Quebec achieves surplus of $1.4 billion, gives it back to the people
Quebec’s governing party the Coalition Avenir Québec has achieved an impressive surplus of $1.4 billion and will now look to distribute amongst the Québecois people according to the CBC.
Legault’s CAQ will look to make good on its promise to eliminate the sliding-scale system for daycare fees. As well as this, they will increase the child allowance.
The CAQ has announced an increase of $857 in the province’s expenditure for the current fiscal year. According to the finance minister, Eric Girard, 525 million will be spent on social programs and $332 million will be retained by the Québecois.
The improved family allowance will come into effect in January 2020, which is two years earlier than promised. The $1.4 billion surpluses was fueled by a 2.4 percent increase in Quebec’s GDP in 2019.
This will come as good news to the CAQ who are continuing to perform strongly in the polls.
A mayor of a small town in the province of Quebec has apologized after he said that the female councillors made legislative decisions due to them menstruating. Michel Lemay, who is the mayor of Saint-Barnabé, made this statement after three female councillors voted in favour of a snow-clearing contract, only to then speak out against it, according to the CBC.
During a municipal council meeting, which was recorded by a member of the public, the mayor stated his opinions on why they changed their mind: “Some of them maybe weren’t feeling well, or maybe they had their period that night.”
The Mayor later apologized on the talk show Radio-Canada 360, saying that he agreed that his comments were “inappropriate, and I apologize.”
Some of the councillors have reached out to Quebec’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs so to remedy the tension that is now present in the city hall. There are plans to hold a mediation session with councillors in January.
The mayor has been in office since 2005 and is currently on his second term.
Montrealers will officially be able to cover their faces with masks or bandanas during protests again, as the city moves forward with scrapping a bylaw prohibiting it.
The bylaw, which was originally put in place 50 years ago as a measure to force demonstrators at protests throughout the city to rally with their faces revealed, allowing police to better identify participants who may be violating other lies, mayor Valerie Plante announced on Wednesday.
During a speaking event to the city’s executive committees, Mayor Plante said that the city’s police are well-equipped enough with the tools of the Criminal Code and the Highway Code to give ample ability to monitor and control public demonstrations.
The bylaw, which originally passed in 1969 as a means to maintain public safety and order, was amended during the Montreal student tuition hike protests in 2012 to include bans on all facial coverings during demonstrations. The bylaw also places obligation on protest organizers to provide city officials with march routes.
Then-opposition Projet Montreal criticized the 2012 amendments, claiming that they were put into place as a reactionary measure to the protests. In the years since those protests, the move to remove the bylaw has been supported by “a serious of court judgments, overturning the amendments as unconstitutional.”
Plante said a motion calling for the elimination of the bylaw will be tabled at the next meeting of city council on Monday.
Montreal’s history of masked protests
The city isn’t prone to masked protestors causing trouble, though. Recent May Day celebrations, a day chosen by communist and socialist groups as International Workers Day, have proven dangerous.
The 2012 protest in downtown Montreal, led by the anti-capitalist group CLAC Montreal (convergence des luttes anti capitalistes: Translation, ‘convergence of anti-capitalist struggles,’) quickly turned into a violent riot in which 108 people arrested and 33 charged, many of them masked.
In 2017, two masked members of the Black Bloc assaulted two Global News journalists, going so far as to announce a call to violence against journalists covering future protests, in order to “make demonstrations safer.”
The group released a post on Montreal Counter-Information titled “No face, no case: in defence of smashing corporate media cameras.”
The post read: “Sometimes, it is necessary to go against what the mainstream considers ‘acceptable,’ to break the law in order to do the ethical thing,” the post read. “Those who mask up to fight the racist far-right have decided, at great personal risk, that they will use any means necessary to shut down fascist organizing.”
A 2019 Anti-capitalist rally in downtown Montreal saw a group of 300 protesters throw smoke bombs and firecrackers, all while smashing windows of businesses on route.
Police arrested five people for what they described as “multiple criminal acts” and handed out multiple tickets for vandalism and mischief, such as breaking windows. Many of these protestors were masked.
Yves-François Blanchet has said that he will not do anything to alleviate western Canada’s frustration. Speaking to reporters, Bloc head Blanchet said that he would not lift a finger to “create an oil state in western Canada.”
These remarks came after Blanchet’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa today. Trudeau has been meeting with the leaders of the federal parties to prepare for parliament reopening on Dec. 5. After this meeting, Blanchet stated that he will support Trudeau’s minority government in emission-reducing initiatives, however, he will fight the Liberals on the TMX pipeline.
The Bloc’s intent to halt the pipeline will not cause Trudeau trouble in controlling the majority of the House.
Blanchet also indicated to reporters that he did not expect the throne speech to get in the way of Quebec’s secularism bill. Bill 21, the deeply controversial bill that stops public employees from wearing religious symbols, has created tension between English and French Canada.
Over the previous week, Trudeau has been meeting with provincial leaders, as well as Andrew Scheer, in an attempt to placate the increasing sentiment of alienation in western Canada. Blanchet’s most recent comment will only likely further this rift.
Quebec Premier François Legault has called Don Cherry “a clown” after he was fired for his poppy comments. Speaking to a Quebec City radio station, Legault told listeners that he was “very happy” that Cherry had been booted.
The premier went on to say that “He’s a bit of a clown … I’ve often seen him whining against francophones. Now he’s doing it against immigrants.”
It is unsurprising that Legault is celebrating Cherry’s ousting. The Hockey icon often takes every opportunity to insult the Quebecois. In the past, Cherry has made televised comments about the Quebecois, accusing them of being effeminate for wearing visors, and ruining the Canadian game.
On Twitter, French Canadians also expressed their support of Sportsnet’s decision to fire Cherry. The general sentiment was that this decision was a long time coming. Some users expressed irritation that Cherry was fired for an alleged derogatory comment about immigrants, and not the comments he made about Quebecois for years.