Eric Duhaime denounces Invoice 96, defends Invoice 21, and says ‘no’ to sovereignty in CTV interview

Quebec Conservative Celebration Chief Éric Duhaime is in opposition to Invoice 96, in favour of Invoice 21, and would vote “no” to separating from Canada if a referendum had been known as tomorrow.

These had been the principal takeaways from his latest interview with CTV Montreal Anchor Maya Johnson, who pressed the chief to reply to critiques in opposition to his marketing campaign, and to clarify his positions on Quebec’s most urgent subjects.

You are reading: Eric Duhaime denounces Invoice 96, defends Invoice 21, and says ‘no’ to sovereignty in CTV interview

Watch the video above for the total interview with CTV Information 

The Conservatives have exploded in reputation for the reason that 2022 marketing campaign started. Duhaime has led the get together since final 12 months when he was elected to the submit with 95.99 per cent of the vote.

Additionally within the final 12 months, in keeping with him, his get together has expanded its membership base from 500 to 60,000, and a few polls have put his candidates in second place in sure ridings.

A part of that rise could also be as a result of his get together’s express makes an attempt to attract English audio system to the get together, in addition to his critiques of COVID-19 well being measures.

Discovering himself with newly awarded reputation, Duhaime’s Conservatives are more likely to affect the make-up of the Nationwide Meeting. Right here’s the place the chief stands on a number of of Quebec’s hot-button points.


Duhaime has courted English voters with a transparent stance in opposition to Invoice 96, the latest and in depth overhaul to Quebec’s French- language constitution.

The invoice, which gained royal assent in June, proactively invoked the however clause of the Canadian Structure to defend it from Constitution challenges. Invoice 96 has sweeping implications throughout a mess of sectors, together with schooling, enterprise, and providers for immigrants.

The regulation has drawn criticism from in and outdoors of Quebec as a result of its limitations on the usage of English within the province, whereas its supporters known as it a needed step to guard the usage of French as a typical language.

Quebec Conservative Celebration chief Eric Duhaime speaks to the media whereas campaigning Tuesday, September 6, 2022 in Montreal. Quebec votes within the provincial election. Oct. 3, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

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Duhaime has put himself in between these two camps, advocating for the regulation to be repealed, whereas additionally acknowledging a necessity to guard French.

“We’re going to repeal Invoice 96,” he advised CTV in his one-on-one interview with CTV. 

“However, then again, we have now to be involved that French is declining in Quebec.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has defended legal guidelines created with the aim of defending French, saying that it’ll all the time be in danger in predominantly English-speaking North America.

Statistics Canada just lately reported that the proportion of Canadians who converse French as their main language has declined since 2016, even in Quebec.

Nonetheless, because the nation turns into extra linguistically various, the share of Canadians who reported both English or French as their mom tongue has additionally declined.


Quebec’s spiritual symbols ban, Invoice 21, prohibits some staff in positions of authority (corresponding to police and lecturers) from carrying spiritual symbols on the job. 

Supporters of the regulation say it’s an efficient means to make sure secularism within the supply of the province’s most vital providers, particularly in Quebec, the place Catholicism has long-influenced majority tradition.

Many have additionally criticized the regulation for disproportionately affecting Muslim and Jewish folks, whose spiritual apparel is usually extra seen, locking them out of sure jobs in the event that they don’t need to work with out their conventional clothes.

Like Invoice 96, Invoice 21 invokes the however clause and has been denounced by critics throughout Canada.

Samira Laouni takes half in an illustration following a Superior Courtroom ruling on Invoice 21, Quebec’s secularism regulation, in Montreal on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

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Duhaime stated he’s in favour of the regulation.

“In Quebec, prior to now, the Catholic church has been taking part in a really dominant function,” he stated, including that the transfer in the direction of secularism is one “that’s been collectively made,” and that Invoice 21 is according to that purpose.

“The state must be impartial as a lot as attainable,” he stated.


“We’ve been combating for means too lengthy,” stated Duhaime, who says English audio system who’re sad with the Quebec Liberal Celebration ought to think about his get together as a substitute.

The Quebec Liberals have lengthy held the assist of Quebec’s English-speaking inhabitants, and positioned themselves as a counterweight to the once-popular separatist motion.

Nonetheless, Quebec’s place in Canada appears to be like very completely different for the reason that final referendum in 1995. The province has been symbolically acknowledged as a nation inside Canada, and the Parti Québécois, the get together which has, and nonetheless does, advocate most fiercely for separation, is polling at fifth place.

Conservative Celebration of Quebec Chief Eric Duhaime presents his get together’s monetary framework throughout a information convention in Laval, Que., on Wednesday, September 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

“It is time to cease these feuds of the previous,” stated Duhaime, who confirmed, “there may be going to be no referendum” beneath a Conservative management.

“We’ll let the subsequent era resolve,” he stated.

As for the Liberals, critics say the get together has not completed sufficient to battle the ruling Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) get together on controversial payments like 96, regardless of solely having official opposition standing in a CAQ majority legislature.

“If a minority desires to have energy in a system, it wants to have a look at completely different alternatives,” stated Duhaime. “And now, we have now a possibility in Quebec, that may be a non-separatist possibility, that may actually make inroads.”

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