The province is preparing to loosen up even more regulations shortly. On July 26, François Legault announced the upcoming changes to Quebec festival rules, among other news for bars and events.
As of August 1, outdoor festivals in Quebec will be allowed a maximum of 15,000 people, which is 10,000 more than what is currently permitted, and indoor events at large stadiums or halls will be allowed to host a maximum of 7,500 people. Both should have independent sections that fit 500 people in each.
À partir du 1er août, d’autres assouplissements entreront en vigueur pour les salles de spectacles, les festivals a… https://t.co/BdgTYDe28K
The new regulations for Quebec bars and microbreweries allow alcohol to be served until 1 a.m. rather than 12 a.m. starting August 1. They will still be obligated to close by 2 a.m. though.
And lastly, a press release about the new rules specified updated capacities for "events where people remain seated in specific places, including amateur sports and leisure events with bleachers or stands [...] assemblies, meetings, conventions or ceremonies, including in places of worship." For outdoor events, 500 people will now be able to attend whereas 250 will be allowed in indoor ones.
The government made sure to remind everyone that social distancing measures will continue to be mandatory in these spaces and individuals must keep wearing masks while indoors, especially while walking around.
"The premier did his best impression of Maurice Duplessis," Nadeau-Dubois said at the National Assembly on Wednesday evening, "by proclaiming himself the 'Father of the Quebec Nation.'"
What happened at the National Assembly?
Nadeau-Dubois said that Legault shouldn't assume that he can speak for all Quebecers.
"There are millions of Quebecers who are against Bill 21 [...] who don't support him or his government," said Nadeau-Dubois. "There are millions of us who are tired of him pretending to be our 'saviour and 'redeemer' [...] we are fed up of his sermons."
Legault angrily retorted that "there is a large majority of Quebecers who support Bill 21 and there are two multicultural parties [...] who are against Bill 21."
"The leader of Quebec Solidaire talks about Maurice Duplessis [...] the man had his faults but he defended the Quebec nation and wasn't 'woke' like the Quebec Solidaire leader."
Nadeau-Dubois then clapped back that "if the premier wants to bring the level of this discussion into the gutter, I won't follow him there."
"The premier doesn't have the right to expel Quebecers from the nation just because they disagree with him. He's a premier, not a monarch."
But who exactly was Maurice Duplessis?
Duplessis was twice elected Quebec premier from 1936 to 1939 and from 1944 to 1959.
Duplessis was against mandatory conscription for Quebecers during World War II but lost his premiership after calling a snap election. At the time, he was a heavy drinker and womanizer according to the Canadian Encyclopedia but quit drinking after a life-threatening bout with pneumonia and diabetes.
His second, 15-year long term as Quebec premier was more successful than his first. His government undertook enormous public works projects.
He was, however, especially harsh against workers' unions, according to the Encyclopedia, which also states corruption reached "legendary proportions" under his government
Quebecers who grew up during his reign took to calling this era in Quebec history "La Grande Noirceur," or "The Great Darkness."
According to the Canadian Encylopedia, Duplessis "had disdain for most contemporary concepts of civil liberties."
Nadeau-Dubois took to social media to poke fun at Legault's use of "woke," writing, "I don't know what François Legault has against woks," alongside a picture of himself with the cooking pot.
Legault doubled-down on using the term at a press conference on Thursday morning and even went on to define what he meant by "woke."
"For me, 'a woke' is someone who wants to make us feel guilty about defending the Quebec nation and its values," the premier said.
"I don't mind him calling me Duplessis but he is really on the other extreme [...] defending Quebec values doesn't interest him [...] that's why I called him 'woke.'"
A motion passed at the National Assembly Tuesday demands a formal apology from the Debate Broadcasting Group for what it calls "hostile" language targetting the Quebec nation at the English-language federal leaders' debate on September 9.
The motion, from Joël Arseneau, leader of the Parti Québécois in the National Assembly, passed with the support of the CAQ, Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ) and Québec Solidaire.
The apology demand comes after much of Quebec's political class condemned the framing of a question from debate moderator Shachi Kurl for Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet.
"You deny that Quebec has problems with racism yet you defend legislation such as Bills 96 and 21, which marginalize religious minorities, Anglophones, and Allophones," Kurl said.
"For those outside the province, please help them understand why your party [...] supports these discriminatory laws."
Blanchet later accused Kurl of calling Quebecers "racists." Quebec Premier François Legault called the question an "attack" on the Quebec nation.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added his voice to the calls for an apology, saying the "premise of the question was unacceptable."
The Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ) has launched a petition against "Quebec-bashing" following the September 9 English-language federal leaders' debate, where a question by moderator Shachi Kurl provoked fury among the province's political class.
"You deny that Quebec has problems with racism yet you defend legislation such as Bills 96 and 21, which marginalize religious minorities, Anglophones, and Allophones [...] for those outside the province, please help them understand why your party [...] supports these discriminatory laws," Kurl said to Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet.
Le Québec bashing, ça va faire!
Joignez-vous à nous pour dénoncer ces propos en signant la pétition.
In a press conference Friday, Quebec Premier François Legault sharply criticized both the moderator and debate consortium responsible for the English-language leaders' debate. The premier called the phrasing of one question from the moderator an "attack" on Quebec and its values.
"What we saw at the leaders' debate was an attack against Bill 21 on secularism, against Bill 96 on language. [...] claiming that protecting French is discriminatory or even racist is ridiculous. [...] Quebec is a nation, free to protect its language, its values, and its powers."
"I was very surprised that somebody who was supposed to be the referee decided to be part of certain teams saying that those laws are discriminatory," he said about debate moderator Shachi Kurl.
In her opening question to Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Kurl called Quebec's Bill 21 and Bill 96 "discriminatroy to religious minorities, Anglophones, and Allophones."
Blanchet, who expressed fury at the line after the debate, accused Kurl of calling Quebecers "racists and xenophobes."
Legault echoed Blanchet's statement the following afternoon.
"That was an attack, for sure, against Quebec and against our responsibilities," the premier decried.
"The vast majority of Quebecers agree to forbid religious signs [for] people in authority positions. Bill 21 doesn't apply to the rest of Canada so please, it's none of your business."