Canadian Party of Quebec launches with leader Colin Standish

Standish says the party will “provide a new avenue for Quebecers to articulate how they’re feeling about the current malaise in Quebec.”

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The Canadian Party of Quebec (CaPQ) will officially launch Monday with spokesperson Colin Standish at the helm.

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The party, which received official authorization June 15, promotes itself as being dedicated to minority, linguistic and Indigenous rights, as well as religious freedom, bilingualism and national unity.

The hope, Standish told the Montreal Gazette ahead of Monday’s launch, is to provide Quebecers with a new way to express themselves on “the current malaise in Quebec.”

“There really is no thorough opposition to what the (Coalition Avenir Québec government) is doing,” Standish said, speaking about controversial legislation the party says it plans to fight. “Bills 21, 40, 96 – we see all major parties acquiescing to what they’ve done, but not standing up appropriately to what they’ve done.”

Standish, a language rights activist, was born and raised in the Eastern Townships and has a background in law.

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Though the CaPQ has already received criticism from former MNAs who describe it as an anglophone protest party, Standish stands firm on that not being the case.

“We offer a new vision for post-Quiet-Revolution Quebec that’s going to unite all Quebecers,” he said. “Obviously, we’re anchored in minority and language rights and respect for the Constitution, but we feel that those are unifying principles, that defending basic rights and freedoms for all our languages ​​- including the French and English languages, Indigenous languages, and ensuring that newcomers are incorporated in a rational way, not forced to speak French in six months time – are going to be unifying for all Quebecers. ”

Standish also disagrees with comparisons drawn between CaPQ and the Equality Party, which emerged for the 1989 Quebec election amid language tensions at the time.

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“We are not Equality Party 2.0, that is inaccurate – we are something new,” he said.

“This is about a constructive narrative for all of Quebec, and from Baie-Comeau to Baie-d’Urfé, we really want to have a narrative that can unite all Quebecers in a profound way, and we’re dedicated to winning seats in the National Assembly. ”

During Monday’s launch, the party will unveil its logo and outline its hopes for “this uniquely Canadian province,” according to a statement. “To demonstrate why the Canadian Party of Quebec, an unapologetically federalist and rights-centered party, is the political option for Quebecers seeking an inclusive, bilingual, principled, and prosperous Quebec.”

Standish said the party’s platform is still under development and that candidates will not be revealed Monday.

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