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Trudeau Has Already Publicly Accused François Legault Of Being Sexist

Battle lines have been drawn.
Senior Editor
Trudeau Has Already Publicly Accused François Legault Of Being Sexist

The ascendancy of the Colation Avenir Québec (CAQ) has sent a shockwave across not only Quebec, but all of Canada.

The party defied even the most optimistic projections to achieve what will be a majority government in the National Assembly.

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TL;DR Trudeau has condemned Legault's plan to invoke the notwithstanding clause to institute a ban on hijabs for Quebec public servants. This article explains Trudeau's political strategy.

That could prove bad news for the federal Liberal government, which in just two weeks has seen the federally Liberal strongholds of Quebec and New Brunswick vote in more conservative governments.

The CAQ promises to usher in significant change, including an overhaul of the provincial bureaucracy and a campaign of cultural preservation.

Among such proposals is a promise to invoke the notwithstanding clause to allow Quebec to institute a ban on religious head coverings for public servants. Such a ban, of course, would target Muslim women.

A hijab ban has already drawn criticism since, unlike France, Quebec lacks a strong history of secularism. Many have called the ban islamophobic.

Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, has issued a statement decrying the ban for its sexism.

According to Le Journal de Montréal, Trudeau said to Légault: "As you know, I am not of the opinion that the state should tell a woman what they can and cannot wear."

This retort not only reaffirms to the public Trudeau's stance on the issue, but also clearly draws battle lines ahead of the Canadian federal elections next year.

@justinpjtrudeauembedded via  

Trudeau has everything to gain from pointing to the Ford government in Ontario and Legault government in Quebec as foils to his agenda. The prime minister can rhetorically stage himself as an opposition to these more conservative regimes.

The federal election next year will be a referndum on both the Trudeau government and these provincial governments.

    Thomas MacDonald
    Senior Editor
    Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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