Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press like the provinces do, do the Conservatives agree with that? Well yes, “replied Pierre Paul-Hus on Tuesday.
The Conservatives have no objection to the provinces preemptively using the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Constitution, their political lieutenant for Quebec, Pierre Paul-Hus, said on Tuesday.
“Is the use of a notwithstanding clause preemptively like the provinces do, do the Conservatives agree with that? Well yes,” he said during a press scrum in the foyer of the House of Commons.
Mr. Paul-Hus was then called upon to explain why his party sided with the Bloc Québécois the day before in a vote asking to remind the Trudeau government that it is up to the provinces to decide on the use of the provision. notwithstanding clause or notwithstanding clause.
Whether the notwithstanding clause is used “upstream or downstream, it exists, I mean: it is part of the Constitution,” he said. -it added.
The Bloc motion was however defeated since, unsurprisingly, the Liberals and New Democrats oppose the increasingly widespread preventive use, in recent years, of this provision which allows the provinces to violate fundamental rights. /p>
Conservatives and “Bill 21”
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said last year during his party's leadership race that he would not reverse the position of Justice Minister David Lametti, who announced that Ottawa would intervene in the Supreme Court. to challenge the State Secularism Act (“Bill 21”).
According to Minister Lametti, the provision should allow provincial legislatures to have “the last word”, adding in the same breath that “when it's used preemptively, it's the first word and cuts the debate short”.
Quebec has invoked the notwithstanding provision in the law that modernizes the Charter of the French language and in “Bill 21”, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford had threatened to do the same to force an expedited exit from the conflict of job that pitted him against 55,000 education workers.
In fact, Paul-Hus said Tuesday, the Tories would “not necessarily” challenge the Secularism Act. state before the Supreme Court if they take power, since they do not know what exactly the Trudeau government will do.
Pierre Paul-Hus refused to expand further on his party's reasoning and turned on his heels in front of the journalists, recalling that he had come to meet them to discuss the cost of living.
Pierre Poilievre, who is a staunch opponent of “Bill 21”, was repeatedly the target of his opponents during the leadership race. “Are you bilingual or are you not?” asked him, in particular, former Premier Jean Charest, criticizing him for not clearly stating his position on the subject in both official languages.