December 6, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Act 21: Charest position makes Quebec responsive

Act 21: Charest position makes Quebec responsive

Opposing Quebec secularism law, party Quebecois leader Paul Saint-Pierre Plamandon is anxious to see a new candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, Jean-Charles, who said it was “a clear attempt to deny Quebecs the right to make decisions.”

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In an interview with LCN on Thursday, the former Liberal prime minister said, “The question of secularism is fundamental for Quebecs. […] And for that, you have to respect it. “

“I’m not going to run into any lawsuits in court, I’m not going to sue in court. If the case goes to the Supreme Court, the federal government will speak up,” he later said.

This position is in stark contrast to the situation in which his predecessor Erin O’Toole did not intervene and caused a backlash in the National Assembly, with deputies reiterating last November that the debate belonged to the Quebecs.

Proof of absurdity

Jean-Charles thus continued “in his guidance of denying Quebeckers the right to decide for themselves”, who started this tradition in 1995 when he campaigned for No Side in the Second Referendum on Sovereignty, the PQ leader said.

The potential race between the federal liberal leader, Justin Trudeau and Jean Charrest, demonstrates the “absurdity” of the policy of co-operation with the federal government against the state’s Secularism Act (Bill 21). Coalition by Avenir Québec, he adds.

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More precisely, Gaton Barrett, deputy of the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), stated that Jean-Charles was “on the fence” in terms of secularism. “In limits, anyone can say it’s contradictory,” he said. On the other hand, he decided that “this is the Quebec debate”.

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Although some PLQ MPs have already stated that they are ready to try to elect their former leader as head of the CPC, these personal positions, such as Lise Theriault and Christine St-Pierre, should not be seen as supporting the party. The position of Jean Charrest, explains Gaton Barrett.

“People who are deputies have the opportunity to be positioned as individuals. Now at the PLQ we will not take the position of anyone at the federal level,” the former health minister said.

Settles right here

For Quebec Solidair, whose anti-Bill 21 position is well known, Jean Charrest is only one supporter of “thousands and thousands against the ban on wearing religious symbols that prevent women from working.” But “regardless of his position, it will settle here in Quebec,” said party spokeswoman Stephanie Guevremont.

While he is pleased with Jean-Charles’ support for the resumption of some pipeline projects, Quebec’s Conservative Party leader Eric Duheim has secularly opposed his potential against the federal government. .

“Quebec has exclusive jurisdiction over state secularism. The choice of Quebecs must be respected by the federal government. The debate is over, ”he said on Thursday.

Coalition Avenir Quebec was the only one to refrain from commenting on Jean-Charles’ position, despite being the source of legislation that respects the state’s secularism. The prime minister’s press secretary, Ivan Sawes, only referred to a previous statement by Franకోois Legalt, where he said he would not interfere in the leadership race of the Conservative Party of Canada.

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