Quebec Premier François Legault "fears the rise" of the Parti Québécois (PQ), according to the party's leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

St-Pierre Plamondon's words come a few days after the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) government agreed to grant a meagre increase in budgetary resources and speaking time to the PQ.

In St-Pierre Plamondon's view, the government is unfairly favouring the other opposition parties over his own.

"Québec solidaire increased their budget by almost $1 million, even though they only have one more MNA. They got all their demands. The Liberals will operate on no less than $4.5 million budget, while they have fewer votes than the Parti Québécois," the PQ leader lamented in a Sunday interview with The Canadian Press.

The PQ, on the other hand, will have to make do with an annual budget of $570,000.

"When we have such a marked and clear intransigence towards the Parti Québécois -- and that the treatment is so differentiated between the parties -- what we must conclude is that the CAQ fears the Parti Québécois, fears the obvious rise of the Parti Québécois," St-Pierre Plamondon argued.


Two days before the next parliamentary session begins, St-Pierre Plamondon still hasn't revealed his strategy regarding his party members' inability to sit in the Quebec legislature.

Under the current rules, the three PQ MNAs are not permitted to sit in the Salon Blue because they refused to swear their allegiance to the British Crown.

They risk immediate expulsion if they defy the Canadian Constitution by making an appearance.

St-Pierre Plamondon said that no scenario is excluded regarding how the three PQ members will behave in parliament as of Tuesday.

The current mandate, which began on Oct. 3, is off to a slow start for the PQ as it attempts to secure an adequate operating budget and minimal speaking time, while also campaigning to make the oath to the British monarchy optional.


Given the small number of elected PQ members, St-Pierre Plamondon announced Sunday that his party would recruit 10 to 15 former candidates with expertise in given sectors to act as occasional PQ opposition co-spokespersons on certain issues.

The co-spokespersons, who would not be paid, would attend caucus meetings and represent the PQ at some events.

Their precise mandate and the terms of their roles have yet to be defined.

Meanwhile, the PQ is launching a social fundraising campaign to raise $120,000 by Christmas to hire two employees.

St-Pierre Plamondon said the PQ is embracing "the spirit of innovation" to address the lack of means at its disposal.

Although the PQ claimed an annual operating budget of $800,000 (not including the remuneration of constituency staff), it was initially offered $495,000. On Friday, the party settled for $570,000 -- a far cry from its original goal.

In regards to speaking time, the PQ opposition wanted a guarantee that it could ask one of the nine questions granted to the opposition each day.

However, the party was offered the right to ask five questions for every two-week cycle of 100 questions, eventually settling for seven questions per cycle.

The PQ also hoped to represent itself in the Office of the National Assembly, which is responsible for managing disputes between parliamentarians and making decisions about the assembly's operation. He was refused, instead granted "observer" status, meaning he won't have the right to speak.

Normally, to obtain full recognition in the House, the rules of the National Assembly require a parliamentary group have at least 12 elected members or 20 per cent of the popular vote.

The PQ only elected three MNAs, but still received 14.6 per cent of the popular vote, which it argues should allow it to claim some form of recognition.

The Quebec Liberal Party is the official opposition, with 14.3 per cent of the vote and 21 (now 19) MNAs; Québec solidaire elected 11 MNAs with 15.4 per cent of the vote; and the CAQ won 41 per cent of the vote and 90 seats.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Nov. 27, 2022.