Canada: Legault warns Trudeau again: Hands off Bill 21 - - PressFrom - Canada

Canada Legault warns Trudeau again: Hands off Bill 21

01:20  23 october  2019
01:20  23 october  2019 Source:

The Legault factor: How Quebec's premier is influencing the federal election campaign

  The Legault factor: How Quebec's premier is influencing the federal election campaign By insisting that federal leaders steer clear of his controversial law, Premier François Legault created the conditions for the Bloc Québécois’s resurgence. In the process, the outcome of Monday’s election has become unpredictable. Casting doubtsFrom a strictly legal perspective, there is no obvious reason why Bill 21 should be the subject of so much discussion in a federal election campaign. It's provincial legislation, after all, and its future will be decided by the courts, not federal politicians.

Off -Island Gazette. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday warned Quebec premier-designate and Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault to think long and hard before using the notwithstanding clause to maintain unconstitutional legislation.

Off -Island Gazette. QUEBEC — Premier François Legault has warned youth who aspire to teach in Quebec’s public schools that they will have a choice: remove their religious symbols while on the job, or make alternative career decisions. Legault downplayed the protests against the bill .

François Legault in a suit and tie© John Mahoney

QUEBEC — Premier François Legault has warned the new Liberal minority government in Ottawa to not intrude on Quebec’s jurisdictional powers and recognize it does not have the legitimacy to challenge Bill 21.

At the same time, he said the strong showing by the separatist Bloc Québécois in the federal election was not a pro-sovereignty vote but an expression of nationalism.

Voters elected 32 Bloc MPs, prompting the opposition Parti Québécois in Quebec City to crow the result was good for the sovereignist cause.

However, Legault noted the main player he will continue to deal with in Ottawa is the prime minister — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau — and not Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet.

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Legault wants Ottawa to hand over more power over immigration, to allow Bill 101 to be applied to companies under federal jurisdiction and to keep its hands off Bill 21 , the religious-symbols ban. How will each federal leader approach the debate? And what are their strengths and weaknesses as

Andrée Legault , a voter at a polling station in Montreal, said: "I deplored the cheap shots during the campaign. I think we're better than that." At one rally, Trudeau was forced to wear a bulletproof vest. Mr Scheer called Mr Trudeau a "compulsive liar," and "a phony and a fraud."

“I want to be clear,” Legault told a news conference at his office. “Yes we want constructive, pragmatic relations with the federal government, but it’s important that the federal government respect Quebec as a nation.”

A day after the Bloc tripled its seats in the House of Commons, Legault said Quebec’s nationalist vote was clearly expressed — and that includes support for Bill 21, which bans teachers and police, among others, from wearing religious symbols on the job.

A minority government elected with 33.1 per cent of the popular vote — 44.9 per cent in Quebec — does not have the political approval to contest the bill, the premier said.

“I think the result of this election shows with this minority government that the message I sent ( at the beginning of the campaign ) was heard,” Legault said.

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SECURITY WARNING : Please treat the URL Legault was speaking to reporters in Repentigny, where he attended a ground-breaking ceremony for a new cultural centre. He said he’s comfortable with Bill 21 — which would prohibit public school teachers, among others, from wearing religious

For two hours Saturday afternoon, supporters of Bill 21 faced off against counter-protesters in downtown Montreal, separated by a phalanx of riot police. Hundreds of supporters of the bill , which would ban some government workers from wearing religious symbols

“There was a message on Bill 21 (in the Bloc support) — that it must be respected. It’s what we wanted. The message was for Mr. Trudeau.

“The majority of Quebecers are nationalists; I think the nationalist vote was expressed in the support for the Bloc.

“It’s important for the federal parties to understand the great majority of Quebecers support the ban on religious symbols for persons in positions of authority, so they should respect the majority of Quebecers.”

During the election campaign, Trudeau did not rule out a possible legal challenge to Bill 21 — but Legault said he perceived a shift in the Liberal leader in his victory speech Monday.

