Québec election: Véronique Hivon for the PQ
(The third of our 6 party overviews on LGBT issues). With the unveiling of the Charest government’s anti-homophobia Action Plan in May of 2011, the question on everyone’s mind was: How can the Parti québécois go further, when the measures adopted by the Liberals have been praised by numerous activists?
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As her party’s official justice critic, and hence the spokesperson on issues of discrimination against sexual minorities, Véronique Hivon says the Parti québécois would be the best at applying the measures outlined in the anti-homophobia Action Plan. While she regards the overall plan in a “quite positive” light, she points out the need to “make sure that the theoretical becomes visible for organizations on the front line,” notably in “education, certain professional milieux, with the elderly and in sports.”
For Hivon, incumbent MNA candidate in the Jonquière riding, the resources to make effective change aren’t always available. Hence she is not overly critical of the financial “helping hand” the Liberal plan gave to community organizations who proposed new projects to combat discrimination. She was unimpressed, however, with how long it took the Québec government to come out with their Action Plan, when the Policy itself came out in 2009.
While she was the justice critic for the opposition in the National Assembly, Véronique Hivon believes in the importance of coordinated efforts between the various ministries and organizations in the public domain. Her holistic approach would see the measure outlined in the Action Plan applied not only to those working for the government, but also to the populations targeted by the plan. “It’s a question of attitude,” Hivon says. “Politicans, both women and men, must embody the idea that no discrimination is allowed. We have a responsibility in this regard.”
Although she may have made a lot of fans for her eloquent speech against Bill 78 in the National Assembly in May, Hivon’s party will likely lose most sympathetic anglophone support for leader Pauline Marois’s proposal to exclude from municipal and provincial politics immigrant candidates who are not proficient in French.