QUEBEC — The Canadian flag was taken down from the Quebec legislature as members of the pro-independence Parti Quebecois took the oath of office today.
The removal of the Maple Leaf is part of a see-saw ritual: it had been long absent in the legislature but was restored nine years ago when Jean Charest’s Liberals took office and had it placed next to the Quebec flag at the Speaker’s chair in the building’s ceremonial chamber.
It was back down again today as the PQ’s 54-member, minority-government caucus took the oath of office in the ornate old upper chamber, now known as the Red Room, and the Quebec Fleur-de-lis was standing alone again.
The PQ takes office on Wednesday, when premier-designate Pauline Marois will introduce her cabinet.
While the Canadian flag was gone, there was still no escaping the Queen.
Every member of the PQ caucus swore their oath to the monarch, which is a prerequisite for taking office in Canada.