English Montreal School Board denies Quebec nationhood, sparks Bloc's outrage
OTTAWA -- A controversial English Montreal School Board document that denies the existence of the Quebec nation sparked outrage from the Bloc Québécois Tuesday.
The Bloc changed its election campaign game plan Tuesday morning specifically to respond to the document.
The school board wants to challenge the Francois Legault CAQ government's Bill 96 (An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Quebec). The EMSB criticizes it for "unilaterally rewriting the constitution to recognize Quebec as a nation where the only language is French."
The board is asking the federal government to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for a ruling on its legality.
Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, therefore, moved his daily press conference to the Supreme Court.
"Quebec is not a 'nation,'" the EMSB statement reads. "It never has been... Calling oneself something does not make it so and Quebec's intelligentsia is deliberately misusing the word "nation," so as to imply a reality that exists only in their self-mirage. The only precise word to use regarding Quebec's reality is 'province.'"
- Read more: Legault calls EMSB 'radical group' for denying Quebec nationhood; board chair pays political price
The Bloc leader saw this as an "insult."
The House of Commons has recognized the Quebec nation in a motion.
"The English Montreal School Board is attacking a motion supported by 281 out of 338 MPs," Blanchet said.
He is asking his opponents, Liberal Justin Trudeau and Conservative Erin O'Toole, to formally commit not to challenge the Legault government's eventual legislation if either of them form the next federal government.
-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 7, 2021.