I am utterly unimpressed that the PQ has brought forward an idea that they thought would get rid of First Nations in Quebec from the political scene. I suspect the PQ has their long term hatred of aboriginal people because they were here long before there were any Quebecois and that all the Quebecois at the end of the day are immigrants to the land.
The PQ has proposed making it a requirement that people be able to speak French to run for political office in Quebec. It is not only being able to run for office, you would not be allowed to donate money to a political party or petition the National Assembly.
Let us say that this crazy restriction on who can run was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada, would a PQ government use the not withstanding clause to keep it in place? Or would they pass the law with the not withstanding clause enacted as part of that law?
It all seems to be tied to a concept of Quebec citizenship, which I do not understand how you would make work. A Quebec constitution is fine and makes perfect sense, but the idea of citizenship does not because it runs counter to some pretty basic rights people in Canada have. What would the impact be to a citizen of Canada resident in Quebec but not a Quebec citizen?
This all strikes me as a hardening of the line by the PQ in a move towards a Quebecois nation, not an independent Quebec. It seems clear that the PQ has once again embraced the idea that only the Quebecois matter and the goal is a nation for them and no one else.
I can understand the concern that the French language may be under threat due to the monolithic English nature of North America but in no way do I see anything that is threatening the Quebecois culture. By almost very measure the Quebecois culture is the strongest and most secure of all the cultures in Canada.
The approach of the PQ is inherently racist and exclusionary and will significantly harm the future well being of Quebec. Why go to Quebec? Why stay in Quebec?
I also think this will bring forward the movement to separate most of Northern Quebec from the province. Nord-du-Quebec represents 750,000 square kilometers and close to 43,000 people, though 12,000 or so of those are in four non-aboriginal communities at the southern end of the area. The Inuit of Nunavik have a natural home in Nunavut, a much better fit than being part of Quebec. The James Bay Cree - hard to say where they would best be though the idea of a new territory. If Quebec can leave Canada, the aboriginal people certainly have a right to determine their future, in fact they really have more of a right to determine their fate than anyone else in Quebec.