17 August 2015

William Johnson: Parties continue to play politics with unity | National Post

William Johnson: Parties continue to play politics with unity | National Post

'[Mulcair] said: “Cette offre politique demeure au cœur de notre
approche auprès des Québécois,” this political offer remains at the
heart of our approach to Quebecers. So clearly the NDP’s doctrine on
secession is not obsolete or merely marginal. It is at the heart of the
Faustian bargain that Jack Layton and Thomas Mulcair proposed to
Quebecers: vote for us instead of the Bloc Québécois and we will deliver
in return a guarantee that Quebecers can secede unconditionally if that
is what they want.'

15 August 2015

Service in English is not a legal right in Quebec.

Michael Bergman, a lawyer who specializes in Quebec language laws, confirmed service in English is not a legal right.“Contrary to what I think many anglophone Quebecers believe, they have no right at all to receive a response in English. It is strictly a courtesy,” he said.
The language charter specifies if a citizen communicates to the government in a language other than French, it “may respond in that other language. But it doesn’t say that they must,” Bergman said.
“There is no constitutionally protected right for an anglophone to receive communications from the Quebec government or its bureaucracy,” he said.
The only areas where the right to speak English is constitutionally enshrined are the National Assembly and the courts, Bergman said.

13 August 2015


 Peter McKenna of The Chronicle Herald writes: “On the issue of any unilateral declaration of independence, the law is succinct: ‘Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that there is no right, under international law or under the Constitution of Canada, for the National Assembly, legislature or government of Quebec to effect the secession of Quebec from Canada unilaterally.’  It goes on to state categorically: ‘Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that, in Canada, the secession of a province, to be lawful, would require an amendment to the Constitution of Canada, that such an amendment would perforce require negotiations in relation to secession involving at least the governments of all of the provinces and the government of Canada.’ … Since provincial consent for a constitutional amendment codifying Quebec’s right to secession is highly unlikely, any future PQ government could only secede unilaterally by, in effect, breaking the law or through unconstitutional means.”

10 August 2015

William Johnson: A return to Meech Lake’s constitutional fairy tales


So Quebec provincial Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard wants to lead us back to the bogs and quicksands of Meech Lake. Non merci.
Couillard, like Robert Bourassa before him, thinks blackmail will serve Quebec’s ends. On Saturday, in concluding a party meeting, Couillard promised: “A [Quebec] government that I lead would not participate in a conference dealing with Senate reform until that agenda contains explicitly the recognition and the discussion of the five historic conditions of Quebec.”
The five constitutional amendments of the 1987 Meech Lake accord included the recognition of Quebec as a “distinct society,” with that distinctiveness to be promoted by the Quebec government. It offered Quebec new powers over the selection of immigrants and appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada, allowed Quebec to withdraw with compensation from federally-initiated shared-cost programs, and gave Quebec a veto over constitutional change to major institutions, such as reforming or abolishing the Senate.