“I heard Mr. Trudeau say last night that he understood the message from Quebecers,” Legault said. “I am confident the position of Quebecers will be respected by the new government.”

Trudeau’s message , however, seemed more vague than the premier tried to make it out to be.

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Trudeau has been consistent on Bill 21 . Since the start of the campaign, he has said Ottawa would not join a court battle against the legislation “at this Instead of targeting Trudeau when the blackface controversy erupted, Singh delivered an emotional message to Canadians remembering all the times

Premier François Legault has again defended a bill tabled by his government that would prohibit authority figures like teachers at public elementary and high schools, judges and wildlife officers from wearing such religious symbols as the Muslim hijab, Jewish kippah or Sikh turban at work.

“My dear Quebecers, I heard your message,” Trudeau said in Montreal. “You want to continue advancing with us but you also want to ensure Quebec’s voice is heard in Ottawa.

“I give you my word — my team and I will be there for you.”

Given the often short life of minority governments, Legault said, politicians in Ottawa must face the reality of the importance of Quebec nationalism.

“The message (of the vote) is clear,” he said. “If you want more support next time, support Bill 21.”

Legault insisted he spoke bluntly about the bill in what he said was a “cordial” conversation with Trudeau on Tuesday in which he congratulated the Liberal leader on his win.

He said he has invited Trudeau to come to the provincial capital soon so the two can pick up on files they already had on the go before the election.

As for potential points of friction with Trudeau’s government, which will have to be propped up by the New Democratic Party, Legault responded he’s concerned about a number of Liberal ideas to create pan-Canadian programs in health and education that could infringe on provincial jurisdiction.

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François Legault an improbable politician, driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. Now 61, he famously said when he created the CAQ that he was willing to work at getting it off the ground for 10 years. It’s also when Legault will find out whether history has dealt him a decent hand or whether it’s time to fold.

But despite headlines that suggested Legault did not get the result he wanted in Monday’s vote — such as a Conservative government with the Bloc holding the balance of power — the premier put a positive spin on the outcome.

He said he remains confident the federal and provincial governments will continue to work together and reach agreements, as has happened in recent months on labour training and infrastructure spending.

Legault said an agreement on housing is near and that he still wants to talk about cutting red tape for the hiring of temporary workers and the deployment of high speed internet in all regions of Quebec.

He said he did not believe the victory of the Bloc will boost the cause of sovereignty, noting even Blanchet in his remarks Monday said the win is not a mandate to re-launch the independence movement.

Besides, he said: “Quebecers aren’t interested in sovereignty.”

Interim Parti Québécois Leader Pascal Bêrubé did not share Legault’s comments. He described the Bloc’s win as “inspiring.”

“Those 32 members of the House of Commons are way more than nationalists,” Bérubé said. “They are for independence and this is good news for us because we need allies in Ottawa.

“People thought they (in the Bloc) were dead. No yet.”

Quebec interim Liberal Leader Pierre Arcand is among those who believes Legault would have preferred a Conservative victory with the Bloc holding the balance of power, and said the result must have come as a disappointment to the premier.

“What I hope is that Mr. Legault co-operates with the government in place,” Arcand told reporters.

Meanwhile, Québec solidaire co-spokesman Manon Massé expressed her disappointment, saying: “We are still in the Canada of the past — that is to say, a petroleum state.”

In Montreal, Blanchet said he expects to have significant leverage in the minority Parliament, though he did not give details on how he plans to put pressure the governing Liberals.

He said he is a committed Quebec sovereignist but recognizes that Quebecers did not give his party a mandate to actively promote independence.

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With files from The Canadian Press.

Protesters against Quebec's secularism law say they're not giving up .
MONTREAL — Protesters against Quebec's secularism law said Sunday that they aren't giving up the fight to overturn Bill 21, with or without politicians on their side. As a cold rain fell, dozens gathered in Montreal's Parc-Extension neighbourhood on Sunday to march against the law and systemic racism. As the crowd huddled under the awning outside the entrance to a subway station ahead of the march, community leaders representing diverse interests highlighted what they described as the bill's discriminatory aspects.

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