Now that the dust has settled on the 2021 Federal Election, many of us living in Quebec might be wondering what the point of all this was. But no election is without some kind of meaning, especially for voters.
So, what did this election mean for the people of Quebec and what does a Liberal minority mean for the province?
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"I am [...] with the efforts that have been made by our administration to promote the French language in recent months, completely at odds with a position such as that of a current mayoral candidate."
Plante was invited to speak at the National Assembly hearing on Bill 96 on Tuesday evening and was asked by Minister Responsible for the French Language Simon Jolin-Barrette what she thought of a candidate's plan to make "the city of Montreal become bilingual and multicultural."
The candidate in question, Balarama Holness, would move to officially recognize Montreal as a bilingual city and promote multiculturalism.
In a statement of support for the principles in Bill 96,Plante said she hopes French becomes the "social glue" of the metropolis.
"We have to promote the French language by giving ourselves the means and tools to bring people together."
Everyone in Canada using planes or VIA Rail will soon need to be fully vaccinated in order to travel within the country.
"Effective October 30, air passengers departing from Canadian airports, travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, and travellers on non-essential passenger vessels on voyages of 24 hours or more, such as cruise ships, will need to be vaccinated," the government said in a press release.
Vaccines work. That’s why we’re going to make them mandatory for workers in the federal public service and for peop… https://t.co/gsDsvb7oob
All workers in federally regulated travel industries will also need to be fully vaccinated in order to work.
The vaccination requirement will only apply to people 12 years old or older.
For unvaccinated travellers, there will be a short transition period during which "they will be able to travel if they can show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours" of departure. The transition period will last until November 30.
After that date, you must be vaccinated in order to travel on a plane or train within Canada.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccine and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.
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.