Parti Quebecois start unwanted "separatist governance"

As if 'pastagate', increases to the budget of the Office de la Langue Francais, and the attack on the Canadian flag, which failed, weren't enough signs that the PQ are back in full steam, then perhaps a French-only policy in cross-Canada relations will do the trick. The PQ hate campaign is back stronger than ever hurting tourism and now, Quebec's relationship with the rest of Canada.

The PQ strategy is intended to prevent the Harper Government from interfering with Quebec affairs while promoting the idea that Quebec will one day be a country - recent polls show support for separation is at all time lows.

However, as draconian as the PQ's French only policy seems, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Alexandre Cloutier reassured reporters that the policy would be a guidance and not a restriction to PQ ministers. Well, if "pasta" is such a bad word, then imagine how seriously the PQ ministers will take this new "guideline."

"The official language in Quebec is French and all the papers being prepared are in French, all documentation is in French, and we think it's necessary to use the same language that it is written (in)," Cloutier said.

It just goes to show how out of touch the PQ is when it comes to dealing with the reality that the world trades and communicates in English as a common language and it goes to show how well Quebec will be positioned in a world that is becoming more and more globalized. However, this isn't the issue, Canada has both French and English as Official Languages. The issue is how stingy and prejudice the PQ is against the English language and Anglophones living in the province.

Cloutier said the guidance would allow ministers to speak English informally but encourage all official transactions between Quebec and Canada to be in French only.

As another part of the new "separatist governance" mandate the PQ are running, former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe and former PQ Minister Rita Dionne-Marsolais were hired to guide a $1.6 million commission into the Harper government's changes to Employment Insurance. PQ Labour Minister Agnes Maltais insisted the fact that both people appointed to the commission were involved in separatist politics would not affect the neutrality of the outcome.

Cloutier mentioned similar procedures can be used in the future to determine if the federal government has encroached on provincial jurisdiction  In essence, this means that more infrastructure to build a country and duplicate services provided by Canada will be introduced. It also means Quebec's infrastructure and economy will continue to drag the weight of unnecessary baggage, especially given the days of nationalist dreams are pretty much over.

"We don't want to raise the level of hostility, we want to defend Quebecers and workers," said Cloutier, a constitutional lawyer educated at the University of Cambridge, in Britain.

"But at the same time I would just say to Ottawa: 'respect the law, respect the Constitution and stop acting in Quebec's field and stop acting in ways that are affecting our economy'."

Harper has responded to the PQ's move contrasting his jobs plan to their sovereignty plan. His spokesman added that provinces can choose whichever language they please to communicate with the federal government.

"We are not interested in old fights," Canadian Transport Minister Denis Lebel said in a statement.

Currently, the PQ hold a minority government, meaning that at any time the opposition parties can collectively choose to defeat the government. In fact, only 4 seats separate the PQ and the Official Opposition Liberals in the National Assembly and less than 1% separated them in popular vote. In addition to low support for sovereignty recent polls put the Liberals back in the lead and give Premier Pauline Marois a 60% disapproval rating.

So when will the PQ drop the old fights that have acted to pit Quebecers against each other and finally work on making Quebec a better province to live in? Paying the highest taxes in the country, having the worst infrastructure and most corruption in the country, and having a weak economy should all be issues on the top of the government's to-do list. Rather than cut education, healthcare, and services that aid people, the OQLF and duplicate services should take the permanent axe and the federal service be used in its place. It's time to move past separatist, prejudice, provocative politics and work toward a united and better future, but unfortunately the PQ don't represent the right vision for the future and as Jean Charest said at the Liberal leadership convention, the PQ's official anthem seems to be: "beep beep beep." - one must wonder if that will be Quebec's anthem too or if it hasn't become so already.

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