England’s nationalist turn is over

It has been widely written that Bill 96, which tightens Bill 101, had sparked heartbreaking debates in the CAQ caucus.

Ministers like André Lamontagne, Mathieu Lacombe and Jean-François Roberge would have been favorable to the application of the Charter of the French language at the college level.

But this debate is closed at the CAQ. This, moreover, aroused the ire of PQ member Pascal Bérubé, who castigated the government unceremoniously; sometimes even excessively. (The PQ, after all, only very recently converted to this solution.)


Moreover, little has been written about the great torment and heartbreak that Bill 96 caused in the Liberal Party of Quebec.

On Thursday, Dominique Anglade reassured her base and her English-speaking deputies by saying that she would vote against Bill 96; at least as it is currently presented. Due to the cap on enrollment in English-speaking CEGEPs that Minister Jolin-Barrette will include in the law.

Anglade announced her rejection of 96, flanked by her deputies Birnbaum and Maccarone, at the English-speaking Cégep Dawson, where she took the opportunity to denounce the flip-flop of the Legault government regarding its expansion project.

This is the second occasion where she fails to get the PLQ fired on sensitive issues for the French-speaking majority.

The other was in May 2019 – a year before she became chief – during a general council in Drummondville. She had maneuvered to make the Party assert itself in favor, like her, of the Bouchard-Taylor compromise. In vain.


Also, Anglade would have preferred that the PLQ support 96, a question of sending a signal to the French speakers of whom only 10% are favorable to him.

But most of the seats of the PLQ are found in Anglophone ridings in Montreal. And several important voices in the English-speaking community portray Bill 96 as the devil!

This arouses hallucinating excesses! Marlene Jennings, president of the English-speaking lobby Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), in a tweet Thursday evening, was surprised (without laughing) that François Legault is moved by the suffocation of democracy in Ukraine invaded by the Russians. . since, himself, with Bill 96, “suspends the rights of everyone” (!)

This is what should be put away in the museum of dishonest stupidity with regard to the fight for French alongside the words of lawyer Anne-France Goldwater: the 96, she said in September, was going to create a “new Gestapo”. ..

Thus, the elected Anglophones of the PLQ are under enormous pressure. They also fear a revival of the Parti Egalité (PE), a party founded in 1989 to protest Robert Bourassa’s use of the “notwithstanding clause” to protect Bill 101. Since the tabling of 96, Robert Libman, the former leader of the Equality Party, hammered home this possibility in The Gazette.

(Admittedly, the EP won four ridings from the Liberals in the elections of September 25, 1989. But many forget that this did not prevent Bourassa from being re-elected with 49.9% of the vote and 92 constituencies!)

On Bill 96, the debates are so heartbreaking in the PLQ that Gaétan Barrette even proposed to make it a free vote; in addition to allowing abstention. In short, many Liberals would publicly show their rejection of the leader’s “nationalist turn”.


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