Marois on an independent Quebec: same currency, no border, seat on Bank of Canada
Published Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:10PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 8:20PM EDT
An independent Quebec would not have border agents and would continue to use the Canadian dollar, while Quebec would have a seat on the Bank of Canada.
That is Premier Pauline Marois's idea of how Quebec would function after a vote to separate from Canada.
Marois was in Quebec City to boast about controlling expenses, even as the debt has hit record levels and her government had to push back plans to have a balanced budget.
WATCH: Marois explains how an independent Quebec would share money, borders with Canada
She said Quebec's economy is stronger than in has been in years and she could not see any reason why Canada would not want to partner with an independent Quebec, much as European countries are politically independent and yet share the Euro.
"They accept to share their borders, their money they have the Euro, so that is a model which is very interesting, but in the European Union each country has its independence," she said.
"We are eight million people living here in Quebec and we have an economy which is a rich one," said Marois. "We have a lot of consumers, we have a lot of business organizations in our territory, and I think it's important to have a place at this level but if it is not the case we will see."
Meantime, Liberal leader Philippe Couillard said the premier's musings are pure folly.
"The PQ always tries to take us to a world of fantasy, an imaginary world, Alice in Wonderland," he said.
The Bank of Canada is an arm's length Crown corporation that creates currency and sets policy.
The Board of Directors is appointed by the federal Cabinet to three-year renewable terms, and the Deputy Finance Minister has a non-voting seat on the board.
Monique Jerome-Forget, former Liberal finance minister and President of the Treasury Board, holds the seat for Quebec.
The Parti Quebecois is making plans for another study on how an independent Quebec would function, and according to Le Soleil newspaper, Premier Marois wants this "white paper" finished within one year of the April 7 election.
One of the issues of the proposed study of independence would analyze would be whether Quebec should guarantee all citizens of a new country could retain their Canadian citizenship.
Couillard said he is very concerned that Quebecers may buy the PQ's idea of a gentle progression toward a referendum.
In a nod toward former PQ Premier Jacques Parizeau's statement that after a vote, Quebecrs would be "lobsters thrown into boiling water," Couillard said Marois was preparing another trap for Quebec.
"The mechanics of a referendum are already underway. You know it's all planned, it's the lobster trap that monsieur Parizeau talked about a few years ago. It's been designed, opened, hey the bait is here, get in Quebecers, get in the lobster trap and then we'll close the door and you'll have a referendum no matter what," said Couillard.
Meantime, it was announced Wednesday that the four leadership candidates will take part in a second debate on March 27 on TVA, one week after a debate to be held jointly by Radio-Canada and Tele-Quebec.
The head of Québec solidaire, Françoise David, will take part this time. She had not been invited by the TVA during the previous election campaign in Quebec.
These debate will take the form of one-on-one faceoffs wjere leaders iwll discuss three major themes: the economy and public finances, identity and the national question, and social policies and governance.
The debates will be moderated by anchor Pierre Bruneau and will be broadcast at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on TVA, LCN and Argent.