Canada: Bloc on the rise, along with calls for separation in Alberta - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Bloc on the rise, along with calls for separation in Alberta

15:14  10 october  2019
15:14  10 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

Federal party leaders hope to gain Quebec votes in French-language debate

  Federal party leaders hope to gain Quebec votes in French-language debate Conservative Andrew Scheer, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh, and Yves-François Blanchet of the Bloc Québécois faced off with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in debate hosted by French-language TVA network. It was also the first time that Trudeau joined the debate so far in the election campaign, with a little less than three weeks left before Canadians head to the polls on Oct. 21.

The leader of Alberta ’s opposition says calls for separation are on rise . Rachelle Elsiufi speaks to a separatist group.

It has been slowly emerging along the bloc ’s central and eastern flanks since the so- called Visegrád Group of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Orbán has called for the defence of Europe’s “Christian culture” against “Muslim invasion”. And he accuses Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor

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OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau dismissed any notion that national unity is under threat Wednesday as he and other national leaders made efforts to beat back growing support for the Bloc Quebecois.

The Bloc was almost defunct 18 months ago, but under the leadership of former Quebec provincial politician Yves-Francois Blanchet, the party is making a significant comeback. Polls and seat projections suggest it might win 20 seats or more in Quebec, up from 10 in 2015 and just four in 2011.

Its resurgence is strong enough, and the expectation of a minority government emerging from the Oct. 21 federal election high enough, that Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh are facing questions about whether they could work with the party that was formed to help create the conditions for Quebec to separate.

Odds of a minority government rise, Liberal chances drop as Bloc surges in polls

  Odds of a minority government rise, Liberal chances drop as Bloc surges in polls Gains by the Bloc in Quebec are erasing the Liberals' enduring seat advantage over the Conservatives. But in the rural regions of Quebec and the francophone areas in and around Montreal, the Liberals had been banking on winning seats with relatively low shares of the vote, benefiting from a vote split between the Conservatives, Bloc and New Democrats.That logic no longer holds now that the Bloc has moved into first place among francophones and (as a consequence) in the regions that were being targeted by the Liberals. That has the potential to paint dozens of seats Bloc blue rather than Liberal red.

The Bloc antipathy has even attracted notice beyond Canada’s borders. Johannes Wheeldon, a professor and post-doctoral fellow doing work in Washington State, set up The Facebook experiment then approached near satire, calling for separatists to be required to wear a big “Q” on their clothing.

Elsewhere, they’re projected to lose seats in Ontario, Alberta and on the Atlantic Coast where they took literally 100 percent of seats four years ago Competitive in every election to this day, the Bloc promotes Quebec’s separation from Canada; exists primarily to lobby for the province’s causes; and

Dreams of outright separation, however, are faint. Blanchet and Quebec Premier Francois Legault, a former Parti Quebecois minister who now leads the less fervent Coalition Avenir Quebec, are more interested in promoting Quebec nationalism — letting Quebec chart its own course even in some areas of federal jurisdiction like immigration.

Trudeau didn't answer Wednesday when he was asked whether he could work with the Bloc, responding instead that Quebec cares about the environment and the Liberals are the only party that can ensure a realistic national climate-change action plan continues to move forward against the objections of conservative premiers such as Ontario's Doug Ford and Alberta's Jason Kenney.

"Canadians are not talking to me about national unity, Canadians are not worried about national unity, nor should they be," Trudeau said at a campaign event in Markham, Ont. "They are focused on having a government that has a real plan to fight climate change."

The Bloc's war on Alberta: Why Quebec separatist party is specifically targeting the Western province

  The Bloc's war on Alberta: Why Quebec separatist party is specifically targeting the Western province EDMONTON — The federal government comports itself like a petro-state, toadying up to oil companies, while Quebec, virtuously, produces planes and trains but no gas-powered automobiles, says the Bloc Québécois. “Since it is a petro-state, Ottawa runs from failure to failure with inconsistent policies that spare oil companies in the West,” the platform reads. But as much as it is anti-Ottawa, the Bloc is perhaps the most explicitly anti-Alberta it has ever been in its history.

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The Eastern Bloc is a collective term for the former Communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. This generally encompasses the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact. When Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov expressed concern that the Yalta Agreement's wording

Scheer said Blanchet's priority is sovereignty, although Blanchet speaks of being the party to stand up for Quebec's interests in Ottawa, not separating. Scheer's hope to rebuild his party's numbers in Quebec is being lost to the rising Bloc and he is trying to reach out to Bloc voters again.

He said this week he respects Legault's request to have some control over immigration to Quebec and has previously said he'd let the provincial government oversee the collection of federal taxes in Quebec.

