‘Quebec Privilege Undermining House of Commons’

Structural and systemic favouritism towards Quebec is an ongoing weakness of our governmental system that has now resulted in the current coalition government ‘guaranteeing’ Quebec’s percentage of the House of Commons, regardless of how small Quebec’s share of the Canadian population becomes. The so-called ‘Conservative’ Party ‘Opposition’ is going along with this travesty of representative democracy…

Representation-by-population in Canada is already a bit of a joke: A vote in Labrador (population 26,655) is worth almost eight times what it’s worth in Edmonton-Wetaskiwin (population 209,431). The largest riding in Ontario, Brampton West, is home to 162,353 people, according to the 2021 census; the smallest, Kenora, is home to 64,261..”

“These are certainly interesting times for constitutional norms…

“…In Quebec, provincial Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette says the Coalition Avenir Québec government will introduce legislation that would make swearing allegiance to the Canadian monarch optional. Constitutional experts insist (as does common sense) that a province can’t just pass a law that overrides the Constitution, which makes the oath mandatory in no uncertain terms. Premier François Legault definitely doesn’t care.

“Still in Quebec: On Wednesday, Christine Fréchette, minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, gave an interesting answer to a perplexing question. The federal government wants to ramp up immigration to 500,000 people a year. Legault refuses to accept more than 50,000; he wants even more powers over immigration to be transferred from Ottawa, a process that began in 1991 for Quebec and no other province.

“If a province currently comprising 22% of the Canadian population only accepts 10% of immigrants to Canada, a reporter noted, it is rapidly going to lose demographic clout in the federation — including in the House of Commons, one might naively assume.

We’re relying on a commitment from the Canadian prime minister to ensure stable representation of Quebec in the House of Commons”,

Fréchette said.

The (federal) opposition parties share this perspective {?!? So much for the so-called ‘Conservative’ opposition!}. For us, it’s reassuring.”

“First and foremost, this is pathetic {!}. Legault wants maximum autonomy on every file imaginable, the better to enshrine and protect the nationalist-elite conception of Quebec’s distinct society from an anglophone-multiculturalist takeover. Slashing immigration now being a central plank in that agenda, never mind its deleterious impacts — business groups are pleading with the government to back off, noting crippling labour shortages — Legault needs help from Papa Justin in Ottawa.

“Remember when Quebec nationalism was proud, confident and (at least officially) open to the world? That sure was nice.

“Worse, and just as pathetic, Fréchette has good reason to believe Ottawa will play ball. The ‘Liberals’ have committed to not letting Quebec lose even a single seat, despite the mathematical fact that it should in the next redistribution.

Ensuring that Quebec’s number of seats in the House of Commons remains constant

is even part of the ‘Liberals’ supply-and-confidence agreement with the New ‘Democrats’.

“Well, hey, why not? Representation-by-population in Canada is already a bit of a joke: A vote in Labrador (population 26,655) is worth almost eight times what it’s worth in Edmonton-Wetaskiwin (population 209,431). The largest riding in Ontario, Brampton West, is home to 162,353 people, according to the 2021 census; the smallest, Kenora, is home to 64,261.

“Besides, we all know Quebec is special. With respect to Quebec’s ‘Bill 96’, the draconian package of new restrictions on languages that aren’t French, federal Justice Minister David Lametti described the preemptive use of the notwithstanding clause as an “unintended negative consequence in our political system”.

(‘Bill 21’, Quebec’s law barring certain civil servants from wearing religious symbols on the job — notably teachers — also invoked the notwithstanding clause proactively.)

“On Wednesday, responding to Ontario’s preemptive use of the clause, Lametti went just a teensy bit further:

It guts Canadian democracy”,

he told reporters.

It means the Charter doesn’t exist.”

All these double standards, all this pandering, was all fun and games for ‘Liberals’ and ‘New Democrats’ when Quebec was modelling ‘progressive’ {‘socialist’} behaviour to the rest of the federation: $10 daycare {paid for by Albertans}, leading the charge on medical assistance in dying {‘leading the way in killing citizens’}, deconfessionalizing the public-school system {?}, and so on. It takes on a rather different hue nowadays, surely, when Quebec is counting on special treatment from Ottawa to pursue its xenophobic agenda without its citizens having to suffer the natural economic consequences.

“It’s an existential problem, or it should be, for every federal party. The ‘Conservatives’ and New ‘Democrats’ have pandered harder to Quebec in recent years even than the ‘Liberals’: It took a hijab-wearing schoolteacher to actually lose her job for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to finally say he would support federal intervention against ‘Bill 21’. The ‘Conservatives’ are the only party that’s remotely interested in protecting religious freedom, yet both Erin O’Toole and Andrew Scheer promised never to interfere with ‘Bill 21’.

“While Canadian politicians are busy shattering norms, maybe they could shatter the ones that enabled Quebec along its very sad descent into nativist and linguistic paranoia. It’s certainly not too late to turn things around: One of the underappreciated aspects of the Notwithstanding Clause is that the government invoking it has to renew it, and justifying renewing it, every five years.”

