Quebec Solidaire members vote against Bill 21, turn focus to climate change
Published Saturday, March 30, 2019 4:22PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 31, 2019 11:15PM EDT
After voting overwhelmingly against Bill 21 and restrictions on religious symbols in the public sector, Quebec Solidaire members are now thinking about climate change.
The votes were tallied this weekend at one of the party’s national council meetings.
The result is at odds with Quebec Solidaire’s previous position, which favoured the recommendations of the Bouchard-Taylor Report that called for restricting religious symbols for some public employees in positions of authority.
“We know that there are a lot of different positions on that,” said Quebec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Masse.
“There’s something important that we have to say about the Bouchard-Taylor compromise,” co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau Dubois said. “We gave it a shot. We really tried.”
Party members faced two options: stick with the status quo or vote against any kind of ban at all.
They engaged in debate and ultimately chose the latter.
“It was peaceful and I’m very happy about that because it was my big worry, that we would discuss and fight,” said party member David Touchette. “At the end, I think we’re having a good, open-minded discussion.”
Still, some party members felt conflicted.
“I as a Quebec citizen would not want to be stopped by a police officer wearing a veil,” said Maha Elmarraghi, who is from Egypt.
Next focus: the environment
Quebec Solidaire doesn't think that climate change is getting the attention it deserves from the CAQ government.
In March, the party released its environmental demands for Francois Legault, which include a ban on oil and gas projects and better strategies for reaching greenhouse gas emission targets.
The party has 10 MNAs right now, third-most behind the CAQ and Liberals.