The Populists Next Door No One's Talking About

The new, trailblazing party governing the French-Canadian province of Quebec deserves more attention than they’ve received this side of the border.

Although being a quite young party as well as an openly nationalist one (a deep oddity for globalist Canada), the Coalition for Quebec’s Future -- or ‘CAQ’ as it’s known by its French acronym -- trounced the Justin Trudeau-affiliated Quebec Liberal Party in elections in late 2018 and currently commands a huge majority in that province’s parliament. Roughly one year on, the party’s showing conservative nationalists everywhere that if it can do it, you can to.

CAQ, which similar to Trump blends socially conservative policies with economically protectionist ones, has taken advantage of Quebec’s unique jurisdictional position in Canada like few parties before it -- among other things, Quebec’s allowed to a large extent to shape its own immigration and multicultural policies.

In its first year as the province’s governing party, it’s unrepentantly asserted French-Canadian cultural hegemony in Quebec and has barreled over critics in the broader Anglo-Canadian media. This has made them wildly popular in la belle province and should make them a big source of inspiration for President Trump and his supporters this election year.

Millionaire entrepreneur and current Quebec premier Francois Legault created the CAQ party in 2011. Formally a cabinet minister with the pro-independence Parti Quebecois (PQ) party, Legault managed to peel away a wing of the party that wished to forgo outright separatism (which has been on the wane in Quebec since its heyday in the 1990s) and seek instead greater autonomy within Canada’s existing federalist structure.

With Quebec being allowed to largely set what and how many foreigners can permanently settle in the province (refugee admissions, for instance, is still within Ottawa’s purview), Legault’s CAQ recently cut the province’s immigration levels by 20 percent, controversially cancelling thousands of immigration applications in the process. In announcing the move, Legault was unapologetically assimilationist, telling the media that not only were there “too many [incoming migrants] who are not qualified” but that he wanted more French-speakers and “more French people” -- something which riled Canada’s globalist media class.

Compared to the rest of Canada, Quebec has a disproportionate amount of so-called “Old Stock Canadians.” This is due to the 400-year-old region having populated itself largely through its high Catholic birthrate rather than through immigration. Such deep roots among Old Stock Quebeckers might be making them more alert to the vast, unsettling changes their society's undergone over the last few decades. This has been seen most vividly perhaps with CAQ’s notorious Bill 21, or the “anti-Hijab law,” as its derisively known by mainstream pundits.

The law, implemented in the new year, prohibits the wearing of religious symbols, like jewelry and headwear, for newly-hired government workers dealing with the public. It’s ambit, says Legault, is to better ensure that Quebec government officials, including police, prosecutors, and teachers, show no religious preference in relation to citizens. Although it applies across all religions and originated with one of the world’s pre-eminent philosophers of multiculturalism, Canadian professor Charles Taylor, critics say that because just over half of Muslim women in Canada wear some form of headwear, the law is both sexist and Islamophobic.

Still, due to its huge support among Quebeckers, even staunchly multiculturalist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government has even decried criticism of illegal immigration as “divisive”, “fearmongering” and “un-Canadian”, has stepped away from mounting a court challenge against it.

Also drawing the media’s ire is CAQ’s just-implemented “Quebec values test” for new immigrants. The multiple-choice test, which really just seems to examine one’s liberal bona fides rather than their knowledge of Quebec culture or history, asks potential migrants about topics like gender equality and individual rights. Critics complain the test is unnecessary, even though top immigration-source countries for Canada, such as Pakistan and India, consistently rate towards the bottom on global indexes for things like female independence and racial tolerance -- Canada generally tops these lists.

Other CAQ initiatives include the dramatic cutting of foreign student university placements (representing a big hit to the province’s subsidized schools) and the halting of immigrants receiving government services in English, including utility bills, DMV service, and even schooling -- only Canada’s “historical anglophones” will continue receiving English-based services in the province. As one law professor described it, CAQ’s motivation was not “spite,” but “demographics,” and if nothing changed, an English-speaking majority would eventually emerge in the province.

Quebec nationalists are keenly aware that politics often means demographics. When the province narrowly lost a separatism referendum in the mid-1990s, Quebec’s then-premier famously attributed the result to “money and the ethnic vote”; the latter a reference to immigrant voters whom the province’s more nationalist elements view as largely failing to appreciate Quebecois identity and historic character.

Having expanded nationalist policies in French Canada -- despite loud and routine attacks from the country’s media establishment -- CAQ obviously has much to share with the Trump administration. Like CAQ’s Legault, President Trump has pushed, like no other national leader in the recent past, for reduced immigration, assimilationist ideals, and respect for traditional American values, like the rule of law. Given the left's almost total institutional monopoly, it's been a hard slog this first term. But what’s transpiring in otherwise hyperprogressive Canada should provide Team Trump with a much-needed confidence-boost as they prepare the left's PR-offensive this campaign season. 

Bradford H. B. previously worked in politics and is currently a small-business owner in the mid-Atlantic region.

