19:27 GMT24 June 2021
Listen Live
    World
    Get short URL
    429
    Subscribe

    TORONTO (Sputnik) - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the French-speaking province of Quebec can modify parts of the Canadian constitution unilaterally, sparking debate and outrage online.

    The province’s nationalist Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) government is seeking to pass Bill 96, which would amend the Canadian constitution - defining Quebec as a nation with French as its official language - and accordingly strengthen French-language requirements for businesses, governments and schools.

    "Our initial analysis, in terms of the Justice Department, has highlighted that it is perfectly legitimate for a province to modify the section of the constitution that applies specifically to them," Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday.

    The Prime Minister highlighted that the constitution includes safeguards that will protect Quebec’s anglophone speakers but emphasized the importance of protecting the French language.

    Trudeau’s assertion sparked heated debated online among Canada’s constitutional experts, with one professor saying that the Prime Minister’s words amount to an "abdication" of his duty to uphold the country’s constitution.

    Canada and Quebec have endured a volatile relationship since the country’s confederation in 1867. The predominantly Francophone province, which places the utmost importance on preserving its French culture and heritage, has undertaken several efforts in the past to secede from the federation, including holding independence referendums in 1980 and 1995.

    Since assuming control over the province in 2018, the CAQ, led by Premier Francois Legault, has undertaken several controversial initiatives, including a ban on religious symbols at work.

    Related:

    Trudeau Fans Nicknamed ‘Tru-Anon’ for Defending PM’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
    Trudeau Slams Anti-Lockdown Protests for 'Prolonging' Health Measures, Pandemic
    Canadian Rights Activist Slams Trudeau’s Quarantine Hotels Policy, Challenges Govt’ Regulations
    Tags:
    Justin Trudeau, Quebec, Canada, constitution
    Community standardsDiscussion