The Canadian Party of Quebec launched its election campaign on Tuesday with the message that it is the party that protects English in Quebec.
The launch comes three days after the official launch of the Quebec election and without a full platform.
“The Canadian Party of Quebec is officially and eagerly getting into the races,” said party leader Colin Standish.
Standish criticized the Quebec Liberal Party for supporting amendments to the CAQ’s language law, Bill 96.
“A vote for the Quebec Liberal Party is a vote for Bill 96 in this election,” he said.
Standish pledged to repeal Bill 96 as well as Bill 21 on secularism.
The Quebec Liberal Party also promised to repeal Bill 96 and said it would not renew the notwithstanding clause attached to Bill 21.
Beyond language, there wasn’t much else on the CPQ’s agenda. Standish said the party would release a full platform towards the end of the campaign.
“We see ourselves as a party of principle. We do not make promises thrown under the bus as soon as we are elected. Our fundamental principles, like the morality that we are taught in our childhood, are the foundation, bilingualism, human rights, freedoms, the Canadian constitution,” he said.
The Canadian Party of Quebec is not the only upstart political movement formed following Bill 96.
On Monday, former Montreal mayoral candidate Balarama Holness kicked off the campaign for his new provincial party. The Bloc Montreal is also committed to abolishing Bill 96 and betting on greater autonomy for Montreal.
But with such a field of candidates vying for Anglophone votes, some political analysts suggest it will be an uphill battle.
“The Bloc Montreal concentrating on the island of Montreal, the Canadian Party has some in Gatineau or outside Montreal.
“There are cases where there is a candidate from the Bloc Montreal and a candidate from the Canadian Party of Quebec competing for votes in the same riding – d’Arcy McGee, Mont-Royal-Outremont, this is not the recipe for success because they will cannibalize each other’s votes,” said Daniel Beland, political analyst at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.
Neither the Parti canadien nor the Bloc Montreal have made substantial gains in the polls since their formation, but with the campaign just beginning, they still have five weeks to present their case to voters.
The election is October 3.