What is the CAQ for?

Revenge is a dish best served cold, they say. This is also true in politics. Rather than responding immediately, it is often better to wait for the opportunity to land a blow that will hurt more.

Last February, when Prime Minister Legault asked Paul St-Pierre Plamondon point-blank: “What is the Bloc for?” », Yves-François Blanchet did not want to make a story out of it, even wanting to be understanding. “I know what it’s like in question period when you get fired up,” he said simply.

Mr. Blanchet is himself subject to these parliamentary outbreaks, but Mr. Legault takes up the point that the federalist parties regularly throw at the Bloc Québécois in the House of Commons, where he works to convey the government’s demands CAQist, even when he considers them very timid, was certainly likely to irritate him.

The opportunity to give him his due came this week, when he was invited to comment on Justin Trudeau’s comments, according to which citizens, whether Canadians or Quebecers, “don’t care” bickering between Ottawa and the provinces, when they have difficulty finding affordable housing or paying for groceries.

The leader of the Bloc agreed with him, adding however that it is “the current unpopularity of the Quebec government” which leaves the field open to federal intrusions. According to him, “when he [François Legault] pranced around with 60% satisfaction, Mr. Trudeau would never have dared to do that.” He refrained from adding salt to the wound by asking: “What is the CAQ for? ”, but it was just like.

Ultimately, Quebec’s skills are not really better protected than when the Liberals were in power. They perhaps protested less, but the result is the same. No government has the luxury of turning its nose up at Ottawa’s billions. The time when Duplessis forbade universities from accepting federal subsidies in the name of “provincial autonomy” is long gone.

• • • • •

The question of which of the two prime ministers currently finds themselves in the most precarious situation could surely be the subject of an interesting debate. Mr. Legault has a little more time, but the precipice into which the CAQ risks falling is even deeper.

Whatever Mr. Blanchet says, it must however be recognized that the “strong mandate” demanded and obtained by Mr. Legault in 2021 never seemed to impress Mr. Trudeau much, even if he had never displayed in any way also ostentatious is his lack of respect for the sharing of powers provided for by the Constitution.

For once he says frankly what he thinks, it would be wrong to reproach him for it. Too often, his empty phrases lead his listeners to wonder if they are a not-so-subtle dodge or if they instead reflect his desolate intellectual vacuity.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau has already compared the provinces to “districts”, simple administrative entities whose function was to implement the directions defined by the only real government, which was in Ottawa. This is also what his son seems to think.

Given his party’s lag behind the Conservatives, it’s understandable that Mr. Trudeau decided he had nothing left to lose, but his fatherly contempt for the hot dog-eating provincial rank and file shone through in the sarcastic manner with which he invited the provinces to interfere in areas of federal jurisdiction, for example by participating in the financing of military spending.

• • • • •

Many wonder if Mr. Legault will still be at the head of his troops in October 2026, but he has a good chance of being there during the next federal election. The way things are going, the shopping list sent to the federal parties could be even longer than the previous ones.

Who will he recommend that Quebecers vote for? Last time, when he suggested that the Conservative Party was the better or less bad choice, his interference was less successful than that of China.

It is true that Pierre Poilievre’s chances seem infinitely better than Erin O’Toole’s in 2021, but the Conservative leader is as vague on the concessions he would be willing to make to Quebec as on everything else.

Objectively, the Bloc remains the CAQ’s best ally in Ottawa, but Mr. Legault has decreed that it is of no use. Mr. Blanchet would surely be willing to forget this unfortunate sentence if the Prime Minister chose to say something good about it, but every Bloc member he could help to elect will find himself alongside the PQ candidate the following year. Ultimately, it would be best to keep quiet.

To watch on video

source site-41