Former MP, MNA Daniel Turp is leader of independence think tank
Published Wednesday, February 24, 2016 12:19PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 24, 2016 6:57PM EST
Quebec's independence think tank has a leader: former politician Daniel Turp.
The former Bloc Quebecois MP and Parti Quebecois MNA will lead The Research Institute On Self-Determination (IRAI) to study all subjects related to Quebec sovereignty.
Turp, also a law professor at Université de Montreal, is in charge of the think tank which officially began operating Wednesday.
Last year PQ leader Pierre Karl Peladeau promised the creation of this institute in order to study the economic, social and environmental benefits of Quebec independence.
He's also believed to be bankrolling much of the cost of setting up this think tank which caused some controversy.
Turp says, however, that despite its ties to the Parti Quebecois it will not be influenced by any political party, and will focus solely on the benefits of independence.
"Some people always tend to oppose sovereignty and independence [saying] it's obsolete. Well what's happening in Scotland, Catalonia, and many other areas of the world shows it isn't," said Turp.
"And they've done research I can tell you, the Scots and the Catalonians have done extensive, extensive research and we'll also be looking into what they've said about modern trends of independence."
But the think tank isn't likely to find new answers, according to political analyst Jean Lapierre.
“Are they going to find any new arguments? At the end of the process it's either you believe in a country or you don't. You can have all the intelligent studies - they tried that in 1995 - it didn't help much. So I don't see it as a major card to be played, it's mostly for internal consumption," he said.
Other political parties in Quebec have criticized this new institute for not being independent from the Parti Quebecois, especially considering the PQ leader's personal involvement.
Turp says he won't be swayed by anyone and that the research his new group is doing will benefit all of Quebec's separatist parties.
The Institute expects to be fully operational by May, and is seeking charitable status.
In the meantime Turp says its website is ready and the first reports should be coming out in the fall.