Marois appears to regret sovereignty talk

The PQ leader’s comments came the Saturday before the Quebec election

MONTREAL – Quebec Premier Pauline Marois appeared to have some regret on Saturday that she allowed herself to get bogged down in the sovereignty issue as the provincial election campaign entered its final weekend.

When asked Saturday if she could change one aspect of her Parti Quebecois election campaign, Marois told reporters she likely “wouldn’t answer questions about sovereignty, given that the key issue remains the choice of a government, a strong government.”

The PQ normally avoids talking up the issue during a campaign because of its divisive nature, but hopes of avoiding the topic were derailed early on when star candidate Pierre Karl Peladeau passionately declared his commitment to making Quebec a country.

Soon after, Marois was openly speculating what the currency and borders would look like in an independent Quebec.

The PQ, which called the election when its minority government was atop the polls, has been slumping since.

The latest survey suggests the PQ is losing support to Francois Legault’s third-place Coalition party and the social democratic separatist party Quebec solidaire. The Liberals hold the lead.

But Marois said the race isn’t over yet and she’s still hopeful about the result of Monday’s vote. She said her team is best equipped to run the province.

“Everything is possible on Monday, and I will work with our party faithful who are very motivated to get out the vote,” Marois said.

For his part, the rival Legault had a spring in his step as he urged voters who may be fed up with the PQ and Liberals to give him a chance.

Legault presented his Coalition party as the best option for those wary of another referendum under the PQ and the “worn-out” Liberals, who he said haven’t changed since being in power for nine years under Jean Charest.

“There’s a real choice, there’s a real alternative, finally, after 40 years, to revive Quebec,” Legault said in Quebec City.

As head of the Coalition, the former PQ minister promises to set aside the debate over sovereignty to focus on the economy.

He’s also in favour of a secular charter, though it wouldn’t go as far the PQ’s proposal.

According to polls, Legault’s party is gaining in popularity in the final days of the campaign, though it still remains behind the PQ and the first-place Liberals.

Legault said he has the momentum on his side, insisting once again he still has a shot at becoming Quebec’s next premier.

At a news conference, Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard urged those considering throwing their support to Legault to think strategically.

He warned that a vote for the Coalition party would likely hand power to the PQ.

Couillard promised to implement a plan to jumpstart Quebec’s economy “within hours of the election” and urged Liberal party faithful to rally to get the Liberals a majority.

A Leger Marketing poll released Saturday pegged the Liberals at 38 per cent, compared with 29 per cent for the Parti Quebecois, 23 per cent for the Coalition party, and nine per cent for Quebec solidaire.

The April 2-3 online survey of 1,220 Quebecers was conducted for Le Journal de Montreal and is considered accurate within 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

- with files from Martin Ouellet in Levis, Alexandre Robillard in Drummondville, and Patrice Bergeron in Quebec City




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Marois appears to regret sovereignty talk

  1. Couillard got suckered by federalists and media. A referendum isn’t as big of a deal as is corruption, waste, mafia, and other issues that tax us more and give back little. Liberals haven’t cleaned house…expect more Liberal corruption if they win.

    Want change? Starts with voting differently. If you vote for the same, you will get more of the same. Too many party puppets, and not enough asking, should these people rule me? Are they honest and ethical? Or are they just going to tax the crap out of while they play dysfunctional politics on our wallets?

    Want a good economy? Then get a government that leaves enough money in peoples and the economies wallets so they can spend more on each others jobs. Fact is uncommon good bailouts, corporate/union, mafia and other (our) peoples money for nothing programs of waste don’t benefit any of us that make this country work.

  2. Marois called this election shortly after she blocked the Corruption Inquiry from questioning her husband.

    • Well, Quebec has voted unanimously that “She” is now most obviously and certifiably nutz. -I feel sorry for her husband.

  3. > Real and full separation is waning:
    > support for separation from Canada is faltering. Right now it is standing at around 38% which is where it was twenty years ago;
    > people want jobs, good jobs not part-time minimum wage jobs. Borrowing more money to create jobs is not the answer;
    > fact 1: last year 9 our of every 10 jobs created in all of Canada were created in…Alberta. The entire rest of the country including Quebec created only 1 out of 10 jobs.
    > fact 2: go to Google – Quebec Debt Clock. The Quebec Debt stands at over $265 Billion. Now the Quebec Government likes to show the Net Debt after subtracting assets such as infrastructure. Well, the hydro dams are on Cree and Inuit Ancestral Territory and they will stay with Canada; they had a referendum on this already. Who in their right mind would buy Quebec’s roads and sidewalks?
    > fact 3: last year Quebec took 40% of the transfer payments from Ottawa, much more than they sent there. Quebec received $19 Billion for Equalization, Healthcare and Social Services from Canada most of that from Alberta and Quebec still ran a $3 Billion deficit.
    > If Quebec separates the new country will sink in a sea of red ink, the living standard will drop to that of a Third World country and the French language will be more threatened. Why? Simply because they will have to communicate with all of North America in English. Who will do that?

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