(Shawinigan) The “trend” towards unilateralism and the formation of a “unitary state” must stop, says Philippe Couillard. “We want to find collaborators and partners in the federal table,” he has said yesterday by listing its demands to the leaders of federal parties in électorale.Il campaign defended target in particular Harper government. But his recriminations list concerns many decisions taken by the Conservatives, who are after all in power since 2006 (C-51, health and equalization transfers, for example).
“This is a trend that goes beyond the current government which was unfortunately witnessed unilateral gestures on transfers, sometimes intrusion into provincial jurisdiction. The same dynamic of a federation is based on collaboration and partnership, “he argued.
Without identifying directly responsible, he added that “there is another dynamic that Canada wants to migrate more towards a unitary state rather than a federation.” “And that, for us, it is no, no and no,” he said.
Philippe Couillard reiterated that the recognition of Quebec as a distinct society in the Constitution “is still awaited.” He wants to “remind” the federal party leaders, but it is not expected that these take formal commitments in this regard.
“I do not intend to request the reopening of constitutional negotiations,” he added. However, he reiterated that if talks are launched, the relevance of the Senate, for example, his government are part if the demands of Quebec are also on the table. “When the time comes, it will write a new chapter in which the outcome will be positive for everyone,” he said.
13 “priority” cases
Philippe Couillard wrote to all federal party leaders asking them “a clear commitment” in respect of 13 “priority” cases.
It does not intend to comment on the answers he could get. This will Quebecers to judge, he has said. Stephen Harper has never responded to Jean Charest shipments in the past.
“I will not be in any way an actor in the federal campaign. So I do not criticize nor complimenterai any party, “warned Mr. Couillard.
Some requests Philippe Couillard
Increase the Canadian health transfer so that it represents 25% of provincial spending in this sector. Establish a calculation based on demographics and not per capita, to reflect the aging of the population is important in some provinces such as Quebec and which exerts upward pressure on costs.
Remove the cap on the equalization program and change the calculation.
An agreement to limit the federal spending power and to give Quebec an unconditional right to opt out with full compensation for any federal initiative that takes place in its fields of competence.
Significantly increase, beyond what is expected at this time, federal funding for infrastructure. Give these new funds through a permanent transfer block, and not as part of several administrative arrangements.
Increase federal involvement in the fight against climate change.
Restore funding for the CBC.
Review the Law on the fight against terrorism (Bill C-51) to ensure a better balance between the security issue and respect for rights and freedoms.