On Wednesday, Scheer was in Quebec at the Roxham Road border line between Canada and the United States, where a majority of irregular asylum seekers are crossing into Canada. He is promising to stop them — though how he would do that is not obvious and he refused to say.

Singh didn't even call the Bloc Quebecois by name during a stop in Montreal Wednesday morning, even though the Bloc is threatening to wipe the NDP right off the map in Quebec. He said only that the NDP is the party that can work with progressives across Canada on issues like the environment.

Scheer in Quebec, fighting against rise in support for Bloc Quebecois

  Scheer in Quebec, fighting against rise in support for Bloc Quebecois QUEBEC — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer heads to Quebec today, a province where he's taking on not just the Liberals and NDP, but also the Bloc Quebecois. Scheer is now actively campaigning against the threat of a coalition Liberal-NDP government, bringing up the issue several times yesterday during campaign events in Winnipeg. But in Quebec, rising support for the BQ suggests that party could elect enough MPs to hold a powerful position in the event of a minority government.Scheer says the priority of the Bloc is to work towards another referendum on separation for Quebec, and discounts needing to work with them to advance the interests of Quebecers.

Macron has called for strengthening Frontex, fighting human trafficking, and creating a system that fairly reallocates asylum seekers across the bloc . How did Europe's refugee crisis start? Pressure on the borders. Countries along the EU's external border struggled to cope with the sheer number of

Image caption Right-wing leaders hope to capitalise on improved poll ratings and form a powerful bloc in the EU Parliament. Poll success in the 23-26 May elections could have a major impact on the balance of power in the European Parliament.

But on national unity, Alberta political scientist Duane Bratt said, it's not Quebec that's at stake — it's Alberta.

"You have not an insignificant minority of people who say if Trudeau wins, we're separating," said Bratt, a professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary. "I don't think that's very serious. I think there are all sorts of ramifications and difficulties. But there are a lot of people making those noises. And some influential people."

That includes Kenney, who has continually told Trudeau and some premiers that they are risking national unity if Alberta can't build more pipelines to move more oil. Not that Alberta, with no coast of its own, would have an easier time getting oil to customers other than the United States if it were independent, but the anger underlying the idea is real all the same.

Bratt said separation as an idea is percolating in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but fear of separation exists all over. When Scheer was campaigning in Nova Scotia in late September, one man at a rally in Annapolis Royal told Conservative handlers that Scheer had to win because "we won't have a country left" if he doesn't.

Bloc leader says Tories should have shown love to Quebec earlier in campaign

  Bloc leader says Tories should have shown love to Quebec earlier in campaign CANDIAC, Que. — Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet says the recent Conservative push for votes in Quebec is too little too late as the prospect of a minority government looms. Blanchet compared Tory Leader Andrew Scheer today to a desperate boyfriend expressing his love for a scorned partner after they had already shown him the door. The Bloc leader was referencing Scheer's recent campaign stops in Quebec, where the Conservative leaderBlanchet compared Tory Leader Andrew Scheer today to a desperate boyfriend expressing his love for a scorned partner after they had already shown him the door.

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Bratt said for the federal leaders, including Scheer, national unity may not be on their minds now but "it will be a governance issue the day after the election."

That is true no matter who wins, he added.

The Trudeau Liberals won four seats in Alberta in 2015, including two in Calgary, the first Liberal wins in that city since the 1960s. Anti-Trudeau sentiment is so intense in Alberta all four of those seats are at risk, and the Liberals could be shut out of Alberta entirely. Longtime Liberal Ralph Goodale's seat in Saskatchewan, which he's held through thick and thin for the Liberals since 1993, could swing blue if the Tory tide rises high enough.

Bratt said if there is a Liberal government with no seats in Alberta or Saskatchewan, it's going to be a problem because Alberta won't even have a seat at the cabinet table.

If Scheer wins the most seats and seeks to form a government, all of his potential partners have said they couldn't abide Conservative promises to kill the carbon tax and reverse changes to federal environmental-assessment legislation governing major projects.

"He won't be able to make any of those changes," Bratt said. For many voters in the West, "you either have a Liberal government you actively opposed or a Conservative government you strongly supported but is unable to deliver anything you want. What does that look like for governance? I don't have any answers but it's something that's been bothering me."

Bloc election strategy struck chord with appeal to Quebec pride, not sovereignty .
MONTREAL — Elyse Bodnar, a long-time Liberal voter, says she thinks Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet is just "terrific." Bodnar, who was in the audience when Blanchet visited her Montreal seniors' residence this week, said she discovered the Bloc leader during the first French-language television debate. "He kind of got my attention," the 68-year-old said of Blanchet's Oct. 2 debate performance. "And then I saw the respect that others on the debate stage had for him, and I also respected him.

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