MONTREAL — Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe dismissed suggestions Monday his party is hiding its commitment to sovereignty to curry favour with more voters in the federal election.
The Bloc’s main campaign slogan is Parlons Quebec, which translates as Let’s Talk About Quebec.
There are also other slogans that all carry the word Parlons and then other words such as Regions, Truth and Solidarity.
But the absence of a Parlons Souverainete slogan put Duceppe on the defensive during a campaign appearance in Montreal on Monday.
Duceppe bristled when it was suggested the Bloc was downplaying sovereignty to reach a wider group of voters.
“I did not delete (the word ’sovereignty’),” he said. “Come on, come on. We’re a sovereigntist party and I speak about sovereignty in every one of my speeches.
“People know. There’s no problem. I am happy and proud to be a sovereigntist and we’re going to talk about it throughout the campaign.”
The Bloc leader said he will talk about sovereignty during the campaign and that everyone knows where the party stands on the political map.
“Do the Conservatives call themselves the federalist Conservative Party of Canada or (is there a) federalist Liberal Party of Canada or the federalist New Democratic Party of Canada?,” he asked.
“We’re going to talk about sovereignty. I’m not hiding anything.”
The Harper Tories, meanwhile, poked fun at him — saying Duceppe might talk about sovereignty referendums, while their party gives Quebecers a chance to wield political power.
“One thing is clear,” the Conservatives said in a statement. “The Conservative Party of Stephen Harper will not talk about referendums.
“It offers power to all the regions of Quebec.”