For the second time in a month, Balarama Holness is asked to change the name of his new political party.
The former candidate for mayor of Montreal hopes to do damage in the next provincial election with his Bloc Montreal party.
Now, the federal political party, the Bloc Québécois, has filed an official complaint about this name.
“Their claim has no basis. It has no merit,” Holness told Global News.
Holness’s new provincial party was initially called Mouvement Québec, after his municipal party Mouvement Montréal.
But after the Mouvement Québec Français complained of possible public confusion, Holness was ordered by Élections Québec to change the name of his party. He opted for the Bloc Montreal, and now the Bloc Québécois is officially challenging that name.
Former Montreal mayoral candidate Balarama Holness forms new provincial party
In a letter to Elections Quebec, Bloc Québécois President Johanne Deschamps worries that some voters might believe Holness’s party is tied to theirs, even though their values are “radically opposed.”
“For the sake of clarity and consistency, we therefore ask you, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, not to authorize the use of this name by this new party,” Deschamps wrote.
Holness argues that it is impossible for people to confuse the two as their beliefs are completely different.
“We advocate policies that are yin and yang vis-à-vis the Bloc Québécois,” he said.
The Bloc Québécois defends French and wants Quebec independence, while Holness promotes bilingualism and courts Anglophone votes.
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“Some political parties may feel that they are under threat and that we have a surge of this political and social movement,” he said. “We are not asking for a sovereign state. We demand a bilingual, business-friendly, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment that is objectively against Bills 96 and 21. There is no similarity when it comes to our policies.
Holness points to the irony of the Bloc Québécois, a federal party that advocates for Quebec to have more control over its own affairs, now trying to meddle in Quebec’s provincial affairs.
“It’s incredibly hypocritical and quite ironic. More importantly, they were outside their jurisdiction,” he said.
Elections Quebec would not comment on the specific case, but told Global News that all political party names are subject to rigorous analysis to ensure they do not violate election rules, including being identical. or similar to other municipal or provincial parties already authorized.
They pointed to the list of authorized provincial parties, and the Bloc Montreal is still there at the top a few days before the election campaign.
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