Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister, will become the next leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

He officially launched his campaign on Saturday in Montreal, surrounded by artists and members of the provincial and federal sovereigntist parties.

A well-known political commentator on Radio-Canada in recent years, Blanchet was first elected provincially in 2008 and served as environment minister in Pauline Marois’ short-lived minority PQ government between 2012 and 2014.

Blanchet told reporters he is ready to work with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the benefit of Quebec.

“He could propose something which might be good for Quebec and then we will say ‘fine’ we’ll vote with it — but he might propose something which is bad for Quebec and then, of course, we will say we will go against it,” Blanchet said.

He added that he doesn’t think his adversaries will be able to prove to him that Canada works.

“Because nothing works as well as a nation including all its communities — as a nation taking care of itself and making its own decisions,” he said.

Blanchet also appears to be focused on winning the support of younger Quebecers.

“The time has come to give a voice, give room, give power and authority to a new generation which has not recognized itself in the Bloc Quebecois in the last few years.

“There’s no future for any party, for any country, without its youth.”

Blanchet was critical of former Bloc leader Martine Ouellet during her tumultuous term as party leader, and now has the support of nine of the party’s 10 members of Parliament.

The 10th, Michel Boudrias, decided last week not to run for the party leadership.

If no other candidates come forward before the Jan. 15 deadline, Blanchet will become the new leader of the Bloc Quebecois on Feb. 24.

There was one other sour note at Blanchet’s official launch event — no one from Quebec solidaire, the other provincial sovereigntist party, showed up.

But Blanchet said he wants to continue to seek the support of all sovereigntists and not just solicit the approval of Quebec’s sovereigntist parties.

“It’s not the leaders of the political parties that I want to call out to,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want to “play the game of convergence.

“I’m saying to everyone: ‘If you are a sovereigntist, regardless of who you vote for in the Quebec national assembly, the Bloc is there for you’.”

Just Posted

Red Deer’s Dream Centre for addictions treatment is approved on appeal

Several conditions are attached to the approval

Alberta premier says energy war room will be respectful as it takes on critics

CALGARY — Alberta’s United Conservative government has opened its war room to… Continue reading

New trial ordered for Ottawa man, ex-lover convicted in grisly murder

Ontario’s top court has ordered a new trial for an Ottawa man… Continue reading

Report suggests agriculture needs changes to save climate and farmers

Farming needs to change to help save the climate and farmers themselves,… Continue reading

Police investigate after woman, two young sons found dead in east-end Montreal home

MONTREAL — Police officers who showed up at an east-end Montreal home… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Alberta premier says energy war room will be respectful as it takes on critics

CALGARY — Alberta’s United Conservative government has opened its war room to… Continue reading

New trial ordered for Ottawa man, ex-lover convicted in grisly murder

Ontario’s top court has ordered a new trial for an Ottawa man… Continue reading

Report suggests agriculture needs changes to save climate and farmers

Farming needs to change to help save the climate and farmers themselves,… Continue reading

Police investigate after woman, two young sons found dead in east-end Montreal home

MONTREAL — Police officers who showed up at an east-end Montreal home… Continue reading

Liberal MPs won’t empower themselves to turf Trudeau, control caucus membership

OTTAWA — Liberal backbenchers declined Wednesday to give themselves the power to… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Carter O’Donnell on CFL and NFL radar

Just the other week, Carter O’Donnell’s phone rang. Not unusual, until he… Continue reading

Witness describes explosion from B.C. plane crash, multiple fatalities confirmed

GABRIOLA ISLAND, B.C. — A plane that one witness describes as crashing… Continue reading

Most Read