Quebecers head to the polling station in little over two weeks
Anglophone Quebecers have a lot of reasons to vote out Premier François Legault and members of his Coalition Avenir Québec party. Legault is viewed as a Premier that is French first, English second, despite appointing himself as the minister responsible for the English-speaking communities.
Legault has passed many pro-secular laws limiting the religious rights and freedoms of minorities. This was none more evident with the passing of Bill 21.
Bill 21 has been seen as racist and out of touch with Canada’s multicultural society. Many ethnic minorities also see it violating their Charter of Rights and Freedom. Bill 21 directly impacts Muslim women and prevents them from wearing a hijab in their place of employment. The Bill, also known as The Quebec ban on religious symbols, extends to police officers, prosecutors and all public employees who are banned from wearing religious symbols in their place of employment.
The Coalition Avenir Québec introduced the Bill on March 29, 2019. The Bill also requires one’s face to be uncovered to give or receive specific public services. Although the Superior court mainly ruled in favour of upholding the majority of the secular law, it did strike down sections about English educational institutes, as it would violate their minority language rights under section 23 of the Charter of Rights and Freedom.
As the rest of Canada watch what is happening in Quebec, the calls for a more central government that does not appear to infringe on the right of Quebecers grow louder and louder each day. Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec party is making it harder and harder for immigrants and nonspeaking French citizens to live in the province and operate a business.
For example, Quebec’s ridiculous language law is hurting businesses, and if you do not have a website or signage in all French, you can be fined or shut down. Those archaic laws and points of view deter people from wanting to move to Quebec and making a compelling reason for those residing in the province, ready to make an early exit.
That said, Legault is still very popular in the province, and so are his points of view, and he is the favourite to be reelected after a short campaign period.
Nearly 6.2 million voters were registered at the last provincial election in 2018. However, only 67 percent of Quebeccors showed up at the polling box, the lowest since 2012. With the current political climate, the perceived attack on Anglophone rights and the rise of far-right politics, the elections are expected to increase voter turnout come September.