Legault fires back at Ottawa after comments on Bill 96 and Bill 21 | CBC News


Canada’s justice minister criticized Quebec’s newly adopted language regulation on Wednesday, whereas additionally offering particulars on how and when the federal authorities may get entangled within the authorized problem of the province’s controversial non secular symbols regulation.

His statements seem to have angered Quebec’s premier.

“It is senseless,” mentioned François Legault, who added that almost all of Quebecers are in favour of each legal guidelines.

David Lametti weighed in on Quebec’s new language regulation, Invoice 96, which was adopted into regulation on Tuesday, and he mentioned he wouldn’t rule out Ottawa taking half in a authorized problem in opposition to it.

“We are going to maintain all choices on the desk,” he mentioned. “We cannot get rid of the opportunity of becoming a member of courtroom challenges the place we really feel it’s crucial to guard the constitutional rights of Canadians.”

The sweeping new language regulation is giant in scope.

It limits using English within the courts and public providers and imposes more durable language necessities on small companies and municipalities. It additionally caps the variety of college students who can attend English-language CEGEPs, that are junior schools, and will increase the quantity of French programs college students at that stage should take.

Lametti mentioned he was involved in regards to the regulation’s potential results on immigrants, entry to justice and well being care in each French and English in addition to Indigenous rights.

He additionally criticized Quebec’s pre-emptive use of the however clause which basically protects Invoice 96 from authorized challenges based mostly on the Canadian Constitution of Rights and Freedoms. Quebec additionally used the however clause for its controversial religious symbols law — often known as Invoice 21.

“I recall these debates when the Structure got here into power and the however clause was meant to be the final phrase,” Lametti mentioned when assembly reporters on Wednesday morning.

“It wasn’t meant to be the primary phrase.”

WATCH | Federal justice minister says Canada would possibly take into account authorized problem of Invoice 96:

Lametti: ‘Am I any much less a Quebecer as a result of I oppose Invoice 96? No’

Justice Minister and Legal professional Normal of Canada David Lametti says the federal authorities may probably be part of courtroom challenges in opposition to Quebec’s Invoice 96.

Lametti, who can also be the federal MP for the Montreal driving of LaSalle–Émard–Verdun fielded a collection of questions from reporters in regards to the federal authorities’s doable involvement in a authorized problem in opposition to each Invoice 96 and Invoice 21. 

In what seems to be Ottawa’s most definitive assertion but about getting concerned within the courtroom battle in opposition to the non secular symbols regulation, Lametti mentioned the federal authorities could be able to current its opinions to the Supreme Courtroom of Canada. 

“We have at all times mentioned because the starting that now we have some issues with this invoice, and that we had been going to depart some area for Quebecers to specific themselves earlier than the courts,” Lametti mentioned.

“As soon as the [Quebec] Courtroom of Enchantment renders a choice, we’ll go to the Supreme Courtroom to provide our opinions on this as a result of [at that point], it might be, by definition, a nationwide problem.”

Up to now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has mentioned he most well-liked to remain out of the courtroom problem in opposition to Invoice 21, whereas remaining open to stepping in in some unspecified time in the future within the course of. However throughout a public look in Saskatchewan on Wednesday afternoon, Trudeau echoed Lametti’s feedback.

“If Invoice 21, because it appears virtually inevitable, finally ends up earlier than the Supreme Courtroom, the federal government of Canada might be a part of that dialogue,” Trudeau mentioned.

“We might be there to defend the elemental rights of all Canadians [whose rights] have been suspended by this regulation. It is a matter that issues to all Canadians.”

Up to now, solely Quebec’s Superior Courtroom has issued a ruling on Invoice 21. 

David Lametti, Canada’s justice minister, mentioned the federal authorities will control how Quebec’s latest language regulation is applied. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

‘Flagrant lack of respect’ in the direction of Quebecers, Legault says

Quebec Premier François Legault blasted Lametti for committing to go to the Supreme Courtroom earlier than the Quebec Courtroom of Enchantment had even issued its personal ruling. He additionally had harsh phrases for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“It is a flagrant lack of respect from Justin Trudeau towards Quebecers,” Legault mentioned.

Legault additionally described a possible authorized problem in opposition to the brand new language regulation as extra proof of a scarcity of respect for Quebec.

The passing of Invoice 96 on Tuesday got here after weeks of protests over issues it might infringe on the rights of anglophones, allophones and Indigenous communities.

The Legault authorities has insisted the brand new regulation would do no such factor, however many authorized specialists disagree.

The federal justice minister expressed issues concerning a clause within the language regulation that provides sweeping powers to Quebec’s language workplace to research companies suspected of not working within the province’s official language.

“I am a Quebecer. As a citizen of Quebec, I am involved about entry to well being care. I am involved the flexibility to conduct search and seizure and whether or not that violates constitution rights,” Lametti mentioned.

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