the integration of English-speaking youth into the workforce. This pilot had two main objectives: 1) to increase the capacity of Carrefours Jeunesse-Emploi (CJEs) to serve English-speakers; and 2) to build awareness of the CJEs among English-speaking youth. After evaluation and consultation upon completion of Phase I, it was determined that a second phase of the project would be implemented. 

In March 2019, the Relier les jeunes d’expression anglaise à l’offre provinciale des services d’employabilité et de ressources en matière d’emploi project was renewed for a 2-year second phase, with funding coming from the Secrétariat à la jeunesse du Québec and the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise (SRQEA). Organizations in additional regions were invited to participate and 9 regional organizations took up the challenge to participate in this phase of the initiative representing 9 different administrative regions in Québec.

The aim of the third phase of this initiative is to continue the momentum of the earlier phases while expanding the initiative to include new organizations, new regions to  reach a larger percentage of the English-speaking population in the regions.  There are 12 organizations representing 11 “Réseaux territoriaux et locaux de services” (RTS) regions expected to participate in this phase of the initiative. 

Goal of the program

The overriding goal of the Employment Strategy remains increasing access to employment services and employability resources for English-speaking youth, and those outside the youth sector in diverse regional municipalities across Québec. Organizations will be encouraged to also work outside the youth sector of employability in this phase of the project. 

Objectives of the program

To achieve this goal, RDN has identified the following priority objectives;

  1. Improve access to employability services to English-speaking youth by developing, maintaining and evolving the capacity of Centre Jeunesse Emploi organizations to offer employability services to English-speaking youth.
  2. Improve access to employability services to English-speakers outside the youth sector by providing support for designated organizations currently involved in employment activities to evolve and update their existing level of service.
  3. Explore opportunities to support the expansion of employability services to English-speakers in designated MRCs where English-speakers face employability challenges by participating with the majority-language community on local and regional tables pertaining to employability. 

Context

Quebec’s English-speaking communities have a low level of awareness and participation in Quebec’s social economy. While there are social economy enterprises, programs, and projects in English-speaking communities, the participation of English-speaking people is less active and certainly less concentrated. Due to historical, linguistic and cultural reasons the Francophone majority has access to more social economy capacity building opportunities than their English-speaking counterparts. This manifests itself most evidently in that many of the resources (publications, activities, etc.) on the social economy in Quebec are only available in French and are not available in English. The need for English-speaking communities to develop a coherent strategy to leverage the social economy has persisted for decades.  As many studies have shown, English-speaking communities face real problems of poverty and devitalization. Better positioning the English-speaking communities to participate in Quebec’s social and solidarity economy ecosystem offers an opportunity to challenge these problems. 

In 2019, the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation launched a call for projects to implement a Government Action Plan on the Social Economy (PAGES). QUESCREN from Concordia University proposed the implementation of a ‘center of excellence’ in the social economy. Several actors have also sent communications to MEI promoting the importance of contributing to the development of English-speaking communities, but without proposing solutions. MEI has agreed that a ‘center of excellence’, similar to the regional social economy poles, could be created. Since the MEI intends to expand the Coopérative de développement régional du Québec (CDRQ) role in supporting the social economy sector throughout Quebec, the English-speaking support component for business projects should fall to this new organization. Due to RDN’s position in supporting the English-speaking regional communities of Quebec all parties agreed that RDN should lead this initiative. The subject of this grant agreement is four fold: Promote the social economy; Implement a social economy support program; Support the emergence of an entrepreneurial model of territorial development based on the social economy; Participate in the advancement of knowledge and research in the social economy. 

 

Proposed solution

The RDN is launching the Social and Solidarity Economy English-speaking Network (SEEnet) which aims to promote entrepreneurial approaches and facilitate the active participation of the English-speaking communities of Quebec in the social and solidarity economy. SEEnet will accomplish this by mobilizing knowledge, leveraging resources, building capacity, strengthening connections and developing partnerships. 

Through cultivating purposeful interactions with English-speaking community organizations, enterprises and individuals, SEEnet will build relationships and awareness around the benefits of participation in their regional social and solidarity economy ecosystem. To advance knowledge in the sector SEEnet will provide not only entry level education opportunities but also accessible technical expertise for English speaking communities to better participate in the social and solidarity economy in Quebec. The outcome of these activities will involve the incubation of social enterprises that contribute to meaningful employment and sustainable community economic development. 

  • Objective 1: Implement a social economy support program
  • Objective 2 : Promote the social economy
  • Objective 3 : Support the emergence of an entrepreneurial model of territorial development based on the social economy
  • Objective 4 : Participate in the advancement of knowledge and research in the social economy