MONTREAL - Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe says the days are long gone when Canada could offer a deal like the Meech Lake accord to keep Quebec from becoming sovereign.

Duceppe says in an interview with The Canadian Press that Quebec wouldn't be satisfied with being recognized as a distinct society now because it's a distinct nation.

The Bloc leader will be taking the pulse of Canadians on the idea of sovereignty during a cross-country tour during the next two weeks.

He says it's important because independence is inevitable.

Duceppe says he has always been given a good reception in the rest of the country and he's interested in knowing what people have to say.

Meech Lake, which was proposed by the government of then-prime minister Brian Mulroney in the late 1980s before it officially died in 1990, would have given Quebec the status of a distinct society.

Duceppe says even though the issue of Quebec sovereignty is on the back burner in the province, support for the option always hovers at around 40 per cent.