- February 24, 2017 In the spirit of celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary, youth from across Quebec will gather in the National Capital Region from March 10 to 12 to participate in the third and final annual Young Quebecers Leading the Way provincial forum. Participants will attend a series of workshops on six themes including Canadian Identity, Indigenous Peoples, the Economy, Politics and Democracy, Canada in the World, and Social Issues and the Environment headed by workshops leaders such as Romeo Saganash, Todd Kuiack, Nick Gamache, Heather Scoffield, Anne-Minh-Thu Quach, Mike de Souza and Thomas Mulcair. Participation to the forum costs $25. For more information, visit the forum's website: http://youthleadingway150.org/. Registration is open until Feb. 24.
- February 23, 2017 A website for Vaudreuil-Doiron is attracting attention for being offered in French only. When clicking on the English tab of the website, users find a message from the city claiming French is the only accepted administrative language. The page reads: "Vaudreuil-Dorion is a unilingual French city, a status that was determined by the government of Quebec." To offer services in both official languages, the website says, half the population must speak English as its mother tongue. Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon defended the website, referring to the Charter of the French language Bill C-11. Quebec's French-language office said in a statement it's up every municipality to determine how much English information should be offered on a website, so long as French goes first. Pierre Séguin, a mayoral candidate in Vaudreuil-Dorion's upcoming municipal elections, believes Pilon is misinterpreting the law, and thinks city council is out of step with the new reality of Vaudreuil-Dorion.
- February 24, 2017 NDP MP Charlie Angus has officially registered as a candidate in the race for the NDP leader, making him the second person to officially do so after fellow MP Peter Julian. Angus, however, has still not officially said whether he is running to replace Tom Mulcair as the head of his party. Speculation has been swirling around Angus' prospects as the next leader of the NDP since the party's fall back to third party status after the last election. Angus promised a definitive answer on whether he will run or not by the end of February. The registration with Elections Canada appears to be an indication that an announcement of a leadership bid is forthcoming.
- February 23, 2017 According to officials from various federal Conservative leadership campaigns, 65 of the 78 ridings in Quebec have fewer than 100 members, including 38 ridings that don't even have 30 members. Under the party’s rules, however, these ridings will all be given the exact same weight in the final tally as the ones outside Quebec that have thousands of members. In a race with 14 candidates who have varying degrees of proficiency in French, the top leadership campaigns are all trying to capitalize on the fact small numbers of votes in Quebec will be worth hundreds of votes in areas of strong Conservative support. Overall, Quebec will count for about 23% of the 33,800 points that will be divided among all candidates on May 27, even though the province currently holds about 4 or 5% of the party's membership cards, organizers said.
In promising to take axe to federal
- February 23, 2017 After years of deliberation, the Maison Alcan complex was given official heritage status. The building is being taken over by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté's 18-month-old company Lune Rouge. It will be become the young company's headquarters. The complex is made up of buildings built between 1872 and 1983. Laliberté stressed that he's respectful of culture and architecture and that he doesn't want to destroy history. He added that the building is sentimental for him — his father worked there.
- February 23, 2017 The Quebec Liberals have asked the National Assembly's office of internal management to rule on the use of the institution's resources by independent MNA Martine Ouellet, who is also seeking the leadership of the Bloc Québécois. Government whip Stéphane Billette expressed concerns over a press conference held by Ouellet on National Assembly grounds during which she discussed the role of the federal government in maintaining head offices in Quebec. As far as Billette is concerned, Ouellet's comments during the press conference had nothing to do with her riding. Earlier, Ouellet told journalists that confusion over her role was impossible, even if the statement issued after the press conference bore the logos of the National Assembly and the House of Commons.
- February 24, 2017 In this public opinion letter in Le Devoir, a Université de Montréal political science professor encourages the province's Chief Electoral Officer to uphold the responsibility of his position to maintain public confidence in the democratic process. The writer is referring to the decision to abolish the riding of Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques. [Translated from French]
- February 23, 2017 Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace Mayor Russell Copeman confirmed the Monkland street festival has been cancelled for this summer. The Flavours of Monkland and Grand Prix festivals were scaled back last year due to complaints from residents about a lack of parking, litter and security problems. Copeman said hundreds of people complained about how the street festivals quickly expanded from two-and-a-half days to a four-day event, with live music on stage next to apartment buildings until late at night. The new NDG Business Association will consider alternatives to the street festival on Monkland. The association plans to meet and discuss ways to hold some kind of festival that will suit the merchants for 2018.
- February 24, 2017 The Scottish government is increasingly confident it can win a new independence referendum and is considering calling one next year. Scots voted overwhelmingly to stay inside the EU in last June's referendum, but Britain as a whole voted to leave, taking Scotland with it. British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger the two-year Brexit process next month. Scots rejected independence by a 10-point margin in a 2014 referendum, with many voters expressing concern about how Scotland’s economy would fare after leaving the U.K. The British government says there is no need for a second independence referendum.
- February 24, 2017 As Canada begins its 150th anniversary celebrations, D'Arcy-McGee MNA David Birnbaum announced a riding-wide student video competition to commemorate and celebrate our country's milestone birthday. Entitled, "Canada At 150: My story, your story," the contest will call on students who live or study in the riding to produce a maximum two-minute video project involving an interview with a grandparent, neighbor or relative about their thoughts on coming to or living in Canada, and/or the students' own reflections on the occasion of Canada's 150th birthday. The deadline for the video entries is Friday, June 2, 2017 at 4 p.m. Entries should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.