PQ ‘our main vehicle in Quebec’, Bloc leader says at party congress

Delegates gave Yves-François Blanchet a vote of confidence of 97.25 per cent.

Article content

DRUMMONDVILLE — Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet reached out on Saturday to sovereignists of all political allegiances while declaring the Parti Québécois the “main vehicle in Quebec” for Bloc activists on his second day of a party congress marked by a vote of confidence of 97.25 per cent.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The Bloc leader scored the high confidence in his first test since he became Bloc leader in 2019. In a speech given shortly before the delegates voted, Blanchet repeatedly affirmed the Bloc Québécois has “the duty to unite” all sovereignists.

Article content

“The Bloc Québécois is the one-stop shop for all separatists,” he said in front of activists gathered in the plenary hall of their party’s national congress in Drummondville.

Blanchet argued the Bloc is also PQ, noting “this is not news” for him and his other colleagues in the House of Commons who have already been elected to the National Assembly under this other sovereignist banner.

“Let us understand that even if we are sovereignists from all walks of life, our vehicle in Quebec, the only party that makes independence the issue of its very existence, is the Parti Québécois,” Blanchet said. He appeared to qualify his assertion by adding “perhaps not only the Parti Québécois, but only the Parti Québécois, proudly the Parti Québécois and always the Parti Québécois.”

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

The Bloc leader also attacked the federalist professions of faith of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) of Premier François Legault, inviting him to hold his next convention in Ottawa. He suggested the caquistes could become sovereignists after having stayed outside Quebec.

Blanchet spent some time in his speech criticizing Ottawa, accusing it of subsidizing oil energy from public funds, including money from Quebec, its continued affiliation with the British monarchy as well as its failures in immigration.

In addition to insisting on his fervour in wanting to accede to the independence of Quebec “in the most sacred way,” Blanchet reiterated he considers only the province should, as of today, manage its linguistic policies. He, thus, broke the mold, in this regard, on the federal government, which is moving forward with a modernization of its Official Languages ​​Act, currently being studied by the Senate.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Blanchet noted Quebec and Ottawa agreed to a “compromise” that incorporated parts of Quebec’s Charter of the French language into the new version to be adopted of the federal law.

“They have little time to prove it works,” Blanchet said. “We in the Bloc remain in solidarity with Francophones outside Quebec and Acadians, but we maintain the language regime in force in Quebec should only belong to Quebec.

“Compromised or not, we entrust neither our soul, nor our culture, nor our language to the conqueror,” he concluded.

The former PQ minister of the Environment included a minute of silence in the middle of his speech to honour the memory of the sovereignist historian and former candidate for the leadership of the Parti Québécois Frédéric Bastien, who died this week at the age of 53.

Advertisement 5

Article content

A few minutes after Blanchet’s remarks on the alliance between the Bloc and the PQ, a proposal was adopted by Bloc delegates meeting in committee on Saturday. It affirms the Bloc Québécois have a duty to bring together separatists of all stripes “while recognizing the historical and privileged ties (which unite them to the) Parti Québécois.”

A resolution going much further was rejected. It aimed to have the Bloc Québécois recognize the Parti Québécois as the only political party in the National Assembly to support the sovereignist cause. 

More than a hundred other proposals will be debated and voted on Saturday and will then be submitted to the plenary of delegates.


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Join the Conversation

Advertisement 1

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *