Canada “recognizes a united Spain,” ruled Justin Trudeau in reaction to Catalonia’s declaration of independence. Ottawa sits side by side with Madrid, like the European Council and the United States.
Speaking to Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville on Friday, the Prime Minister said he hoped that the next steps will take place in accordance with “the law” of “the Spanish Constitution”, “principles of international law”, and especially, “in non-violence”.
Bloc Québécois leader Martine Ouellet, who urged the Canadian government in the morning to recognize the independence of Catalonia, hopes that “Canada, which calls itself a democratic country” will “readjust”, because “it is not chic to to have that kind of position.
She defended the reaction of “countries who claim to be in quotation marks”, including Canada, who do not hesitate “to give the lesson” when polls are peppered with violence “in Africa, Asia or South America” .
“And all of a sudden, because it’s happening in Europe, they want to protect the status quo? It’s troubling, “said Ms. Ouellet in an interview, a few hours after having invited Ottawa to welcome Catalonia,” the 194th country to the United Nations, “in the concert of nations.
In parliament on Friday, Liberal government MPs responded rather evasively to the call of the leader of the separatist formation.
All the liberal elected representatives in the morning parliament walked on eggs, most of them offering evasive answers in which one nevertheless detected a certain bias in favor of the unity of Spain.
All except Quebec MP Alexandra Mendès, who has made no secret of her personal opposition to the recognition of the independence of Catalonia, as proclaimed by the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona.
“I think the Spanish Constitution is very clear. I do not believe that Canada should recognize the independence of Catalonia, “she said in a press scrum, recognizing, however, that Ottawa was in” a very delicate diplomatic situation. ”
MEP Mendes insisted that she did not endorse the authoritarian reaction of the Spanish central government: “I totally disagree with Madrid’s attitude. But that the independence of Catalonia is recognized, that I am against.
Among the New Democrats, we did not go so far as to ask the government to recognize Catalan independence. MP Matthew Dubé regrets, however, that Ottawa is so timid in defending the “fundamental right” of peoples to self-determination.
He described as “worrying” the placing under guardianship, by the government of Mariano Rajoy, of that of Carles Puigdemont – immediately after the proclamation of independence, the Spanish Senate took steps to suspend the autonomous status of Catalonia .
The Conservative Party has been much less vocal, as it has been since the beginning of this crisis in Spain. The elected representative Alain Rayes simply made the point in a very brief scrum that it was the government of Justin Trudeau to pronounce on the issue.
“This is a subject that is extremely complex, there is no simple answer to that. (…) This is an issue for the government, “he pleaded before rushing into the House of Commons on Friday morning.
An international recognition of the unilateral Catalan declaration could give a boost to the regional government of Carles Puigdemont, but that would not be enough to make it a state in the eyes of the international community, according to Maxime St-Hilaire.
“The most essential question is the question of effectiveness. State recognition is not a mechanism that gives legal effects, “the professor of constitutional law at the Université de Sherbrooke said in a telephone interview.
And in the case of Catalonia, which “does not have a unilateral right to secede under international law”, the “vise begins to tighten”, because “the Spanish state is very present and effective on the territory of Catalonia, “said St-Hilaire.
Beth Harrell is a reporter for Plains Ledger. After graduating from The University of Alberta,, Beth got an internship at CTV news affiliate WBC-TV and worked as a reporter and videographer. Beth has also worked as a reporter for Huff Post Canada. Beth mostly covers entertainment and community events for Plains Ledger.