It is ironic that in trying to protect the French language and culture in Quebec by reducing the rights of English speakers and minorities, the economy and health care will be damaged so much that the end result will be the opposite of what Premier Legault and his followers want. Like the lemmings whose population drops to near extinction every four years, we are heading to another election where it is widely expected that the CAQ will win a huge majority and continue their destructive policies.

You don’t need a crystal ball to see what will happen. Already surveys show that Jews, Muslims and Sikhs feel very uncomfortable with the policies that infringe upon their religious freedoms. Some have already left the province and it is not just those directly impacted by Bill 21. Who would want to stay in a province where their children may have to choose between their religious beliefs and a job? Who wants to stay where they are not welcome? And with a further emboldened CAQ, what new laws will be passed against the English and minorities. Already Bill 40 eliminates English school boards. Will funding for English CEGEPS be further reduced and enrollment of anyone other than “Historic Anglophones” be allowed? With Bill 21 religious symbols are banned for anyone in authority positions. Will this be extended to doctors and nurses? Perhaps in the name of secularism such symbols will be banned from the public space entirely and, of course, the “Notwithstanding clause” will be invoked. Won’t be so bad, you will still be able to wear your kippah, turban or hijab in private, in your home, provided all the blinds are drawn!

Not only will the English and minorities leave but they will not be replaced by immigrants. Why would they come to a place where their fundamental freedoms will be so restricted and where the population does not want them. Legault cut immigration when he was elected four years ago and could cut it further, if anyone still actually wants to come here.  

So, what’s the problem? The proportion of those speaking French will increase and their delicate sensibilities will not be offended by the sight of religious minorities. However, they will soon discover that the economy will be collapsing because we desperately need workers in virtually every field to replace our aging workers who are retiring and not being replaced by internal population growth. Even worse will be the reduction of medical professionals to care for our already badly under served citizens.

Will things really get this bad? I don’t know but at some point, people will wake up and realize how bad the situation is and policies will be reversed and we will do everything to attract and keep the English and minorities. The pendulum swings both ways and it always goes too far before it comes back. By the time the pendulum goes all the way to the extreme, how many of us will still be living in Quebec?


What can we do to reduce the chances of this terrible scenario?

In most Quebec ridings the lemmings (voters) will march along to the tune of Papa Legault. A large majority is almost a certainty. However, in heavily English/ethnic ridings we have a chance to elect a party that will speak up loudly against the CAQ’s destructive policies (Bills 96, 21 and 40) and any new proposals in the next term. That party is the Canadian Party of Quebec (CaPQ). It is the only party that will sound the alarm and maybe convince Quebecers that they are being badly hurt by the current policies on language and Secularism. Certainly, the Liberals have proven over and over again for decades that they take us for granted and will never defend us with anything more than half hearted measures. The PQ and QS are separatist parties. The Quebec Conservative party’s leader, Eric Duhaime, admitted on CJAD that he supports Bill 21 and Secularism. Further, he has NOT ruled out the independence option. And now he says, he won’t just repeal Bill 96 but he will replace it with his language law which could be just as bad or worse! The Bloc Montreal is a recycled vanity vehicle for Balarama Holness and his failed candidates. There is ONLY one good choice, the Canadian Party of Quebec.


What can a small party do?

Actually, quite a lot. Even one MNA can block unanimous consent for rush resolutions like the Bonjour-Hi one. One MNA can also force full and closer scrutiny of any proposed Bill. Further, if we do not split our votes between the three protest parties and all support the CaPQ, they could easily get 7 or more seats. Every seat won by the Liberals last time is in play. The voices of the CaPQ members will be heard and perhaps they will stop the pendulum from swinging too far and advert the worse case scenarios. We need their voices so Quebecers will hear the other side and eventually wake up from sleepwalking over a cliff like the lemmings. It is our only hope. No other party better reflects our views. Don’t stay home in resignation. Vote for the Canadian Party of Quebec so we will have a voice in Quebec City.


One last note

 The CaPQ was formed only a few months ago. They don’t have the money for large signs polluting our streets. They haven’t had years to build an organization of volunteers or a large war chest. They are made up of honest, principled people who want to represent you. Don’t be swayed by polls, signs or endorsements by professional politicians. At the end of the day, no one can stop you from voting in your own self interest. Just do it and encourage all your neighbors and friends to do the same.


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Picture of Dr. Bill Steinberg

Dr. Bill Steinberg

Dr. Steinberg has a BSc from McGill University, a PhD in Psychology from Northwestern University, and was a professor at Concordia University. He was Mayor of the Town of Hampstead for 16 years and led the demerger battle. He was was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and is currently President of the Cochlear Implant Recipients Association.

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