“I think that Quebec can make its own decisions.” It is in these terms that the Quebec Minister of Justice, Sonia LeBel, welcomed the brief of the federal government lawyers filed in the Quebec Court of Appeal regarding of the 99 law on self-determination.
C ette law was adopted by Quebec in 2000, under the PQ government of Lucien Bouchard, to give Quebecers the right to decide for themselves if they want to separate from Canada.
Federal lawyers argue in their brief that Quebec’s secession would require a constitutional amendment, which could require a majority of provinces to approve Quebec’s possible independence.
According to the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montreal (SSJB), the independence of Quebec would be subject to the support of seven provinces representing 50% of the Canadian population, or even to the unanimous support of the provinces, without which it would would be “illegal and unconstitutional”.
The SSJB makes the link with Catalonia, whose declaration of independence is considered illegal by the Spanish government. She suspects Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of wanting to draw inspiration from Spain to make Quebec’s independence impossible.
“Given Mr. Trudeau’s complacency towards Spain and the authoritarian legalism exercised there in order to tease Catalonia in its democratic process of acquiring independence, it is to wonder whether the” Son of Father Trudeau “does not dream to be inspired to concoct a strictly Canadian version,” said Wednesday Maxime Laporte, president of the SSJB, in a statement.
“In English only”
The SSJB was “indignant” at the Government of Canada’s allegations that, by law, Quebec can not possibly achieve independence without the prior permission of other provinces.
“To add insult to injury, let us emphasize that this argument of the Attorney General of Canada was written in English only”, adds one.
“In Quebec, we can plead in the language of our choice, this is what the courts have decided, it is in the constitution, reacted Ms. LeBel, who was very cautious when he left the council of ministers. Can we think that it would have been nice for Ottawa to file a bilingual submission to the Quebec Court of Appeal? The answer is yes, but if you say if legally they had the right to do so, the answer is yes, too. ”
According to the member for Jean-Lesage and responsible for Quebec Solidaire in terms of independence, Sol Zanetti, Quebec democracy must take precedence over Canadian constitutional laws.
“The day we want to decide our future for ourselves, we will not have permission to ask anyone,” he said.
Same story with Véronique Hivon, spokesperson for the Parti Quebecois pour les relations Québec-Canada. She speaks of “outright provocation”.
“The Premier of Quebec must restate loud and clear the prerogatives, the rights and all the principles that we have put in law 99 and he must do so very quickly, and it is the entire National Assembly which owes the because it is an issue deeply related to who we are as a people and as a nation, and Canada can not be allowed to send such a contemptuous, provocative signal to Quebec. ” she supported by telephone interview.
On the other side of the Ottawa River, Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet also denounced Ottawa’s intention to try to subjugate Quebeckers’ right to self-determination to the rest of the country. Canada as part of its legal challenge to Bill 99.
“Quebeckers are the only masters of their future. The right of peoples to self-determination is not negotiable. What Ottawa is trying to do today will not go unnoticed, “said Blanchet in a statement.
Bill 99 was intended as a response to the federal clarity act passed under Jean Chrétien’s government. Quebec’s law reaffirms that only 50% of the vote plus one vote is enough to decide the outcome of a referendum.
According to Justice Claude Dallaire of the Superior Court, “the National Assembly held the constitutional jurisdiction required to adopt all sections of Bill 99”.
It is the former leader of the Equality Party, Keith Henderson, who has been trying to invalidate since 2001 this law passed by the National Assembly.