International relations are rarely dealt with in the National Assembly.
Not being a sovereign state, Quebec does not have much to say on these questions, you will answer me.
Still: some MPs aspire (still) to it becoming a country, on the one hand.
On the other hand, Quebec, as a federated state, is sovereign in certain spheres (health, education).
In seeking to update the Gérin-Lajoie doctrine, Jean Charest, in 2004, had this happy formula which should remain: “What is under Quebec jurisdiction in our country is under Quebec jurisdiction everywhere. »
This is why Quebec has a Ministry of International Relations, representations abroad; participates in its own name in the International Organization of La Francophonie. And has asserted itself as an international player on other issues, such as the fight against climate change and cultural diversity.
- Listen to the Rémi Nadeau and Antoine Robitaille meeting broadcast live every day at 7 p.m. via OLD radio :
War and peace
Obviously, on war and peace, Quebec relies on Ottawa.
But Quebecers, as subjects of the Dominion, have their say. And they’ve done it prominently many times in the XXe century, notably during the Boer War, and during the First and Second World Wars.
Our status as a non-sovereign state, however, has often resulted in self-exclusion from contemporary history. Thinking about our own interests as a nation in the world is not a very sharp reflex for us.
- Listen to the Philippe-Vincent Foisy and Antoine Robitaille meeting broadcast live every day at 12 p.m. via OLD radio :
Also, I welcomed with great interest, yesterday, the tabling of a motion on the conflict in Ukraine by Andrés Fontecilla of Québec solidaire. It was adopted unanimously.
Obviously, like many international motions at the Blue Room, we are in the apple pie.
The National Assembly is “worried” about the intensification of the armed conflict. It “affirms its solidarity with the Ukrainian people” and its diasporas, particularly in Montreal (Quebecers of Ukrainian origin number some 40,000). It supports the rights of these people “to live in a peaceful, prosperous and sovereign country”. And wishes “a peaceful resolution based on negotiation and respect for international law”.
Some comments by our parliamentarians subsequently surprised me. Mainly those of Andrès Fontecilla of QS.
With good reason, Minister Nadine Girault “strongly” condemned the “violations of international law” perpetrated. Liberal spokesperson Paule Robitaille, in an improvised speech in which she emotionally evoked her own memories of reporting in the former Soviet Union, did not hesitate to describe Vladimir Poutine as “downright paranoid”.
Mr. Fontecilla strangely seemed to want to spare Putin’s Russia, falling back on a strictly pacifist position. “Canada must not go to war. Canada and Quebec must be “an actor for peace and not throw oil on the fire”, he declared.
We are currently watching the huge Russian “democracy” invade and occupy a sovereign country. Gesture supported by the giant Chinese dictatorship, which also has expansionist designs on Hong Kong and Taiwan.
I want us to advocate peace. I know very well that none of us dreams of dying for the Donbass. (As we once refused to die for Danzig. Perhaps it should have been?)
But aren’t there times in history where you have to know how to identify the aggressors? And choose sides?
- Also listen to Antoine Robitaille’s podcast broadcast live every day at 7 p.m. via OLD radio :