A key element in our multi-national federation is a commitment to flexibility and the accommodation of differences between provincial governments and between peoples. Asymmetry is an important means of fostering collective political identity and meaningful governmental consent when Canadians have multiple political allegiances. That is, it allows people to be comfortable as both Quebecers and Canadians.
Although Canada is a single country with a common public dialogue and a common set of values and political commitments, the existence of a common country does not require a uniform set of values, cultures, and laws. Canadians come from a great variety of backgrounds and cultures, and have varied political concerns. The Green Party of Canada therefore recognizes that Quebecers and First Nations people form a number of ‘nations’ within a united Canada. We also believe that different institutional arrangements and styles of governance can ensure fairness and equity for all Canadians.
It is important that Quebecers, just like Canadians in other provinces, have a say over the same kinds of political decisions, but that they are sometimes able to exercise their say in a provincial rather than a federal forum. Federal arrangements that reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity within Canada are able to enhance our diversity and our unity.
The Green Party of Canada is a grassroots party with a global perspective. We are all planetary citizens, but determine our rights and responsibilities based on our local empowerment. As such, the Green Party of Canada respects the rights of Quebecers to determine their own future.
Quebec and the rest of Canada must work together as partners, in the true spirit of Confederation, and work to solve their fiscal and cultural imbalances. Federal powers to regulate high environmental, health, and labour standards must be strengthened while at the same time moving funding and implementation to provincial levels.
Green Party MPs will:
Ensure Quebec’s unique place within Canada is recognized and affirmed in all agreements between various levels of government;
Respect Quebec’s right to opt out of social programs and be fully compensated by the federal government if it provides a reasonably similar program;
Promote a form of federal-provincial tax-shifting that would gradually reduce the fiscal imbalance;
Support Quebec’s official representation at UNESCO and ensure that if Quebec and the federal representative do not agree upon a matter then Canada would abstain;
Rebalance the funding formula to ensure fairness across regions and provinces;
Recognize the legitimate right of the people of Quebec to freely and democratically determine its full and undiminished sovereignty through a clear majority vote in Quebec on a clear question in favour of secession, provided it is politically and legally recognized by the international community.