The newly elected CAQ (Coalition Avenir Quebec) has been promising many things to Quebec. As a democratic refreshment from the dominance of the Liberals in ‘La Belle Province’, the CAQ was supposed to be a breath of fresh air. It promised more refined versions of the liberal policies that French Canadians demanded, and expected in an increasingly globalizing world that threatened their culture.
Yet what Quebec’s Liberals were able to do was defend French Canadian culture through acceptance, tolerance, freedom of rights, freedom of exchange, and the celebration of difference. And all the while being able to put their foot down when it came to defending their language and cultural practices from others that sought to colonize them.
Unfortunately, the CAQ has reanimated many of the insecure ghosts from the past to legitimize its claim to governance by preying on French fears of colonization by another power. The CAQ remains vague about education policy, environmental policy, Canadian federation policy, etc. However, it is quite clear that it seeks to make immigrants a scary presence that menaces the very social fabric of Quebec; ensuring that the CAQ is the guarantor of security and French freedom. It smells of racist fascism. And the CAQ needs to answer for its policies.
Here are five reasons to question the CAQ:
Wearing of religious symbols
The wearing of religious symbols was never a problem before the mass arrival of Muslim immigrants. Only once the hijab became a serious presence in Quebec society did the narrative of wearing religious symbols become important. Yet the laws of individual freedoms and liberties in Quebec and Canada guarantee the right of any person to wear symbols of their religious affiliation.
To prosecute or condemn an individual for the wearing of religious symbolism is not only an affront to the legal right to individual freedom, but it is also the practice of a police state that elevates the metaphysical existence of the state above the narrative power of religion.
Prime minister Legault declared that there is no current of Islamophobia in Quebec. Yet the simple fact that the CAQ has engaged in a witch hunt about religious symbols (motivated to remove hijabs from society) betrays the fact that they are completely Islamophobic. It’s a perfect example of the CAQ trying to appeal to the average Quebecker of being a guarantor of cultural security. Or, in other words, it’s a strategy of trying to secure political power through the fearful ideology of cultural degradation.
Visit to France
The usual first stop of any newly elected PM of Quebec is the USA – due to the amount of hydroelectric power that they buy from us. Yet Legault decided, in a Machiavellian way, to visit the French President Macron instead. His reasons were to further Quebec/France business exchanges and to secure the immigration of what sounds a lot like white French-speaking individuals, in priority, to populate Quebec. Of course, he didn’t actually describe his ideal France immigrant as being white, but we know that’s what he meant… While one could definitely argue that his stance towards France guarantees a hard position against the USA, it betrays disguised racism that Quebec needs to be populated by ‘white’ francophones in order to maintain its cultural integrity.
Related to the above points. The immigration policy of the CAQ is one of opening immigration to Quebec – but only to francophone speakers that will fulfill the cultural agenda of the CAQ. It is not a true immigration policy informed by reason; rather, it is one informed by fear and narrow-mindedness that feeds the idea that Quebec culture can only be protected by forcing more French language speakers into the population.
Legault declared that Quebec is the poorest province in the Federation and therefore deserves a more substantial share of the Federal Government’s equalization payments. Complete nonsense. Quebec is one of the wealthiest provinces in the Federation. Legault’s assertion is one that seeks to make Quebeckers feels insecure and venomous against the rest of Canada. The latter increases his populist discourse and claim to governance.
Breath of fresh air? More like a breath of past fear…
The opinions here are my own and do not necessarily reflect Best Kept MTL.
Soyez critiques mes amis!