There are many in Canada who like to believe that the issue of Quebec sovereignty is dead.
They'll argue that the separatist Parti Quebecois only won a minority government in the September election; some even suggest that it's 'the media' who are fanning the flames of this 'non-issue.'
Well — if the last 24 hours are any indication — Quebec sovereignty is still front and centre.
The winter session of Parliament began on Monday morning, with debate on a Bloc Quebecois private member's bill which, if passed, would repeal the Clarity Act — the Chretien-era bill which mandates a clear question and clear majority in any referendum in Quebec separation.
Later in the day on Monday, as explained by the Canadian Press, the NDP countered with their own Quebec secession bill dubbed the "Unity Act."
"...the NDP’s unity bill specifies Parliament must be satisfied the referendum question was clear and there were no “determinative irregularities” in the vote, including in the balloting, counting of votes, transmission of results and spending limits.
Provided those conditions were met, the bill says a vote of 50% plus one would [be] enough to trigger negotiations [about separation]. Mr. Mulcair argued that 50-plus-one is a widely accepted threshold for victory, used in both the 1980 and 1995 referendums on Quebec independence and adopted by the United Kingdom for the upcoming vote on Scottish independence."
As you might imagine, those bills which will probably never see the light-of-day, have reignited the debate about whether 50 per cent plus one should be the appropriate threshold for Quebec to separate from Canada.
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Meanwhile, according to another CP article, Quebec premier Pauline Marois was in London, on Monday, telling a crowd of business leaders that Quebec would stymie a potential Canada-EU free-trade deal if the deal negatively affects her province.
"The Parti Quebecois leader told a news conference the province could enact laws or regulations to make it difficult to implement a Canada-EU treaty if it believes there has been an encroachment on provincial jurisdiction.
"At one point, when it comes to certain principles with which we are unable to live or agreements that have an impact on our market that is unacceptable, well, I don't think we should give up," Marois said.
Such deals are just another reason why Quebec needs to be sovereign, the premier added."
Quebec separation not an issue anymore?
You could have fooled me.
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