Referendum-talk has become the headline single on the provincial election soundtrack, and it's been way overplayed. One key note we haven't heard regarding Quebec independence, and the most important is:
How can Montreal benefit?
We decided to find out, and asked Vladimir De Thézier, an expert on the subject. A political blogger and board of director member of Les Intellectuals pour la souveraineté (IPSO), here are De Thézier thoughts and theories on the subject.
First, De Thézier does not ascribe to the PQ's envisioned Republic of Quebec. In his view, the PQ's Charter of Values is merely a a "calculated electoral strategy" and the party's recent actions have only hurt the movement for Quebec independence.
If a referendum did succeed, Montreal would quickly become the main metropolis of an independent Quebec. As the cosmopolitan center of a nation, Montreal would "regain its economic vitality and international prestige."
De Thézier, and other intellectuals, imagine the Republic of Quebec existing as a regional state made up of largely self-governed subnational regions, with areas broken up depending on cultural and economic factors.
As a metropolis governed by a single government (no longer a city in a province regulated by a federal government) Montreal would more easily gain autonomous powers, ideally ones controlling cultural and linguistic mandates.
One hitch in this seemingly beneficial plan is that certain fail-safes would need to be installed in order for Montreal to never become a "rogue city-state."
Women will lead five of Quebec's eight largest cities following the 2021 municipal elections.
The biggest headline of the night may have been Valérie Plante's triumph over old foe Denis Coderre in Montreal, but across the province, the faces of municipal politics have become more gender-balanced.
According to the latest counts and projections, France Bélisle (Gatineau), Catherine Fournier (Longueuil), Évelyne Beaudin (Sherbrooke) and Julie Dufour (Saguenay) are all also on their way to their respective (and figurative) city hall corner offices.
In Quebec City, it seemed for a while like Marie-Josée Savard would join them. Multiple outlets had even called the election for her until the vote count for her opponent surged into the evening. Bruno Marchand ultimately claimed victory.
Mayor Plante commented on the historic nature of her second mandate in her victory speech Sunday night.
"Four years ago, Montrealers elected the first woman mayor in the history of the City of Montreal," she said.
"Tonight, they told us again, 'yes, this mayor, we're going to continue to work with her, we trust her!'"
This year, for the first time, Montrealers will have two women leading the city, as Projet Montréal's Dominique Ollivier is set to take over as president of the Executive Committee.
The government is in the process of filling a Service Canada job bank and it's advertising salaries of between $61,152 and $65,887.
On an online recruitment page, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) office says it needs to fill 45 benefits officer and program officer positions in Quebec and encourages qualified individuals to apply.
The only education requirement is a high school diploma.
While benefits officers review and process employment insurance applications, the government describes a wide range of duties for program officers, including coordination with local stakeholders regarding services from the ESDC.
Service Canada says it has EI processing centres and "program branches" in Montreal, Laval, Boucherville, Drummondville, Thetford Mines, Shawinigan, Quebec City and Saguenay, but that it may assign alternative workplaces to applicants who don't live in these areas.
In addition to a high school diploma, Service Canada is looking for applicants who have experience totalling six months "in delivering services or programs to the general public" or "interpreting and applying legislation or policies."
The language requirement is either French-only or French and English, depending on the position, according to the recruitment page.
Complete details about the positions available and the application process are online.
To the surprise of many, Quebec City also made the Top 10 — and it ranked higher than Montreal, with Quebec City at #4 and Montreal at #6.
This ranking looked at the cost of living, internet speeds, the percentage of young people, levels of safety, and more.
Our province may have been blessed enough to score two top spots in this ranking, but we still didn't make it to #1, which was Tokyo, Japan.
If ever you were thinking of going to study abroad, you may want to put Tokyo high on your list, considering it "ranks well in nearly all categories helping it to come out on top of the study. It has a good amount of high-ranking unis, great food options, and offers cheap tech. It has high levels of free speech and is above average for safety and high-ranking institutions."
Hey Montreal, I hope you remember that after the federal election is over on September 20, you'll be in the throes of yet another election, this time for the mayor of Montreal, city and borough councils.
By now, we should all know the candidates, the parties, and what they claim to stand for but some of us might have no idea how to vote, when to vote, or how this whole mayoral election thing even works.
Project Montréal forms the current administration, lead by Valérie Plante. Plante has been the leader of the party since 2016 and was elected mayor in 2017. Plante is the first woman to be Montreal's mayor.
Plante dethroned former mayor Denis Coderre and his party Ensemble Montréal at the last election, prompting him to exit politics.
But Coderre is back and wants to regain the office of mayor. Ensemble Montréal has served as the official opposition in City Hall since the 2017 election.
Mouvement Montréal, meanwhile, is a new party with a charismatic leader in former CFL player Balarama Holness who promises to change Montreal and bring it into the future. Holness and his party have introduced bold policy moves, which include making Montreal a city-state within Quebec and making public transit free for everyone under 25.
The parties officially kicked off their campaigns on September 17, with promises and election signs aplenty.
There are 103 elective positions in 58 electoral districts in all 19 boroughs of Montreal. The breakdown is as follows, according to Elections Montréal:
mayor of Montreal
18 borough mayors who are also city councillors;
46 city councillors;
and 38 borough councillors.
There will be four full days of elections with two advance polling days and two official election days.
How to vote
There will be four full days of elections in Montreal plus mail-in voting.
Advance polling days will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 30 and 31, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in select polling stations.
The actual election will take place over two days on Saturday and Sunday, November 6 and 7, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in over 400 polling stations around the city
In 2017, 42.5% of registered voters participated in the election, according to Elections Montréal. Will we eclipse that number this year?