Blanchet’s Awkward Presence Goes Unchallenged

Blanchet’s Awkward Presence Goes Unchallenged

As published in the Hill Times: 22 September 2021

Every time a federal election occurs, I note federal candidates’ failure to challenge the Bloc’s presence in national campaigns and debates. Of course, I appreciate the electoral reality that Quebec votes are key to any majority government.

However, unlike the Liberal, Conservative, NDP and Green leaders; Bloc leader Yves Blanchet has no apparent interest in Canada beyond its value as a source of transfer payments. Blanchet seems more a premier than a national leader because his loyalty to Canada is secondary to his Quebec nationalist goals. If Confederation is a marriage, Quebec has yet to commit to anything beyond engagement; as though hoping for richer dowry.

The Capitale Nationale du Quebec sign outside Quebec City is unique in Canada; a nation of many “distinct societies”, like First Nations and Celts seeking enhanced autonomy within Canada, as Canadians. By contrast, Quebec is gradually achieving what it calls sovereignty by increments.

Many wise Canadians have offered fair and reasonable plans for easing Quebec out of Canada and into the sovereign state that the nationalists claim to desire. That these plans are routinely ignored suggests a lingering insincerity among fervent Quebec nationalists who prolong their farewell for the sake of those generous and disproportionate federal transfer payments.

Bloc leader Yves Blanchet is an awkward presence in Canadian federal politics while he advocates solely for the welfare of one province.