What seems to be a back-and-forth tradition in the province of Quebec, the newly-elected separatist Parti Quebecois stripped the Canadian flag from the legislature as its members were being officially sworn in and took the oath of office.
A sign of things to come in the province of Quebec?
Reporters noticed a distinct noticeable difference Monday as some Quebec politicians were being sworn in as Members of the National Assembly: the Canadian flag was missing in action, according to the Canadian Press.
The nation’s flag was removed from the National Assembly for the first time in nine years when Jean Charest's Liberals were elected and placed the Maple Leaf next to the Quebec flag at the Speaker’s Chair.
During the ceremony, Parti Quebecois leader and premier-designate Pauline Marois, who will officially take office Wednesday and lead a minority government, pledged allegiance to the Queen and to the province’s constituents. In her remarks, Marois did not refer at all to the removal of the Canadian flag.
“Quebeckers chose change and they chose to do it with a Parti Québécois government,” stated Marois, reports the Globe and Mail. “One of the changes is to put an end to the politics of division. What I wish is for Quebec to get back on course and reclaim its pride and confidence. When a people reclaims its pride and confidence, nothing, absolutely nothing, becomes impossible.”
Marois will unveil her cabinet Wednesday.
The Prime Minister’s Office was asked to respond to the separatist group’s actions, but it responded with “no comment.”
Ottawa and Quebec have already begun contentious relations. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government announced Friday that it will cease its efforts to block the global initiative to insert chrysotile asbestos to a United Nations treaty called the Rotterdam Convention.
“First off I'd like to remind you that Pauline Marois, the premier-designate of Quebec, has clearly stated her intention to forbid chrysotile exploitation in Quebec,” Industry Minister Christian Paradis told reporters, according to CTV News. “Obviously that decision will have a negative impact on the prosperity of our regions. In the meantime hundreds of workers in our region are without jobs, are living in uncertainty and hoping the mine will reopen.”