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William Johnson

Will we ever have legal “clarity” on secession? The Dion-Turp debate

Par William Johnson le 16 juin 2013

johnson_william.jpgOn May 19, 1994, Jacques Parizeau addressed the National Assembly: “We are a state that subscribes to the rule of law. Canada and Quebec are not banana republics. There is the law. There is the Constitution. There is international law. And we have all been elected to defend the rule of law.”
Wonderful statement, even if Mr. Parizeau did not always practice what he preached. But there is a problem: for the rule of law to be in effect, the citizens must have a clear understanding of what the law requires. That is anything but the case in Canada, in Quebec, when the issue is secession.

The myth of disestablished English

Par William Johnson le 31 mars 2013

johnson_william.jpgEven as English is again under attack at the National Assembly during the hearings on Bill 14, it is perhaps true that most Quebecers have been misled into believing that English is not also an official language of Quebec. But that’s entirely unfounded in fact or in law. English has been an official language of Quebec ever since 1763. Every law passed since then has been passed in English. Every law to be passed by the current Parti Québécois government will be passed in English as well as French, and the English text will be official, just as will be the French.

 

Agnès Maltais’ aborted pilgrimage to Ottawa

Par William Johnson le 13 mars 2013

william_johnson.jpgWas it symbolic? Quebec’s labour minister Agnès Maltais took a plane to the national capital Monday but was unable to land. The airport tarmac was covered with freezing rain making a landing dangerous.
The Quebec minister flew to confront Diane Finley, the federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. Maltais insists that Ottawa doesn’t understand Quebec’s labour market. She came intending to set Finley straight and insist that the reformed program for employment insurance that went into effect in January be rewritten to suit Quebec. In fact, the policy of the Quebec government is to demand the total transfer of employment insurance to Quebec, as part of “la gouvernancesouverainiste.”

 


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