Quebec 2024-

Written by  //  February 18, 2024  //  Québec  //  No comments

Quebec can ill afford to isolate itself from the real world
More than ever, investment has a choice — and the choices beyond this province are as welcoming as they are numerous.
Clifford Lincoln
Premier François Legault has confided that, stepping outside his Montreal office, “he suffers a visual malaise in seeing so much Englishness unfolding before him around McGill and its campus — which, by the way, have occupied the historic site for only 175 years,” writes Clifford Lincoln.
The CAQ government is steadily creating a cocoon of autocratic insularity around itself. Edicts and decisions are too often issued peremptorily and absent of prior consultation and justification. Contrary opinions and advice are summarily dismissed and panned, and if our fundamental rights become a hurdle in the way, the notwithstanding clause is casually applied and renewed to ward off court challenges.
The university fiasco and its sequel are a clear case in point. Out of the blue landed the unprovoked and arbitrary imposition of an excessive tuition fee increase for non-Quebec students attending our three English-language universities. The immediate reaction led to the broadest consensus of disapproval from a wide range of public opinion leaders and experts.

7-8 February
Bill 21: Quebec set to renew notwithstanding clause for another five years
The Legault government will table a bill on Thursday to protect its secularism law for another five years.
The minister responsible for secularism, Jean-François Roberge, will propose renewing the use of the notwithstanding clause that was first invoked in June 2019 when the law was adopted, his office confirmed to The Canadian Press.
Bill 21 prohibits government employees in positions of authority, including teachers, from wearing religious symbols such as the Muslim headscarf, the Jewish yarmulke, the Sikh turban and Christian crosses.

‘Plante doesn’t care about French in Montreal,’ CAQ government fires back in tuition debate
The tuition increase for out-of-province students at English universities is among the “courageous measures” to protect French, Jean-François Roberge said Thursday.
The Quebec government is accusing Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante of not doing enough to protect French in the metropolis.
In the wake of Plante’s statement that the Coalition Avenir Québec’s university tuition increases amount to an attack on the city, Premier François Legault and French Language Minister Jean-François Roberge accused Plante on Thursday of talking the talk about protecting French but not walking the walk.
Tuition hike at McGill and Concordia ‘directly attacks Montreal,’ Plante says
The mayor’s comments come as the two universities grapple with a steep drop in applications from the rest of Canada.
Andy Riga
The Legault government’s decision to target Concordia and McGill universities with a 33 per cent tuition hike for out-of-province students is a direct attack on Montreal, Mayor Valérie Plante said Wednesday.
“We certainly see it as a measure that directly attacks Montreal, and that is not fair,” Valérie Plante told reporters, in her strongest criticism yet. “If Bishop’s no longer has this rule, why does Montreal have it?”

30 January-8 February
Grieving parents said they were told to pay $200 to meet Quebec minister
(CTV) The Coalition Avenir Québec is again being forced to defend its fundraising methods, after the parents of a woman killed in a 2017 car crash said the party offered access to the provincial transport minister for $100 per person.
During a legislature hearing on Thursday, Antoine Bittar said he had been advocating for tougher drinking and driving legislation when the CAQ offered an opportunity for him and his partner, Élizabeth Rivera, to meet minister Geneviève Guilbault at an October 2023 fundraising cocktail.
Accusations fly after opposition parties reject CAQ plan to scrap political contributions
The Liberals, Québec solidaire and Parti Québécois dug in their heels in opposing a CAQ proposal to discuss political financing rules, saying it is nothing more than a smokescreen to avoid the real issue.
Fundraising scandal: Quebec governing party to stop collecting political donations
Premier François Legault found himself on the defensive on Thursday, after several members of his party were accused of soliciting $100 donations from mayors hoping to meet with ministers. Responding to questions from reporters, he says his party will no longer accept citizen donations, and is asking the other parties to do the same.
CAQ on the defensive over fundraising as third ethics allegation is made
Opening day of the new National Assembly session was marked by tense exchanges between the Legault government and the opposition parties.
The Parti Québécois is calling on the government to tighten up Quebec’s political financing rules, making it illegal for cabinet ministers to attend fundraising events, following allegations that several Coalition Avenir Québec MNAs tried to sell access to ministers for a $100 donation to the party’s electoral fund.

