6 Reasons Why Yves-François Blanchet Wants You To Vote Bloc Québécois
He wants to create a special tax for Canada's richest people who "got richer" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This article is a part of a Narcity series breaking down the highlights of what you need to know about where Canada's Political Party Leaders stand on issues important to millennials. Each leader was contacted by Narcity for comment. You can read more of our coverage of Canada's 2021 Federal Election here.
The Bloc Québécois, led by Yves-François Blanchet, says it's the only party in Canada that "defends Quebec's interests."
After securing 32 seats in the 2019 Canadian federal election, Blanchet is looking to retain those spots and gain more.
Ahead of Election Day on September 20, the Bloc has launched a platform that focuses on particular issues like protecting the French language, promoting the province of Quebec and taking action to combat climate change.
Here's a look at some of the party's election promises.
The Bloc Québécois: A Brief Historywww.youtube.com
1. COVID-19 Policy
If elected, Blanchet says the Bloc Québécois would ensure Canada takes a leadership role at the World Health Organization (WHO), ensuring approved and mixed COVID-19 vaccines are recognized.
It also places importance on lifting vaccine patents, so that "all countries of the world can finally be equipped to fight the pandemic."
Part of the Bloc's COVID-19 recovery policy also includes supporting seniors in Canada, who it says were "the most affected by the pandemic." It's promising to increase pensions for everyone over 65 years old and to scrap "archaic and discriminatory" provisions in the Federal Pension Act, among other things.
2. Serving Quebec
An issue extremely important to the party is protecting the French language in Quebec. It says it would "use all its resources" to ensure that the current Official Languages Act is no longer applicable to private companies in Quebec. It also promises to introduce a bill making sufficient knowledge of French a condition to obtain citizenship in the province.
If elected, another of Blanchet's priorities would be to oppose censorship and promote free speech in the public arena, as well as in academia, the media and legislative assemblies.
He also is committed to protecting the "reputation of the Quebec nation" and says the party will not stand for "Quebec bashing."
3. Fight Against Domestic Violence
As part of its election platform, the Bloc Québécois is proposing stronger and more severe sentences for crimes related to femicide, violence against women and domestic violence.
The party says it would demand that the federal government contribute financially to the Quebec Government's efforts to prevent violent crime, in addition to establishing a tribunal that would be dedicated to sex crimes and domestic violence.
4. Climate Change
"The climate emergency has become a climate crisis," reads the election platform for the Bloc.
Blanchet says his party would propose federal funding to counter bank erosion caused by climate change, support the transition to green energies through investments and continue to demand an end to subsidies for fossil fuels.
If elected, the Bloc Québécois would also introduce a zero-emissions law to force car dealerships to keep a suitable inventory of electric vehicles, ensuring they are accessible to Canadians.
5. Tax Justice
Blanchet and his party say everyone in Quebec must pay their "fair share" when it comes to taxes, including large companies and extremely wealthy individuals. The Bloc Québécois says that if elected it will continue its efforts to put an end to tax avoidance and tax havens.
It also notes that Canada's "richest people got richer" during the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore proposes creating a special tax on those who have significant fortunes.
6. Other Priorities
Alongside issues like Quebec identity, free speech, and ending tax avoidance, the Bloc's priorities include things like comprehensive reform of Employment Insurance (EI), clearer firearms regulations and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
When it comes to firearm ownership, the party proposes an increased restriction of the flow of illegal guns and parts into Canada. It wants the feds to clearly define what an assault rifle is, instead of doing so on a case-by-case basis, as well as make the buy-back program mandatory.
The Bloc says it hopes to continue being an ally of Indigenous communities while respecting their right to self-determination.
When it comes to the Indian Act, it says it never wants to "have to highlight 150 years of racism," referring to the upcoming 150th anniversary in a few years' time. Instead, it hopes to abolish the Act and fully integrate The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The party says it supports the right of self-government and proposes the co-management of resources with Indigenous communities. It also says it would put pressure on the federal government to address the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
To learn more about the Bloc Québécois election promises, check out their campaign platform.