QUÉBEC CITY, Sept. 17, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Premier François Legault, accompanied by Minister of Justice, Minister Responsible for Democratic Institutions, Electoral Reform and Access to Information and Minister Responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie Sonia LeBel, unveiled on Tuesday the Québec government's priorities in anticipation of the federal election on October 21. Moreover, it was announced that the Québec Government Office in Ottawa, closed under the previous Couillard government, will be reopened to defend and promote Québec's interests, especially in the economic sphere, in the federal capital.
The Premier announced from the outset that the government has communicated to the federal party leaders in a letter its key demands, that is, those that are structuring for Québec. However, Premier Legault decided to focus at greater length on four demands underpinning the basic principle whereby Québec forms a distinct nation that is free to make its own choices in all areas related to its existence:
- that Québec obtains broader powers in the realm of immigration so that it alone decides the number of immigrants in each category, determines the requisite conditions before granting permanent residence, including an assessment of the level of French and an evaluation of knowledge of Québec values, and fully manages the temporary foreign workers program;
- respect for the Act respecting the laicity of the State and a commitment not to participate in any legal challenge;
- subjecting businesses under federal jurisdiction to the Charter of the French language;
- implementation of a single income tax managed by the Québec government.
Reopening of the Québec Government Office in Ottawa
The Québec government also decided to announce the reopening of the Québec Government Office in Ottawa, with a stronger economic mandate.
The Québec Government Office in Ottawa will fulfil a liaison mandate with the federal government, the federal political parties and the Canadian Francophonie. It will also have a mandate to inform the Québec government about federal government policies. Moreover, it will ensure liaison with Canadian newspapers in order to fully inform the media of the Québec government's policies and decisions. The office will also have a mandate to forge links with foreign embassies in Ottawa. Lastly, it will assume a significant economic and commercial mandate to publicize Québec firms and Québec's strengths as the world's foremost destination for investment.
"Québec forms a distinct nation that is free to make its own choices in all of the fields that affect its existence. I am thinking of immigration, the laicity of the State, culture and language. I am asking the leaders of the federal political parties to undertake to respect Québec's choices in these areas. I would also like to emphasize Québec's and Quebecers' desire to be full partners in the federation. Mutual respect is the foundation of any partnership."
François Legault, Premier of Québec
"Québec must play a leadership role in the Canadian federation. We must defend and promote our interests everywhere that we can do so. To fulfil this leadership role, Québec must adopt the means to act effectively. In recent months, we have noted that an important tool was missing, that is, the Québec Government Office in Ottawa. The previous government eliminated this presence in Ottawa. We want to maintain a strong Québec presence in Ottawa. To provide the means to attain our ambitions, we have decided to reopen the Québec Government Office in Ottawa and to give it a broader, more significant mandate than was previously the case."
Sonia LeBel, Minister of Justice, Minister Responsible for Democratic Institutions, Electoral Reform and Access to Information and Minister Responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie
SOURCE Cabinet du premier ministre
For further information: Ewan Sauves, Press Officer, Office of the Premier, 514-585-4451