A Bloc Québécois motion aimed at preserving Quebec’s political clout in the federal legislature was passed on Wednesday in a vote to which all MNAs were invited.
The bloc members could count on the support of almost all Liberals, almost half of the Conservatives and all New Democrats. A total of 261 MEPs voted in favor of the motion and 63 against.
Under the motion, the House of Commons rejects “any federal electoral map redraw scenario that would result in the loss of one or more Québec electoral divisions or reduce Québec’s political weight in the House of Commonsand calls on the government to change the formula for allocating seats in the House of Representatives.
The new constituency proposal put forward by Elections Canada last fall would reduce the number of seats in the House of Commons from 338 to 342 to accommodate changes in Canada’s population.
Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia would see increases in their seats, but Quebec would be the only province to lose a seat in this reallocation. It would be the first time since 1966 that a province lost a seat in the electoral map redraw.
That “coldly conceals Quebec’s national character and condemns it to see its political clout crumble over the decades‘ believes the Bloc Québécois.
“There are two possible solutionsexplained block leader Yves-François Blanchet earlier in the day. Either Quebec will accept that its political weight be reduced in terms of the number of seats in Parliament, or it will accept immigration thresholds that are consistent with its relationship to Canadian immigration and well above its ability for linguistic integration. It’s like Canada saying “Reduce your political influence or Anglicize yourself”.”
Mr Blanchet insisted that “it is not a reproach to the chief returning officer“who makes his”statistical work“.
“It can’t just be statisticshe pleaded. There are two founding peoples, two founding nations. You can’t make the language and one of the nations disappear if you want to claim to have two founding nations.»
In an emailed statement, Conservative Vice Leader and Quebec Lieutenant Luc Berthold said: “proud“for demand”unanimous consentto reject the proposal to reduce the number of seats for Quebec.
“No province should lose seatshe wrote. Conservatives will continue to defend the interests of Quebecers and Canadians.»
The new electoral map is due to be completed in October 2023 and could come into effect as early as April 2024, possibly after the next election.
Michel Saba, The Canadian Press
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