An introduction to the new Quebec nationalism and the tricks it plays on federal leaders

The opening days of the 2019 election campaign have been marked, above all, by the attempts of federal leaders to navigate the new Quebec nationalism and its most potent expression, a law on secularism. The main proponent of this resurgent nationalism is the provincial government led by Premier François Legault and his centre-right party, the Coalition Avenir Québec.And Legault didn't wait long before giving the federal leaders a taste. The campaign was barely a few hours old when he demanded they renounce support for legal challenges to the secularism law his government passed in June — not just "for the moment," as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said he would, but forever.It was a warning to steer well clear of a matter he considers to be solely within his jurisdiction, even though the law has raised constitutional concerns across the country, not to mention within Quebec itself.Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau during a campaign stop in Trois-Rivieres, Que., on Friday. His party has enjoyed a lead in Quebec polls since the last election. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)"It's up to Quebecers to choose and Quebecers have chosen," Legault said Wednesday of a law that bans religious symbols in parts of the civil service. But the roots of the new Quebec nationalism go well beyond Legault's sweeping election victory last year. It's a political mindset that has displaced sovereignty as the main alternativ ...Read more

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