Bloc Quebecois leader says secularism taking up too much space in federal campaign

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GATINEAU, Que. — Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet has had enough of all the secularism talk.

The Bloc leader says Quebec’s Bill 21 banning religious symbols for some public servants is a “very important” subject, but it should not be an issue in the current federal campaign.

Blanchet says Quebec’s secularism law is exclusively a Quebec matter, and it’s time to move on to other issues.

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The Bloc has been outspoken in its defence of the law introduced by the Coalition Avenir Quebec government this year and claims that without the Bloc standing guard, federal funds would have been used to challenge it in court.

He says he wants the election discussion to move to other topics: infrastructure, regional development and seniors’ care, for example.

Federal leaders will debate again one last time — in French — on Thursday night.

With his party climbing in the polls in Quebec, Blanchet says he expects to be the target of attacks from his opponents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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