The blue of the next CAQ government will fade a little.
Posted at 6:00 am
The electoral platform indicated this and the composition of the Council of Ministers confirmed it: nationalism occupies little space.
François Legault’s close guard is cemented with Eric Girard (Finance), Pierre Fitzgibbon (Economy, Innovation, Energy) and Sonia Lebel (Treasury). All people we could have seen in the Liberal Party in another era. Her deputy prime minister, Genevieve Guilbault, and Christian Dubey confirmed her role as a confidante on health with a former press officer of the Charest government.
In the dark blue camp, Simon Jolin-Barrett (Justice), the father was released from the language file for the second time. Elsewhere he is busy with family law reforms and handling of parliamentary work. Bernard has his full stint at Drainville Education, where his mandate is more about patching up a network than running a big project. Other important nationalist voices in the Council of Ministers were Jean-François Roberge (intergovernmental affairs), André Lamontagne (agriculture) and, to a lesser extent, Mathieu Lacombe (culture).
Sure, they can participate in all discussions. But what to offer?
Most nationalist camps are behind the CAQ.
During his first mandate, Mr. Legault devoted much energy to the reform of Bill 101. State Secularism ActTemporarily reducing redundant values testing and immigration thresholds – rather than complicating the already planned transition to a new application processing system – the reduction will change little throughout the year.
Those who knew Mr. Legault wondered if all this really interested him. When he returned to politics in 2011, he spoke little about it. He also prevented the Marois government from strengthening the French defenses.
Although the disturbing new data on the weakening of the French no doubt spurred him on, there was more. He also thought, “Give a little to the majority.” And opposition from the federal government and Canadian intellectuals affected him. It becomes a question of autonomy. He was less passionate about the debate over secularism than about Quebec’s right to choose its own model.
And in culture, he increased the budget and launched his Blue Spaces project, a heritage, artistic and museum project that aroused the distrust of some museologists.
In Mr. Legault’s view, identification files are heavily checked. He can move on to his real priorities: the economy and education.
This is where his nationality manifests itself. Basically, the theme reflects less in his actions than what motivates them. As a proud Quebecer, he decries our economic backwardness compared to Ontario and our shortcomings in education. This interests him more than anything else.
In November 2015, Mr. Legault presented his new project for the Nationalists. His list of requests is long…
The vast majority met Ottawa’s rejection. But Mr. Legault does not tolerate ambiguity well. In response to the end of independence, he left the Parti Québécois. And I can’t see him spending a few years facing the same federal wall.
Everything indicates that Quebec does not manage its own federal budgets in culture, nor does it receive the transfer of tax points, a single tax return, or control of port infrastructures and the Building Canada Fund in its territory.
The “full and complete” recognition of the nation in the Constitution was also blocked, as was the right of veto and the demand for reform of the Senate.
The CAQ document also talked about increasing health transfers and promoting free trade between provinces. But these are consensus preferences shared by the PLQ.
Mr. to ratify the Constitution of Quebec. We hear very little about Jolin-Barrett’s plan. It’s still there, but it doesn’t seem to be a priority — it’s not mentioned in the election campaign.
It is difficult to gauge the ambition of Mr Roberge, the new Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. But when he complains about Ottawa’s lack of funding, the Trudeau government can remind him that Quebec won’t spend all available federal funds on infrastructure either…
There is only one active nationalist struggle left for the CAQ: control of a small category of immigration, family reunifications. The federal government opposes it because the impact on the French would be modest, but the human shock would be painful.
This useless confrontation obscures two important issues.
The first is to make better use of existing powers on temporary immigration. Currently, Ottawa rejects French-speaking African candidates who want to move to areas where English speakers are more likely to enroll at McGill and Concordia. It should be the opposite and Quebec should fight for it.
The second is francization. And on that, Quebec already has all the necessary powers. This removes any excuse for the CAQ to repeat the failure of its predecessors.
And we can add back the boomerang of language and religious symbols. Some parts of these laws can be struck down by the courts. The identity debate will be renewed and Mr Legault still wants to “give a little” to the French-speaking majority. Especially if it bothers liberals…