The advent of a PQ government in Quebec is both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada. This is a time for renewed national leadership that reaches out to Canadians to offers an overarching vision for Canada in the 21st century -- one where a strong federal government works with the provinces. I look forward to working with Quebecers and all Canadians to build a 21st century Canada -- one Canada, for all Canadians.
With Jean Charest's resignation as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, any arrangement between the Liberals and François Legault's CAQ to form a government now appears highly unlikely. That means that the PQ is set to govern Quebec at least for the next several months. Paradoxically, the PQ's minority win gives Stephen Harper a small window to advance a new vision for Canadian federalism and therefore unite a polarized Confederation along the lines of a common direction.
As a man lay dead and Canadians sat glued to their social media feeds patiently awaiting updates on the appalling violence that struck Tuesday night's Parti Quebecois victory rally, the trickle of breaking news from the nation's top commentators was frequently interrupted by cryptically off-topic offerings from otherwise credible sources. If nothing else, it was a reminder of the perils of setting up one of those time-delayed auto-tweeters.
This is no longer the Quebec of the Quiet Revolution. This province is willing to be loud about what it does and does not want. The problem is; it still needs to figure out what it is and what it isn't. And then shots were fired. And we all collectively gasped and came to our senses. Today, we hopefully all take a step back. There's an existential crisis brewing. A province realizing it's not necessarily the open, welcoming, progressive place it thought it was; a people grappling with questions of identity, inclusiveness. This is a society in real flux. A society that is, in some ways, holding on to the last vestiges of a past that defined what it became, but can no longer allow it to become what it must. Quebec is experiencing major growing pains.
During Pauline Marois' victory speech in Quebec last night, gun shots were fired -- an alleged "assassination" attempt on the outspoken leader, as a 62-year-old armed with a handgun and an assault rifle "lost his shit" outside the venue. Marois was unharmed but sadly someone actually died in this vapid protest. We each are responsible for embracing the idea that there is a place for everyone in society, and that to fight for fierce nationalism or singularly-minded patriotism is a dangerous and unnecessary battle to wage.
Over the course of the Quebec election, every time Jean Charest thought he was changing the conversation to Medicare or Le Plan Nord, the CAQ's Jacques Duchesneau would make another accusation and grab the headlines. But last week many thought the ex-police chief went too far. Duchesneau said he had a list of Charest's cabinet ministers who had accepted favours from a construction baron named Tony Accurso. Charest demanded the ex -cop supply names. The ex-cop played coy and refused. How could Charest possibly defend himself and his party against that kind of slander?
Jean-François Lisée, star candidate of the Parti Québécois divulged the PQ's vision of "maintaining a majority of native French-speaking citizens on Island of Montreal." That means a PQ government would favour an immigrant from Bordeaux, France, who speaks French at home, over a French-speaking Shanghai immigrant wishing to settle in La Belle Province.