Parti Quebecois battles over language at national council meeting
Published Saturday, January 14, 2017 11:02AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 15, 2017 2:46PM EST
Parti Quebecois leader Jean-Francois Lisee is hoping to make his mark on the party as it holds its national council in Quebec City this weekend.
The council serves as an opportunity for party leaders to presents policy proposals and priorities to its members, which would serve as the framework for the official platform in next year’s provincial election. That won't be set in stone until the party meets for its national congress in Montreal in September, where members will vote on the policies.
The main proposal to be discussed will be Lisee’s insistence on not holding a referendum in the first term should the party come to power in 2018.
Also on the table is refreshing the PQ's approach to language. Lisee said the party will not revive controversial proposals form the past such as stripping municipalities of their bilingual status or preventing Allophones and Francophones from going to English CEGEPs.
Not all in attendance were pleased with those new promises.
"It doesn't go far enough because in the education system, we need to enforce Bill 101 in the CEGEPs," said PQ Beauharnois Riding Association president Marc Laviolette.
However, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, the one-time candidate for party leadership who has since joined Lisee's outreach team, said the PQ must get a message out to Anglophones and Allophone voters: the PQ is different than it was a generation ago.
"It has the honesty to ask everyone in Quebec 'What do you think about us? What should we do?'" he said.
- With files from The Canadian Press