Marois promises no referendum if elected
Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois launches her campaign Wednesday, August 1, 2012 in Quebec City. Marois, flanked by her local candidates, held a news conference before Premier Charest officially called an election. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:33PM EDT
QUEBEC - There’s no referendum on the horizon, according to statements made by Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois Wednesday.
Even before the official announcement of elections by Premier Jean Charest, Marois plunged headlong into the debate early in the morning, citing an urgent need to oust the Charest Liberals Jean Charest.
“The most urgent issue is to replace the tired and corrupt Charest Liberal government,” she said.
Marois, sporting a new hairstyle and dressed in a sober gray suit, also called for integrity in politics and “the end of money influence.”
“Unlike the Liberals, we chose honesty. Our vision for Quebec is as simple: stand up for ourselves, improve the economy and help each other," she said at a press conference, surrounded by a group of candidates in the region of Quebec, a region where the PQ has lagged in the polls.
The PQ will work for “collective wealth,” said Marois, accusing the Liberal Party of trying to enrich its friends and sell off the province’s resources.
She accused Francois Legault’s Future Coalition (CAQ) as following “in the footsteps of, and in the service of the Liberals.”
Marois criticized the Liberals and CAQ of “keeping Quebec in a position of weakness by perpetuating the status quo with the federal government,” she said, claiming that road, “collides with the economic interests and values of Quebecers.”
“We will eventually choose between remaining a province of Canada or become a country,” she said.
Nonetheless Marois said that she feels the time is not right for a third referendum on independence.
"Today, we are not voting for or against a referendum, we are voting for or against a government. The day when there will be a referendum, and we will decide when the time comes - I keep the agenda open - there will be no surprises and citizens can make own their decision," she said.
The PQ program also seeks to reform political party financing, beefing up Bill 101, changing the mining royalties agreements and offering affordable access to higher education and additional child care spaces.