Special status for Montreal?
For years, nationalists had been pushing for special status for Quebec within Canada. Now, in the midst of the bitter debate on the Charter of Quebec Values, the rights group CRITIQ is calling for special status for Montreal within Quebec — much like Hong Kong has with China.
Business consultant Michel David says the special status would exempt Montreal island from having to apply Quebec's controversial language and values laws
CRITIQ is armed with an Ipsos poll that shos, among other things, that most people on the island of Montreal (90 per cent), and most people in the rest of Quebec (82 per cent), believe Montreal is different — socially, culturally and economically — from the rest of Quebec.
And a majority of people in the island — 59 per cent — believe Montreal should have different language laws than the rest of the province, given the city's diversity. 58 per cent of Montrealers also say the French language is not threatened in Montreal.
More than half of Montrealers and Quebecers agree that Montreal, for many reasons, is a city in decline.
Robert Libman of CRITIQ says the study — and the push for greater autonomy for Montreal — has the potential to shake things up drastically in Montreal and Quebec.
"Quebec nationalism has had a devastating impact on the city of Montreal for the past 40 years," Libman says. "This is a refreshing new element to the debate, it'll hopefully shake things up.
"I think is a bit of a pushback to show the PQ that a majority of Quebecers want a major change and question the impact of Quebec nationalism over the past 40 years."
Survey results are available here.
With files from Michel Boyer, CJAD 800 News