Even with many mistakes and apologies along the campaign trail, it was not enough to unseat the popular right-wing government
Quebec Premier Francois Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), wins another term with a supermajority. The C.A.Q. is a nationalist, autonomist, a conservative provincial political party in Quebec. They represent a Quebec-first ideology and see themselves as a separate nation within Canada.
There was never a doubt that Legault’s party would be re-elected back into government; although many stories of Legault losing seats to the surging Liberals, it never happened. In actuality, Legault’s C.A.Q gained more seats at the expense of the Liberals, who will once again remain the official opposition.
Throughout Legault’s campaign, he made many missteps, and so to did his immigration minister but not enough to sway the vote of Quebecois. Comments many found to be racist and insensitive to minorities later saw both men biting their lips to offer an apology.
Over the years, Quebec has become more Conservative and extreme in its Francophone first policies and imposing its archaic language police. A law forces everyone to communicate in French and punishes Anglophones and non-French-speaking citizens.
As Premier, 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 as 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 employment.
In April of 2022, the Quebec Superior court mainly ruled in favour of upholding the majority of the secular law after many civil rights organizations challenged it. 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.
The ruling only shows the division in Quebec by religion, race and language. The government has much to celebrate, but the case will likely end up in the Supreme Court. With Legault’s government elected for another four more years, the Premier will undoubtedly push more Francophone policies at the expense of Anglophones. Legault’s pro-Quebec and anti-immigrant government is entirely out of touch with the rest of Canada.
Image source Legault social media