Balarama Holness' Bloc Montréal party officially authorized by Quebec

"We want to represent the distinct culture, economy and life of Montreal," Holness told the Montreal Gazette on Tuesday.
Author of the article:
Linda Gyulai  •  Montreal GazettePublishing date: Jun 07, 2022  •  43 minutes ago  •  
2 minute read
Quebec now has a Bloc Montréal party running in the fall provincial election.  
On Tuesday, the Quebec chief electoral officer granted authorization to the party that was founded by former Montreal mayoral candidate Balarama Holness.
“We want to represent the distinct culture, economy and life of Montreal,” he said in an interview with the Montreal Gazette on Tuesday after receiving notification that his party is now official.
Holness announced in April he was seeking authorization for a provincial party to represent Greater Montreal in time for the provincial election scheduled for Oct. 3. The Liberal Party of Quebec, he said at the time, had taken anglophone and ethnocultural votes for granted for too long.
The formation was to be called Mouvement Québec, reminiscent of the name of his municipal party, Mouvement Montréal. However, Holness said on Tuesday the name “didn’t reflect our mission, which is to represent Montrealers at the National Assembly.”
Bloc Montréal better reflects the party’s mission, he added.
“The mission is to represent Montrealers and people in the greater Montreal region at the National Assembly,” Holness said.
“We recognize that Quebec is distinct within Canada. But Montreal is also distinct within Quebec.”
Holness said Bloc Montréal plans to run 30 to 35 candidates in Montreal and off-island in the fall election. Having official party status means the formation can raise money and focus on recruiting candidates, he said.
The news comes as half of the Quebec Liberal party caucus has announced it won’t be running again this fall. Former finance minister Carlos Leitão, the MNA for Robert-Baldwin, and Kathleen Weil, the MNA for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, became the 12th and 13th Liberals in the past few days to announce they won’t seek re-election.
In April, responding to Holness’s announcement of the new party, Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said her party remains the best bet for voters because it represents all Quebecers, including anglophones and allophones.
However, Holness said the Greater Montreal Area doesn’t receive its fair share of funding for municipalities and services even though it accounts for half of the province’s Gross Domestic Product. Montreal alone represents one third of the GDP.
“We see a shortage of family doctors, there are severe issues with support for our seniors, particularly in long-term care homes, there’s a lack of leisure recreation infrastructure,” he said.
“All of these things need to be better voiced at the National Assembly and Montrealers need a voice at the National Assembly.”
The former Alouettes player also said his proposal in the 2021 municipal election to seek bilingual city-state status for Montreal is still on his agenda.
“We want to be the party for not this election but for the long term,” he said. “This is not what people would call a protest party, but a party that’s going to be in Montreal for the next 150 years, 200 years.”
In the 2021 municipal election, Holness’s Mouvement Montréal obtained seven per cent of the vote and elected no candidates. Holness said the party intends to run candidates in the next municipal election in 2025.





no categories


no tags