Justin Trudeau’s schedule this past weekend was surprising. While the Federal Prime Minister rarely holds a public event on the weekends, he would take part in an advertisement and a press briefing on a beautiful sunny Sunday in August… which just so happened to be the day the general election was called in Quebec.
Did he want to put a grain of salt in it? The banality of the comment he made, as if to answer this question,–“I hope that all Quebecers will take their responsibility for shaping a future that lives up to their dreams and hopes.–He had to convince even the most skeptical that his entourage were telling the truth: it was just a coincidence of timing. .
Because in reality, Justin Trudeau will do his best to walk away from a Quebec election that will always be a nuisance to him…as is the case for leaders of other federal parties.
The main problem stems from the fact that in Quebec, there is no match between federal and local training, as there is almost everywhere else in Canada. (British Columbia is an exception, with the provincial Liberal Party being a landmark for Federal Conservatives there.) The sovereign federal fault line has long been responsible for this shift in loyalties. Now that it’s faded, the CAQ is spoiling the waters by being a true alliance that welcomes people from all walks of life. And Quebeckers’ political loyalties in the federal and provincial scenes are not always consistent. Examples abound again this year.
Kristen Moore, who was elected to the House of Commons for the NDP in the 2011 orange wave and was one of the few re-elected in the following election, ran this year for Parti Québécois in the Ride from Ungava. Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon’s team will rub shoulders with her former teammate Pierre Nantel, who was also elected to the NDP in 2011. However, Mr Nantel was fired ahead of the 2019 elections for being too close to the Green Party of Canada, the formation for which he had finally run. . He’s running again for Parti Québécois in Marie-Victorin, as he dusted off the dust this spring during the by-election.
So these two politicians in Ottawa developed into a ferocious focused and federal formations that did not hesitate to suggest initiatives that fall within the territorial jurisdictions, and here they jump into the Quebec arena to defend the colors of the formation of not only jealous regional privileges, but which is publicly campaigning to make Quebec a state. No wonder Jagmeet Singh doesn’t want to comment!
Another example: the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, has publicly endorsed Quebec’s conservative Eric Duhemée, while the latter repeats to everyone who listens that he has been voting for the Conservative Party of Canada since at least 2004. For his part, Richmond member Andre Paschand was , who is running again for the CAQ, is a progressive, conservative member at the federal level and even advised Stephen Harper for some time. In his new political home, Andre Bachand must contend with the former Quebecwa bloc advisers on the federal scene … and thus his opponents! Away from the mics in Ottawa, the bloc will tell you that roughly 40% of its voters vote for CAQ on the county scene which is why the support on offer for PQ will be in a relatively sparse position.
Despite a shared desire to remain conservative, as prime minister, Justin Trudeau would not have the luxury of staying far from rural Quebec, compared to other federal leaders. He will be questioned frequently, and his challenge will be to choose the answer.
Already on Monday, the PQ leader promised to create a new entity that would rival the Ottawa CRTC and force streaming platforms like Netflix to offer more content in French.
As for François Legault, he intends to make health and identity two of his five priorities. However, who says health, say an increase in federal transfers. The provinces are claiming an additional $28 billion annually (+62%) and Quebec’s share will be $6 billion. Behind the scenes, the Federal Liberals are indicating that they do not intend to award such an amount. They feel the provinces are looking back at the problem. In their opinion, you must first define the goals that need to be achieved before talking about money.
Already, CAQ’s commitment to give away $5.5 billion in revenue in the first year of the next mandate (that’s $2 billion annually in tax cuts for four years and $3.5 billion in one-off checks promised to taxpayers for December) reinforces Ottawa’s position that it is not all something about money. Behind the scenes, he scoffs, these income cuts are fully in line with the amount claimed by the federal government.
As for identity, Justin Trudeau’s liberals may not have come out of it quite as they would have liked when they announced last spring that they would challenge Bill 96 on language charter reform. French (just adopted by the National Assembly), and Law 21 on secularism (although no development in the news forced him to make a decision). They hoped that by fueling the news, the potential for controversy would be lost once the campaign began.
In Ottawa, we absolutely want to prevent François Legault from making Justin Trudeau his main opponent. But the strategy may come with a shortcoming. If the two parties created in the wake of the adoption of Bill 96 – the Montreal Balarama Holness bloc and Colin Standish’s Canadian Party of Quebec – succeed in putting the rights of English speakers at the fore, the CAQ leader will. Well, let’s remember that eight lawmakers for Justin Trudeau demonstrated against Bill 96 in the spring. The Canadian prime minister may find himself in deep trouble.
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