Quebec needs its own emoji 'as soon as possible,' say legislators in unanimous vote

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A non-binding motion passed by the Quebec Legislature calls on the government to ask for an emoji from the Unicode Consortium, the non-profit organization that sets international standards for the exchange of text data.  (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A non-binding motion passed by the Quebec Legislature calls on the government to ask for an emoji from the Unicode Consortium, the non-profit organization that sets international standards for the exchange of text data. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Quebec's Legislature continued Wednesday its quest for more widespread recognition of the province's nationhood, passing a unanimous motion calling for an emoji of the Quebec flag.

The motion was presented by the Parti Québécois. Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon acknowledged the "lighter" nature of his motion, but also complained that other autonomous regions, like Scotland, have their own emojis.

"Quebec has the same right as several other nations around the world, the right to be proud and display this pride on social media," Plamondon said Wednesday morning in Quebec City.

The wording of the non-binding motion invokes the importance of having a "distinct visual identity" on the internet.

It also calls on the government to ask for an emoji "as soon as possible" from the Unicode Consortium, the non-profit organization that sets international standards for the exchange of text data.

The motion received the support of all four parties in the National Assembly, and was passed without debate.

Earlier this month, the Coalition Avenir Québec government tabled legislation that, along with strengthening French-language protections, proposes to unilaterally amend the Constitution to include recognition that Quebecers form a nation.

It is unclear at the moment which of the two nation-affirming initiatives stands a greater chance of success.

Though federal leaders have indicated they are open to Quebec's nationhood amendment, some constitutional scholars have reservations about whether it is legally feasible without consent from Ottawa or the other provinces.

Unicode hasn't responded to a request for comment from CBC News. An outgoing voicemail message informs callers that emoji requests can't be made via telephone.

Members of the organization include the world's major technology firms, including Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

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