Canada Robert Libman: For Quebec anglos, a disheartening federal election
Live updates: Leaders face off in second federal election debate in French
This is the Montreal Gazette’s live coverage of tonight’s federal leaders’ debate. Questions/comments? firstname.lastname@example.org Top updates: Trudeau and O’Toole neck and neck with less than two weeks left in campaign: Leger poll Welcome to our live coverage Tonight’s French debate, Thursday’s English debate pivotal for federal leaders In 2019, the Liberals narrowly outpaced the Bloc in Quebec The Greens were poised for a breakthrough in 2019. Now their woes may impact the wider election Opinion: With two weeks to go, the real campaign is beginning Opinion: No room for error in Round 2 of federal leaders’ debates Opinion: With two weeks to go, can Justin Trudeau reverse th
Flip a coin? Spoil my ballot? Not show up? More than ever, voters seem to be facing this difficult dilemma for Monday’s federal election. Former MNA and federal Liberal MPin the Gazette that gave voice to what many members of Quebec minority communities are struggling with. “What above all disturbs me most deeply,” he wrote,” is the (Liberal) government’s abandonment of minorities and fundamental rights through its blessing of Bill 96.”
For many Quebec anglophones, language and the constitutional debate are hot button issues that go to their core as voters. For generations, the reflex among a majority of anglophones has been to support the federal Liberals, but this time it seems many can’t bring themselves to do so. However, the other parties have been just as bad, if not worse, on these issues.
Live updates: Leaders face off in only federal election debate in English
This is the Montreal Gazette’s live coverage of tonight’s federal leaders’ debate. Questions/comments? email@example.com Top updates: Ahead of debate, leaders agree on something, urge Canadians to get vaccinated Leaders arrive at debate site On Twitter, leaders focus on vaccinations, economy and getting the voting out Welcome to our live coverage Here’s the agenda for tonight’s debate Leaders gearing up for English-language debate tonight after French joust Tonight’s debate could be crucial, pollster says Too close to call – Liberals and Conservatives running neck and neck, polls suggest François Legault favours minority Conservative government Lacklustre secon
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s “contract” with Quebec would sell out the essence of the Canadian federation, transferring important powers without conditions. Promising to not intervene in any court challenges of Bill 21, the secularism bill, and Bill 96, the proposed language reform, in exchange for Premier François Legault’s blessing is shameful.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has also kowtowed to Quebec with his evasiveness and couching of answers regarding Bill 21, a law that would prevent him from being a police officer or judge in Quebec. Even Green Party Leader Annamie Paul, who some thought might question Bills 96 and 21, collapsed like a house of cards when pressed by the moderator in one of the French-language TV debates.
Quebec demands apology after English federal election debate
QUEBEC — The National Assembly is calling for an apology from the consortium of media broadcasters, which drafted a controversial question saying Quebec has discriminatory laws for the English leaders’ debate last week. In a unanimous vote Tuesday, MNAs adopted a Parti Québécois-sponsored motion calling for a formal apology for the “hostile trial launched against the Quebec nation during the anglophone televised debate of Sept. 9, 2021.” A copy In a unanimous vote Tuesday, MNAs adopted a Parti Québécois-sponsored motion calling for a formal apology for the “hostile trial launched against the Quebec nation during the anglophone televised debate of Sept. 9, 2021.
This election has become increasingly disheartening for anglophones, unpleasantly spilling into provincial and municipal politics and showing how politically irrelevant our vote has become at all levels. Last week, the EMSB chairman was dumped as a candidate in the coming municipal election because of the school board’s opposition to parts of Bill 96. And this week — despite the pandemic, nursing shortage, economic challenges, among other pressing matters — the National Assembly spent its first day back unanimouslyrelated to the English-language federal leaders’ debate where the moderator, in a question to Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, dared to refer to Bills 21 and 96 as “discriminatory.”
A Parti Québécois resolution called for a formal apology for the “hostile trial launched against the Quebec nation.” Another motion, sponsored by the Quebec Liberals, condemned the statement made by the moderator in her preamble.On the federal campaign trail, both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and O’Toole agreed with these motions.
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It’s absurd that dissent, or deeming these laws “discriminatory,” is considered hostility or Quebec bashing. The moderator could have framed the question of discrimination differently or asked all parties to respond, or just put the issue out there and let the politicians debate it. But judging by the over-the-top reaction, it would likely have elicited the same incendiary reflex by nationalist opinion leaders.
This is a classic example of the perpetrator playing the victim, like a schoolyard bully who stomps all over his hapless victim and then is offended when asked to explain himself, and he and his acolytes indignantly demand an apology. “Discrimination” is an undeniable common denominator in both pieces of legislation. By proactively using the notwithstanding clause to shield the bills from both the federal and Quebec charters of rights, the CAQ government itself is announcing with a foghorn that these laws are discriminatory.
Dissent and the right to vote are fundamental aspects of living in a democracy. It’s shameful that exercising those rights has become so unpleasant. With just a few days to go before voting day, I’m still not sure what I’m going to do.
Robert Libman is an architect and building planning consultant who has served as Equality Party leader and MNA, as mayor of Côte-St-Luc and as a member of the Montreal executive committee. He was a Conservative candidate in the 2015 federal election.
COVID-19 live updates: Quebec reports 701 cases, 2 deaths as hospitalizations jump .
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