ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – British Columbia’s premier waded into the national unity debate Friday, dismissing the chances of the Parti Quebecois reigniting separatist fervour in the province.
Speaking at meetings of Canada’s premiers in St. John’s, N.L., Christy Clark said the PQ had failed in past attempts to break up Canada and wouldn’t have any more success in the future.
She said that’s because Quebecers are no different from British Columbians.
“There is a generation of people who are forward looking global citizens who are interested in creating wealth, building their lives, being able to be a part of the world — not just a part of Quebec or a part of Canada,” said Clark.
Clark said she thinks issues of governance and the Constitution are less important to Canadians, who are interested in how the country participates globally.
Quebec is also a different place than it was 20 or 30 years ago, she added.
PQ Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau became leader of the party in May and immediately reiterated that he will settle for nothing less in the future than an independent Quebec.
But Clark doesn’t think he will achieve his goal.
“I know that Monsieur Peladeau has great ambitions,” she said. “I think he is going to see those ambitions unsatisfied in the long-term.”
Peladeau later issued a statement in which he said Quebecers — and only Quebecers — will decide their future.
“We have the deep conviction that full political and economic freedom will allow us to enrich ourselves collectively,” the statement said. “In being a country, we will be able to make our own decisions and be in control of our development.”