National Newswatch

Chinese ambassador warns Canada against adopting motion calling for sanctions

Dec 5 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — China's new ambassador to Canada is threatening "very firm countermeasures" if Parliament adopts a motion calling for sanctions over alleged Chinese human rights abuses against Muslim Uighurs and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. China has long warned against what it considers foreign meddling in its internal affairs, but Ambassador Cong Peiwu upped the tone Thursday in Montreal […]

Quebec chief justice postpones speech to Jewish law society over Bill 21 concerns

Dec 4 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec's chief justice, who is hearing a case seeking a suspension of the province's secularism law, will no longer be speaking to an association of Jewish lawyers in Montreal following allegations of bias. The Lord Reading Law Society announced late Tuesday it and Chief Justice Nicole Duval Hesler mutually decided to postpone her speech scheduled for […]

Federal government says its surplus and forfeited goods make great holiday gifts

Dec 3 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — The federal government is reminding Canadians about some great holiday gift ideas hidden among the items it seizes at the border or doesn't need anymore. Cars, snowmobiles, board games, shoes, electric bikes, and even scrap rubber are available for purchase through an online auction managed by Public Services and Procurement Canada. The department offered a […]

Quebec chief justice criticized for declaring herself ‘feminist’ at Bill 21 hearing

Dec 2 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec's chief justice declared herself a feminist in court last week and then suggested opposition to the province's secularism law resulted from "visual allergies" to seeing women in a hijab. Now Nicole Duval Hesler is facing accusations of bias as well as calls to withdraw from hearing a legal challenge to Bill 21. The Canadian Judicial Council said […]

Whisper campaign questions black Liberal candidate’s appeal outside Montreal

Dec 1 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Within days of entering the Quebec Liberal leadership race, Dominique Anglade was hit with a whisper campaign suggesting the colour of her skin and her connection to Montreal hurt her chances of becoming premier. The comments didn't come from the dregs of social media but from people in her own party speaking to two of the province's most seasoned political reporters. The message was that party […]

Opponents argue Bill 21 affects women more than men and is unconstitutional

Nov 26 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Opponents of Quebec's secularism law introduced a new legal argument in Appeal Court Tuesday, saying that Bill 21 disproportionately affects women and therefore violates the Constitution. Lawyer Olga Redko argued Bill 21 violates the sexual equality guarantees in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — which are not shielded by the notwithstanding clause that the […]

Young and growing Quebec independence party promises immediate ‘acts of rupture’

Nov 24 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — LONGUEUIL, Que. — When Sol Zanetti took the microphone at Quebec solidaire's recent political convention, he put his fist in the air and told the roughly 600 assembled party members that Quebec shouldn't have to submit to the "illegitimate" Canadian constitution. Zanetti, one of 10 elected members of the provincial party, said the foundational document of the Canadian state […]

Montreal police told they must acknowledge racism, profiling within force

Nov 22 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — If Montreal's police cannot acknowledge racism within the force, then unfounded street checks on people of colour will continue, citizens told the city's public security committee in impassioned testimony Friday. One by one, Montreal residents took the microphone and told city officials that police routinely racially profile citizens of colour. "I hope today you don't leave here without […]

Quebec puts English school board under trusteeship, alerts anti-corruption police

Nov 6 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec has placed the province's largest English-speaking school board under trusteeship and sent a report on the organization's alleged financial irregularities to the anti-corruption police. The move announced Wednesday by the education minister is the latest round in a public fight between the Coalition Avenir Quebec government and the English Montreal School Board, which is […]

Quebec renames hydroelectric installations after late premier, Bernard Landry

Nov 4 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — A hydroelectric project in far northern Quebec has been renamed after a former premier described Monday as courageous, visionary and compassionate, and whose personal relationship with Indigenous leaders made the venture possible. Located deep in Cree territory about 1,000 kilometres north of Montreal, the Eastmain-1 dam and the Eastmain-1-A power plant are being renamed in memory of Bernard […]

Bloc Quebecois expects to have leverage in new Parliament, keeps strategy secret

Oct 22 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — The Bloc Quebecois says it plans to leverage its 32 members to pressure the Liberal minority government into making concessions that benefit Quebec, but party leader Yves-Francois Blanchet is keeping his strategy secret for now. Monday's election results saw the sovereigntist party more than triple its seat total from the previous election. The […]

Quebec police watchdog says officers should be required to co-operate with probes

Sep 25 2019 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec's police watchdog says officers under investigation should be required to answers the bureau's questions. In a report made public Wednesday, Madeleine Giauque, head of the watchdog, noted that officers who refuse to co-operate with investigators aren't subject to automatic sanction. She said the government should amend the law to oblige officers to fully co-operate with her office. The Bureau des enquetes independantes, or […]