Private members (hehe)

I saw an ad today for public consultation concerning Quebec’s new gun law (you know, the one that doesn’t actually restrict the sale or ownership of guns). I went onto the Quebec government website to check it out, and started looking at the private members’ bills that have been introduced. Each has its story, and each is a political stunt that has no chance of passing.

Bill 190 (Stéphane Bergeron, PQ, Verchères) is the antidote to the Mont Orford problem. You’ll remember last year the government caused a ruckus with Bill 23, which says (PDF) it enlarges the park, but really reduces it by putting allowing some to be sold into private hands. Though the government said in May it was not going to sell the area, the bill still passed, and Bergeron wants it repealed.

Bill 191 (Daniel Turp, PQ, Mercier) is a proposed constitution for Quebec. Turp announced his bill in April, on the 25th anniversary of the 1982 Canadian constitution. It’s a shortened version of this old draft and includes provisions for a head of state (a Quebec president he called it in the earlier draft), Quebec citizenship, fixed dates for elections, the usual freedom guarantees, and a lot of sentences that end with “as provided for by law”. It doesn’t explicitly say that Quebec would be its own country, but this is definitely a step toward that goal. The bill hasn’t gotten much media coverage, except for an article in Le Devoir and a blog post from Jim Duff.

Bill 192 (Jean-François Therrien, ADQ, Terrebonne) is the “damn transit strikes shouldn’t affect me” law in response to the STM maintenance workers’ strike. It would guarantee 80% of regular service in case of a transit strike instead of the apparently vastly inadequate 60% of service we got in the last one. Like other private members’ bills, its language, though brief, is open to interpretation. It says “at all times”, which suggests that there wouldn’t be periods of inactivity, but maybe one in every five buses and metro trains would be pulled off the road.

Bill 193 (François Benjamin, ADQ, Berthier) is part “dub films in Québécois French”, part … I have no idea. Read it yourself. The preamble suggests it would limit English showings to be equal to or less than French showings of the same film, but I can’t find anything in the actual language to confirm this. Either way, it puts pressure on the small guys who want to show their films here. Unless it’s dubbed in French, or it’s an “art-house” film, it wouldn’t have permission to be shown here.

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