PQ delegates talk sovereignty, language, education
Published Saturday, February 9, 2013 5:17PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 9, 2013 6:36PM EST
Everything from sovereignty to the economy is on the table as 400 Parti Quebecois delegates spend the weekend in Drummondville for a two-day conference discussing the party's platform.
Invoking none other than party founder Rene Levesque, Premier Pauline Marois said he would want to clean house if he were around today.
First, wehave to have confidence in ourselves, in our institutions. That was at the heart of Rene Levesque’s work,” she said.
Integrity, she said, was Levesque's style, and a reason why the government is targeting corruption.
“Quebec has only one master – the people of Quebec,” she said, to a rousing round of applause and cheers.
Outside the PQ conference, protesters wanting more funding for community groups had a more cynical view.
“The PQ, like the Liberals, they always say that there's no money and that the finances are short. We hope that they're going to go beyond that,” said protester Sebastien Rivard.
The premier said her party is boosting services for families with young children by adding more daycare spots, and the dying by giving the terminally ill more medical options.
Further, the PQ's efforts to promote sovereignty are about to go online.
Party members are being asked to tweet, use Facebook and produce YouTube videos, in the hopes of producing something viral.
“It's a great day for the Parti Quebecois because we focus on the main activity of our party, which is to make Quebec a country,” said Alexandre Cloutier, Quebec's minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and Sovereignist Governance.
The latest opinion poll pegs support for sovereignty at 37 per cent.
The PQ's plans to strengthen Bill 101 won't hurt the English community a bit, said Minister for Anglophones and Montreal Jean-Francois Lisee.
“Ministre (Diane) de Courcy and I are doing more for French in the proposals that we support than any previous PQ government on the basics of the future of French,” he said. “At the same time we're saying, ‘Well there is a place for the English community here’ and this is not contradictory.”
On the education front, the Summit on Higher Education later this month will address a range of funding solutions, a relief for student-activist-turned-PQ-MNA Leo Bureau-Blouin.
“What I think is that we need to look at the public finances that are quite difficult, but what is important for me is that we can discuss it,” he said.
The PQ continues their meeting tomorrow.