–‘Quebec is counting on special treatment from Ottawa to pursue its xenophobic agenda’,

Chris Selley, National Post, November 3, 2022


See also:

The inherently discriminatory nature of the Court:

The ‘Supreme Court Act’ stipulates that at least three of the judges must be appointed from Québec. The rationale for the Québec contingent is based largely on that province’s distinct Civil Code {!}. Judges from other provinces tend to have no experience with it and are thus in a poor position to hear appeals of civil decisions from Québec. Traditionally, one of the Québec judges is from the Montréal legal bar and another is from the Québec City bar {How nice for them}.

Three of the nine judges are invariably drawn from Ontario, one ‎from the Atlantic region and two from the Western provinces. These geographic considerations have been adhered to for so long that they are deemed almost unbreakable {?}

The Supreme Court was created in 1875 under the ‘Supreme Court Act’, a federal statute. However, the ‘Constitution Act, 1982’ essentially constitutionalized the court {without public participation} by providing that any changes to it could only be made through formal constitutional amendment. As of 1982, changes to the composition of the court require the consent of the Senate and House of Commons and the legislative assembly of each province {! Almost an impossibility}. Other changes to the court require the consent of the Senate and House of Commons and the legislative assemblies of two-thirds of the provinces (seven provinces) with at least 50% of the population of Canada.”

–‘Supreme Court of Canada’,

Historica Canada



The Senate chamber Jan. 13, 2011. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

The inherently unbalanced nature of the Senate:

No modification to the Canadian Senate may be carried out without the consent of the Government of Québec and the National Assembly“.

“…In their respective opinions regarding the Senate (2013 and 2014), both the Québec Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada recalled that there is no doubt that the Senate was a fundamental component of the federal compromise in 1867 and the product of a consensus between the federal government and the provinces.1 Thus, in exchange for representation by population in the House of Commons, Québec and the Maritime Provinces obtained equal representation of the regions in the Senate. This secured them a minimum representation in federal institutions.2 In addition, it enabled the Senate to serve as a counterweight to the other chamber.

“According to section 22 of The Constitution Act of 1867, Senate seats are distributed across four regional divisions, each represented by 24 Senators:

Québec [24], Ontario [24], the Maritime Provinces (Nova Scotia [10], New Brunswick [10], and Prince Edward Island [4]) and the Western provinces (Manitoba [6], British Columbia [6], Saskatchewan [6] and Alberta [6]).

“Later, when Newfoundland and Labrador joined Confederation in 1949, they were entitled to six Senators, while the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut were entitled to representation by one member each, for a total of 105 Senators.

“The Constitution provides that a Senator must be a resident of the province for which he or she is appointed. In the case of Québec, an additional condition applies: Electoral Divisions were created, such that each Senator must be a resident (or have his or her Real Property Qualification) in the Electoral Division for which he or she is appointed. The aim of this clause, at the time, was to ensure that a certain number of Québec’s 24 senators represented the English-speaking minority, which were grouped territorially in various ridings.

“Québec Senators are selected by the Prime Minister of Canada and officially appointed by the Governor General. The province therefore does not have a say in choosing the Senators who are called to represent it in this chamber {That’s just technically true}.

“Since the 1960s, Québec has been proposing Senate reform in the context of a broader constitutional reform. Québec has held that any reform of the federal institutions must include increased participation of the provinces in the Senator appointment process and ensure proper representation of the provinces within the Senate.3

Québec considers that Senate reform can be realized only through multilateral negotiations. To this end, in November 2007, the National Assembly unanimously passed a motion reaffirming that

no modification to the Canadian Senate may be carried out without the consent of the Government of Québec and the National Assembly“.

”For more information on this case, please consult the following documents:

‘Le contenu suivant peut comporter des obstacles à l’accessibilité’ Resolution of the National Assembly, November 7, 2007 (In french, PDF).

1. Projet de loi fédéral relatif au Sénat (Re), 2013 QCCA 1807 (CanLII); Reference Re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32.

2. Re: Authority of Parliament in relation to the Upper House, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 54, page 67; Reference Re Senate Reform, 2014 CSC 32, para. 15.

3. Secrétariat aux Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes. Québec’s Positions on Constitutional and Intergovernmental Issues from 1936 to March 2001, Gouvernement du Québec, 2001, paras. 207, 313, 334.”

–‘Québec’s Place Within the Senate’,

Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes



Pro-Quebec Bias on Canada’s Political Court{January 2, 2018}:

“Relying on a discriminatory tradition that favours Quebec, the Prime Minister has appointed another Quebecker as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada…”


Notwithstanding Our Rights(Quebec Secularism Law) {Jan.20, 2020}:

“The ‘Notwithstanding Clause’ of the 1982 Constitution guarantees an unequal application of our so-called ‘Rights’…

The Quebec Court of Appeal has rejected a challenge from Canadian civil rights groups to suspend parts of the province’s secularism law, known as ‘Bill 21’. While the three judges acknowledge the law is causing harm that may be irreparable…the majority agreed the province’s use of the {infamous} ‘Notwithstanding Clause’ means it should not be suspended.



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