With the 2021 Canadian election happening on September 20, it's about all we can see being talked about on social media right now — to the point where even Bernie Sanders decided to give his two cents about it.
The U.S. senator recently wrote a tweet letting everyone know where he stands when it comes to Canadian politics.
Canada goes to the polls Monday.
There's one party that stood up for working people in the pandemic.
One leade… https://t.co/tG6Wx4WgpL
It looks like if Sanders were voting in the Canadian election, he'd be checking off the NDP on his ballot.
He said he supports the party's leader, Jagmeet Singh, because he's the "one leader who has the courage to make the wealthy pay their fair share so everyone gets the medication they need."
Premier François Legault also recently commented on the upcoming federal election, saying that Quebecers should be wary of the Liberal, NDP and Green platforms because he believes all three parties are "dangerous" to the Quebec nation. On this note, the premier said he was leaning towards a minority Conservative government.
"The good news is that we are really coming through the worst of the pandemic," Legault said. He noted that more than 90% of Quebecers aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 85% have received two doses, which is consistent with Quebec data.
While the government was worried about the Delta variant, Legault said he's pleased today to have "managed to avoid a large-scale fourth wave despite the start of the school year."
"Slowly but surely, we are getting closer to a return to normalcy [...]. Every time a restriction comes down, it's like a weight is lifted off our shoulders," Legault said, referencing Thursday's announcement that Quebec restaurants and bars could return to maximum capacity and regular operating hours on November 1.
However, the premier did remind Quebecers to stay cautious.
"Our health care system remains fragile, but we are doing what we can to strengthen it as quickly as possible," he said. "We must not be too quick to claim victory. The virus is still there and there are still people in the hospital."
Legault launched a new session in the National Assembly of Quebec, which is set to begin on October 19. He said he plans to make an opening speech on Tuesday in the spirit of looking forward to the "post-pandemic period."
The Montreal bar association has been looking into elements of Bill 96 and is raising concern that certain articles could "infringe on the principle of access to justice which is at the heart of Quebec's democratic society," particularly for English speakers and bilingual people.
The association has pointed to five articles in the Bill that could affect "access to justice:" 9, 12, 13, 55, and 208.6.
Article 9 of the Bill, for instance, states that "a certified French translation shall be attached to any pleading drawn up in English that emanates from a legal person. The legal person shall bear the translation costs."
The association says that "requiring a party to bear the costs of a translation" affects access to justice and that there could be delays with processing a translated case report.
"In addition," the association continued, "there is reason to wonder about the availability of a sufficient number of legal translators in private practice."
Article 12 of Bill 96, meanwhile, relates to the appointment of judges in Quebec, stating they "shall not be required to have knowledge or a specific level of knowledge of a language other than the official language unless the Minister of Justice and the Minister of the French Language consider that the exercise of that office requires such knowledge."
For the association, this is troubling because the provision doesn't "take into account the reality of litigants in Montreal, where the percentage of cases in which English is required alone justifies the presence of judges or administrative judges who are bilingual or who have sufficient knowledge of English."
In a statement, the president of the Montreal bar, Junior Laguerre, said that "it is important to guarantee all citizens access to justice without hindrance or barrier, whether linguistic, economic or temporal."
"We, therefore, ask Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette to make the necessary amendments to the bill, so that it achieves its objectives without harming access to justice for all," Laguerre concluded.
The report recommended that Quebec acknowledge systemic racism. It also said racism and prejudice played a role in Echaquan's death.
"The only place where I don't agree is when we say that there's a 'system' because for me a 'system' is coming from upstairs, coming from the top people, and I don't see this in the health care network, for example," Legault said at a press conference on Tuesday, following the release of the coroner's report.
"What happened to Mrs. Echaquan is terrible [...] and few employees, not only one, didn't deliver the right services to her."
He reiterated that people who believe in systemic racism in Quebec don't have the same definition that he does.
"We don't have a system [of racism], top to bottom, and it's a question of fact," he said.
He emphasized the need to "stop dividing Quebecers" with arguments about systemic racism.
"Even [the coroner who wrote the report] Mrs. Kahmel, she's saying that we have not to put all the emphasis only on words. We have to put emphasis on actions to change the situation and, on that, I fully agree," said Legault.
"I'm not sure what it's like to see your daughter, your sister, your mother, your friend, your lover disappear from one day to the next without a trace. And on top of that, to have the impression that your government doesn't really care, or at least not enough. No one should have to go through that in Quebec," Legault continued.
"I'm convinced that the vast majority of Quebecers are ready to fight racism."