Quebec presents wish list for federal leaders as MNAs return

Quebec premier unveils his federal election wish list
WATCH: The fall session has kicked off at the National Assembly in Quebec City, with some sobering news from a cabinet minister. International Relations Minister Nadine Girault announced that she has lung cancer but will remain in office. Meanwhile, the premier outlined his wish list for the campaigning federal party leaders and as Global's Raquel Fletcher explains, the province wants the right to select its own immigrants.

MNAs returned from the summer break Tuesday for the first question period without the crucifix that hung above the speaker’s chair.

The crucifix was removed after the adoption of Bill 21, the government’s religious symbols ban for public employees in positions of authority.

The 1982 artifact and the 1936 crucifix it replaced are now on display outside the National Assembly’s Blue Room.

On the first day of the session, Premier Legault also reiterated his demand for federal leaders to stay out of the Bill 21 debate.

READ MORE: Crucifix removed from National Assembly’s Blue Room after years of debate

Legault then presented his full wish list for the federal election campaign. At the top of that list is for the next federal government to give Quebec the power to choose its own immigrants in two categories (it is already able to select economic immigrants).

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“We want to increase the economic immigrants from 60 to 65 percent. Of course it means that we want to decrease the number in the categories of family reunification and refugees,” Legault said.

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau has already said no to this demand, but the premier says he’s confident he has federal leaders’ attention.

“The majority of Quebecers would like that the Quebec government has more power,” Legault said.

READ MORE: Montreal mayor’s wish list for federal leaders starts with more mobility funding

Legault also wants the next federal government to create a single income tax managed by Quebec and to subject federal businesses to Quebec’s language laws.

“I would be surprised if Ottawa says yes to some of his demands,” said interim Liberal leader Pierre Arcand.

Opposition parties, meanwhile, say the government’s priorities are not in the right place.

READ MORE: Jagmeet Singh wanted to ‘show an openness’ to Quebec with ad displaying him without a turban

“He didn’t succeed in focusing really on the true issues that really are going to affect Quebecers,” Arcand said.

“Unfortunately, he doesn’t say anything about public transportation, anything about climate change,” said Quebec Solidaire MNA Ruba Ghazal.

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