19 January
A voice for anglos: School boards prepare for more battles with Legault
“Boards are the last instance of government that belongs to the English-speaking community,” yet the CAQ government has “demonstrated a complete disregard for our rights,” Joe Ortona says.
Toula Drimonis: Montreal a culture apart? Duh!
There is nothing new or alarming about the urban versus rural divide, despite Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet’s protestations.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet this week lamented what he finds to be an “unfortunate” new reality. There are now “two Quebecs,” he said in an interview with Canadian Press. A “bilingual, possibly multilingual” Montreal forms one Quebec, and the other Quebec is essentially the rest of the province “that looks at Montreal as if Montreal is becoming a foreign place.”
Quebec has never been one monolithic culture, despite some constantly pining for those imaginary “good old days.” Not even when the colony was first founded by the French. Unless, of course, one chooses to ignore the presence of Indigenous communities on these lands. And Quebec’s regions are not nearly the monolith Blanchet claims they are. Otherwise, my Laotian friends who grew up in Shawinigan or my English friend whose family’s presence in Kamouraska goes back 140 years are erased from the Quebec I love.

15 January
Paule Robitaille: Face aux migrations, surfer sur la vague au lieu de la contrer
(Blogue CORIM) Mon souhait (illusoire peut-être) pour 2024 est que nos gouvernements se responsabilisent et se coordonnent intelligemment pour absorber ces étrangers déjà sur notre territoire. Rêve pieux, direz-vous, de voir Québec et Ottawa s’entendre sur ce sujet explosif. C’est pourtant notre avenir qui se joue.
Le Canada et le Québec sont dans une position privilégiée.
Nous n’avons pas la vulnérabilité géographique ou historique des pays européens ni leur densité de population. De notre côté de l’Atlantique, ce sont les États-Unis qui prennent le plus fort de la vague.
Certes, nous sommes imbriqués dans ce vaste mouvement migratoire. Toutefois, entre deux océans, le Grand Nord et les États-Unis, le Canada peut mieux voir venir. Le pays a l’espace. Notre population vieillit. Le Québec ne fait pas exception à la règle.
Si l’on veut construire de nouvelles centrales électriques, demeurer un joueur économique sérieux, s’occuper de nos personnes âgées, enseigner à nos enfants, il faudra beaucoup plus de bras, de cœurs et de cerveaux.
Bien sûr, les enfants d’immigrants augmenteront le nombre d’élèves dans nos écoles. Les parents s’ajouteront aux listes d’attente des médecins. Mais quand tous les boomers ne seront plus, les rejetons de ces immigrants devenus Canadiens et Québécois assureront la relève.

9 January
Tom Mulcair: Amid declining rights, next generation offers hope
Since leaving politics, I’ve had the good fortune to teach at the Université de Montréal, a world-class institution. The next generation of Quebec leaders I’ve had the chance to meet there gives me the greatest hope. While the likes of Legault, French Language Minister Jean-François Roberge and Higher Education Minister Pascale Déry appear to be in a race to the bottom against the Parti Québécois, young Quebecers are overwhelmingly open, tolerant and respectful of differences. They are the greatest hope for our future together.
The decline of rights in Quebec is alarming and concerns us all.
With Bill 21, the Coalition Avenir Québec government brazenly attacked religious minorities.
… Elsewhere, Premier François Legault has attacked the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the English-speaking minority to control and manage its school boards.
Legault also unilaterally changed the founding 1867 Constitution, the BNA Act, and removed the equality of English and French before the courts. Shamefully, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did nothing to challenge him.
Bill 96 contains outrageous provisions allowing for warrantless search and seizure of computers and cellphones by the vocabulary constabulary.
Like Bill 21, it has an ostensibly virtuous purpose: it’s about protecting and preserving the French language in Quebec. Except the numbers show the French language is doing just fine, thank you. But it’s become an undebatable truth that French is in such desperate need of discriminatory legislation that we’ll become another Louisiana without it.
Like Bill 21 before it, Bill 96 has, for now, been peremptorily shielded by using the notwithstanding clause to remove charter rights. … Trudeau actually made things worse with Bill C-13 that reduced the rights of the English linguistic minority, leading to Marc Garneau’s resignation as Liberal MP.

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