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New federalist provincial party with focus on English-language rights launches in Quebec

Click to play video: 'New federalist provincial party with focus on English-language rights launched in Montreal' New federalist provincial party with focus on English-language rights launched in Montreal
WATCH: As Global’s Phil Carpenter explains, the launch of the Canadian Party of Quebec represents much more than just another alternative for voters – Jun 20, 2022

The Canadian Party of Quebec is now a reality.

On Monday, the province’s newest political entity was launched in Montreal with hopes of winning seats in the Quebec National Assembly this fall.  For many, the new party is one sign that political change has begun in Quebec.

Leader Colin Standish said the aim is to move away from language debates.

“We were once renowned for language divisions,” party leader Colin Standish told Global News. [The party] can speak with one clear voice that there is one Quebec, one Quebecois and one Canada.
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“We need a new political option on the table.  The old parties, the old way of doing things no longer works.”

Read more: Canadian Party of Quebec looks to court anglophones, federalists

The party is the latest formed in recent months to present an alternative to the Quebec Liberal Party.

“The Quebec Liberal Party is going to run after the soft nationalist votes, and they’re not going to care about the concerns of the anglo and ethnic communities,” argued Brent Tyler, former president of the now defunct anglophone lobby group Alliance Quebec.

The Canadian Party of Quebec has listed six priorities as core principles including bilingualism.

“Certainly we envision a bilingual Quebec,” stated Standish at a press conference announcing the launch. “Obviously a French-speaking majority is not something we plan to tinker with or change.”

According to him, the party supports promoting the French language but not at the expense of fundamental rights, something he believes Bill 96, the province’s new language law, does.  So they want to get rid of the legislation.

Some have argued that Standish’s team is a new version of the Equality Party, formed in the late ’80s and viewed by detractors as a protest party.

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Former leader Robert Libman pointed out that in 1989, the political debate was between a federalist party and one which wanted Quebec to separate.

“Now there are a lot of parties on the political horizon,” he noted. “I  think people can feel comfortable voting for an option that favours individual rights and freedoms and unity.”

Read more: Quebec’s religious symbols ban could hurt social cohesion, expert tells court

Balarama Holness, who heads Bloc Montréal, another party to formerly challenge the Liberals, believes having at least two parties presenting themselves as alternatives to the Quebec Liberals means one thing.

“It says that the Liberal leadership of Dominque Anglade failed to unite anglophones and minorities,” he insisted.

Standish believes having that many parties is not a problem.

“The arguments that I’ve heard about vote-splitting, about the old parties deserving your vote, they are fundamentally undemocratic,” he observed.

The party plans to announce candidates in the coming weeks.

Click to play video: 'Former Quebec cabinet minister and radio personality takes a political leap of faith' Former Quebec cabinet minister and radio personality takes a political leap of faith
Former Quebec cabinet minister and radio personality takes a political leap of faith – Jun 7, 2022

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