House of Commons: MPs voted against breaking with the monarchy

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House of Commons: MPs voted against breaking with the monarchy

Yves-François Blanchet in front of Alain Therrien and Christine Normandin

The Bloc Québécois motion which proposed to federal MPs to cut the cord between Canada and the British monarchy was unsurprisingly defeated on Wednesday in the House of Commons, with the Conservatives and most of the Liberals voting against.

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The motion was defeated by 266 votes and received only 44 votes in favour.

Only one Liberal voted in favour, or Joël Lightbound, while some of his colleagues abstained, such as Soraya Martinez. The New Democrats were a little more numerous to appear in favor of this motion, for example Alexandre Boulerice and Niki Ashton. Their leader, Jagmeet Singh, abstained from voting.

Furthermore, former Conservative Alain Rayes, who sits as an Independent, voted in favor of this motion.

Upon leaving the House of Commons, Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet argued that if elected federal officials had truly felt free when voting, the motion would have largely passed.

“It is for political reasons other than the durability of the monarchy, in particular the fear of reopening the Constitution, [that several deputies voted against this motion].

— Yves-François Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois

According to him, it is far from impossible to reach a constitutional agreement for break ties with the monarchy.

In my opinion, modernity and true sincerity should have prevailed, decided Mr. Blanchet.

The Bloc had tabled this motion Tuesday on the occasion of their first opposition day of the parliamentary session. Even if they admitted to expecting to lose that vote, they felt it would demonstrate to Quebecers, three-quarters of whom favor severing ties with the British monarchy, who truly represents them.

Mr. Blanchet had long defended the importance of his proposal, including recalling that the millions of voters who vote in each federal election never choose a king, they always choose a deputy. He also mentioned that federal elected officials have an obligation to take an oath of allegiance to the King of England because we are still a conquered people.

Both Liberals and Conservatives have essentially avoided debating the substance of the issue, saying there are other priority issues, including the rising cost of living.

< p class="e-p">My God! That's not what worries Quebecers or Canadians these days, Prime Minister and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said during question period.

The Deputy House Leader of the Conservative Party, meanwhile, said that the public has little interest in the person whose face is on the twenty dollar bill. According to him, Canadians care more about having enough twenty [dollar] bills in their pockets to pay for their groceries at the end of the month.

To the New Democratic Party , MPs were free to vote as they saw fit. Manitoba MP Niki Ashton cut it short when she said Canada needs to step forward on the decolonization journey. Other deputies of this formation, for their part, echoed the arguments of the two main political parties.

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