Legault cedes the title of “Captain Canada” to Coderre

Prime Minister François Legault ceded the title of “Captain Canada” to Denis Coderre on Thursday, preferring that of “Captain Quebec” within Canada.

On Wednesday, Mr. Coderre, expected candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), had contrasted his federalist service records with those of Mr. Legault to claim the name.

In a press briefing, Mr. Legault declared that his priority is the defense of Quebec’s interests.

“I think we need a “Captain Quebec” inside Canada,” he said. And Quebecers must understand that we can defend our language. »

Mr. Legault accused the PLQ of being subservient to the interests of the Liberal Party of Canada led by Justin Trudeau.

“We can defend our identity within Canada,” he said. But to crash like the Liberal Party, to be at the service of their big brother in Ottawa, but not to ask for measures to protect and promote French, I don’t think so. »

In an interview with DutyMr. Coderre maintained that he would be a better “Captain Canada” than Mr. Legault to resist the return of the proposed referendum on sovereignty proposed by the Parti Québécois (PQ).

The Minister of Economy and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, for his part affirmed that Mr. Coderre does not deserve this title.

“The best, I wouldn’t say,” he said. He’s a good captain, yes. »

According to Mr. Fitzgibbon, there is no doubt that Mr. Legault is the best “Captain Canada”.

“I think that, yes, I support Mr. Legault 100%,” he clarified.

An insult

The Minister of French Language and Canadian Relations, Jean-François Roberge, for his part rejected the label of “Captain Canada” with which the PQ bestowed upon him because of his remarks on the use of the notwithstanding provision for protect the Law on Secularism from recourse to the courts.

“When people start throwing insults, it’s because there are no more arguments,” he said in a press briefing. I won’t answer that. »

PQ MP Pascal Bérubé accused Mr. Roberge on Thursday of viewing the use of the notwithstanding provision as a way of strengthening Canadian federalism.

“I heard Denis Coderre yesterday say that he was going to be “Captain Canada,” he said in a press briefing. Add Jean-François Roberge, there is competition to be had. A strong Canada? Remember that. The CAQ calls for a strong Canada. »

Mr. Bérubé criticized Mr. Roberge for his comments, published Thursday by The Quebec Journalwhere he asserted that using the notwithstanding clause “allows Canada to function and allows strong nations like Quebec to make their differences heard.”

Oil in the gear

In his press briefing, Mr. Roberge then recognized that the use of the notwithstanding provision, provided for in the Canadian Constitution, demonstrates that the Canadian federal system offers Quebec room for maneuver.

“It puts a little oil on the gears because it allows Quebec to define our way of being. We use it for the Charter of the French Language, for the Law on Secularism. These are laws that are fundamental to the Quebec model. »

Mr. Roberge refrained from saying that this element proves that the constitutional regime offers a place for the distinctive elements of Quebec.

“I wouldn’t go that far,” he said. This is a very useful mechanism. »

Mr. Roberge repeated that in the event of a referendum on sovereignty, as the PQ promises in a first mandate if it is brought to power, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) would fall into the No camp. He did not want to say whether the CAQ is a federalist party.

“I won’t get into that,” he said. It is a debate which is theoretical, there is no referendum in the medium term. »

Mr. Coderre affirmed on Wednesday that the PLQ is the only one that can claim this label in Quebec.

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