Bloc MP Fortin quits; says the party no longer exists under new leader

Bloc Quebecois MP Jean-Francois Fortin quit the party Tuesday, accusing its new leader of being divisive and radical.

MONTREAL — Bloc Quebecois MP Jean-Francois Fortin quit the party Tuesday, accusing its new leader of being divisive and radical.

Fortin, 40, will sit as an Independent until the 2015 federal election.

“The Bloc Quebecois in which I believed, which we believed, no longer exists,” he said in a statement.

“The arrival of new leader Mario Beaulieu, who is pushing a one-dimensional, unrigorous and uncompromising approach, has put an end to the credibility established by Gilles Duceppe and continued by Daniel Paille, two leaders who deserved great respect.”

After a summer of reflection, Fortin said he believes his constituents would be better served if he completed his mandate outside the party, which will now have only three MPs.

Beaulieu has made no bones about focusing on the promotion of sovereignty — an approach that differs from that of his predecessors.

Beaulieu, who is on a provincewide tour to drum up support for independence, has accused Duceppe and Paille of having a defeatist attitude with regard to sovereignty.

Fortin has represented Haute-Gaspesie-La Mitis-Matane-Matapedia since 2011. A political scientist and former municipal politician, he did not indicate if he would seek re-election next year.

Fortin says Beaulieu has radicalized the party with his dogmatic approach.

“It is not by rejecting those who seem less ’pure’ and abandoning the rigour which has always characterized the Bloc in favour of repeating old…formulas that he will convince Quebecers to follow him,” Fortin said.

“This is not the way to serve Quebecers or advance sovereignty. In behaving this way, Mr. Beaulieu is dividing sovereigntists instead of uniting them.”

His departure leaves leadership runner-up Andre Bellavance, Claude Patry and Louis Plamondon as the party’s only MPs.

The Bloc has been in turmoil since its staggering defeat at the polls in 2011, when it was reduced to four seats from 47.

Fortin ran for the party leadership in 2011 and lost to Paille.

The runner-up in that race, Maria Mourani, was expelled from the Bloc caucus in September 2013 by Paille for criticizing the Parti Quebecois’s now-defunct proposed charter of values.

She has since been sitting as an Independent and has denounced sovereignty.

Paille quit as leader in December 2013 because of health reasons, with Beaulieu replacing him this past June.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta doctors send letter asking government to delay health-care restructuring

EDMONTON — Hundreds of Alberta doctors have signed an open letter asking… Continue reading

Large business, non-profits, charities all eligible for wage subsidy, Trudeau says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says large and small businesses, non-profits… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Calgary blocks traffic lanes to help pathway users maintain two-metre separation

CALGARY — Fans of a decision by Calgary officials to block off… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands, as you would after touching any surface or object

Delay in tackling COVID-19 adds mightily to death toll

The basic choice all along with COVID-19 has been: do we let… Continue reading

Health care workers should have the protection they need

Hospital staff are now having serious problems getting protective equipment to prevent… Continue reading

Lacombe Police respond to multiple incidents

LPS respond to thefts, outstanding warrants

Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug. 8 in 2021

TOKYO — The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same… Continue reading

Canada’s sports organizations eager to unite country when pandemic passes

Tom Renney remembers exactly where he was during the attacks of Sept.… Continue reading

Most Read