Defender of the rights of Anglophones, Balarama Holness was refused the use of the name Mouvement Québec after a group for the protection of the French language challenged his request before the DGEQ.
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A defeated candidate for mayor of Montreal under the banner of his Mouvement Montréal party, Balarama Holness had announced his intention to create a new political party on the provincial scene, Mouvement Québec.
But the Director General of Elections of Quebec (DGEQ) refused to use the name after a challenge from the French Movement Quebec (MQF), which feared confusion between the two groups.
“In this context, we inform you that the authorization of the Mouvement Québec party has been refused,” said a representative of the DGEQ in an email sent to the MQF earlier this week.
THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING VOTE
While the MQF works to defend French, Balarama Holness mainly courts, by his own admission, the Anglophone vote. Mr. Holness is opposed in particular to the reform of Bill 101 adopted by the Legault government this spring, and affirms that the PLQ takes the Anglophone vote for granted.
During his campaign for mayor of Montreal, the former Canadian football player had also proposed the holding of a referendum in order to grant Montreal the status of a bilingual city.
He had finally obtained a little more than 7% of the votes.
It is therefore under the name of Bloc Montreal that Mr. Holness will campaign in the general elections next fall, a name that is reminiscent of that of the Bloc Québécois, on the federal scene.
Joined by phone, the official agent of Bloc Montreal, Anastasia Pomares, assured that the name Mouvement Québec was never considered by the party. However, the DGEQ confirms in its email to the MQF that the name had been reserved, as reported in the media.
Mr. Holness did not respond to interview requests from our Parliamentary Office.
At the beginning of the month, he told the English-language daily Montreal Gazette that he had chosen the new name to better reflect the "mission" of the party, "which is to represent Montrealers in the National Assembly".
“We recognize that Quebec is distinct within Canada. But Montreal is also distinct within Quebec,” he confided to the English-language daily.