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Election

Trudeau should follow his father’s lead and let others challenge Bill 21

By Andrew Caddell      

One hopes this Trudeau will do on Quebec's Bill 21 as his father did on Bill 101: listen to wise counsel and wait as this issue plays itself out.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured at Rideau Hall on Sept. 11. As the issue makes its way through the courts, all federal parties should wait patiently, as they did with Bill 101. Successive court challenges reduced that law to a much less robust version, which is accepted by most Quebecers, writes Andrew Caddell. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA–It was October of 1977. Marc Lalonde, the powerful federal cabinet minister, was glowering at me as he yelled into my microphone. I was a 25-year-old radio reporter in Montreal, and he had just announced that the cabinet, led by then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, would not challenge the constitutionality of Quebec’s language law, Bill 101. He said it would be up to individuals to take the law to court.

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