The Quebec government has announced today that it will do everything in its power to dilute Harper’s new crime laws and soften its clout.
“It is not a plan to abolish C-10,” Quebec Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier said stating that he would ensure that it respects existing Quebec laws. “C-10 is a law, but we've also got laws in Quebec. We can make them work together.”
Quebec and some other provinces also say that the federal government should foot the bill for the new prisons and maintenance costs of the laws. Quebec estimates that new prisons will cost $750 million and applying the new laws would cost an additional $80 million per year.
“It's not for Quebec to finance the costs of an initiative from a federal government that refused to collaborate with provinces on the content of the legislation,” Fournier said.
“The federal government can't hide its head in the sand and deny that some provinces will at least need to build more prisons, which takes time and money.”
Meanwhile, the Parti Quebecois, the separatist opposition party poised to form the government in the next provincial election as today’s polls stand, is arguing that the provincial government isn’t doing enough to oppose the bill.
“We no longer exist for them. Quebec no longer exists for Ottawa,” PQ critic Bernard Drainville said. “The retrograde agenda of Stephen Harper's Canada has passed another step.”
Hearing these words and these conditions should remind you of the all so painful and all so familiar separatist movement in Quebec that while may have appeared dormant in the last election is regaining steam as the PQ gain and the Bloc Quebecois rebuild.