The new, trailblazing party governing the French-Canadian province of Quebec deserves more attention than they’ve received this side of the border.

Although being a quite young party as well as an openly nationalist one (a deep oddity for globalist Canada), the Coalition for Quebec’s Future -- or ‘CAQ’ as it’s known by its French acronym -- trounced the Justin Trudeau-affiliated Quebec Liberal Party in elections in late 2018 and currently commands a huge majority in that province’s parliament. Roughly one year on, the party’s showing conservative nationalists everywhere that if it can do it, you can to.

CAQ, which similar to Trump blends socially conservative policies with economically protectionist ones, has taken advantage of Quebec’s unique jurisdictional position in Canada like few parties before it -- among other things, Quebec’s allowed to a large extent to shape its own immigration and multicultural policies.

In its first year as the province’s governing party, it’s unrepentantly asserted French-Canadian cultural hegemony in Quebec and has barreled over critics in the broader Anglo-Canadian media. This has made them wildly popular in la belle province and should make them a big source of inspiration for President Trump and his supporters this election year.

Millionaire entrepreneur and current Quebec premier Francois Legault created the CAQ party in 2011. Formally a cabinet minister with the pro-independence Parti Quebecois (PQ) party, Legault managed to peel away a wing of the party that wished to forgo outright separatism (which has been on the wane in Quebec since its heyday in the 1990s) and seek instead greater autonomy within Canada’s existing federalist structure.

With Quebec being allowed to largely set what and how many foreigners can permanently settle in the province (refugee admissions, for instance, is still within Ottawa’s purview), Legault’s CAQ recently cut the province’s immigration levels by 20 percent, controversially cancelling thousands of immigration applications in the process. In announcing the move, Legault was unapologetically assimilationist, telling the media that not only were there “too many [incoming migrants] who are not qualified” but that he wanted more French-speakers and “more French people” -- something which riled Canada’s globalist media class.

Compared to the rest of Canada, Quebec has a disproportionate amount of so-called “Old Stock Canadians.” This is due to the 400-year-old region having populated itself largely through its high Catholic birthrate rather than through immigration. Such deep roots among Old Stock Quebeckers might be making them more alert to the vast, unsettling changes their society's undergone over the last few decades. This has been seen most vividly perhaps with CAQ’s notorious Bill 21, or the “anti-Hijab law,” as its derisively known by mainstream pundits.

The law, implemented in the new year, prohibits the wearing of religious symbols, like jewelry and headwear, for newly-hired government workers dealing with the public. It’s ambit, says Legault, is to better ensure that Quebec government officials, including police, prosecutors, and teachers, show no religious preference in relation to citizens. Although it applies across all religions and originated with one of the world’s pre-eminent philosophers of multiculturalism, Canadian professor Charles Taylor, critics say that because just over half of Muslim women in Canada wear some form of headwear, the law is both sexist and Islamophobic.

Still, due to its huge support among Quebeckers, even staunchly multiculturalist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government has even decried criticism of illegal immigration as “divisive”, “fearmongering” and “un-Canadian”, has stepped away from mounting a court challenge against it.

Also drawing the media’s ire is CAQ’s just-implemented “Quebec values test” for new immigrants. The multiple-choice test, which really just seems to examine one’s liberal bona fides rather than their knowledge of Quebec culture or history, asks potential migrants about topics like gender equality and individual rights. Critics complain the test is unnecessary, even though top immigration-source countries for Canada, such as Pakistan and India, consistently rate towards the bottom on global indexes for things like female independence and racial tolerance -- Canada generally tops these lists.

Other CAQ initiatives include the dramatic cutting of foreign student university placements (representing a big hit to the province’s subsidized schools) and the halting of immigrants receiving government services in English, including utility bills, DMV service, and even schooling -- only Canada’s “historical anglophones” will continue receiving English-based services in the province. As one law professor described it, CAQ’s motivation was not “spite,” but “demographics,” and if nothing changed, an English-speaking majority would eventually emerge in the province.

Quebec nationalists are keenly aware that politics often means demographics. When the province narrowly lost a separatism referendum in the mid-1990s, Quebec’s then-premier famously attributed the result to “money and the ethnic vote”; the latter a reference to immigrant voters whom the province’s more nationalist elements view as largely failing to appreciate Quebecois identity and historic character.

Having expanded nationalist policies in French Canada -- despite loud and routine attacks from the country’s media establishment -- CAQ obviously has much to share with the Trump administration. Like CAQ’s Legault, President Trump has pushed, like no other national leader in the recent past, for reduced immigration, assimilationist ideals, and respect for traditional American values, like the rule of law. Given the left's almost total institutional monopoly, it's been a hard slog this first term. But what’s transpiring in otherwise hyperprogressive Canada should provide Team Trump with a much-needed confidence-boost as they prepare the left's PR-offensive this campaign season. 

Bradford H. B. previously worked in politics and is currently a small-business owner in the mid-Atlantic region.