MONTREAL—Speaking to the first large gathering of party faithful since her September election, Premier Pauline Marois called on the opposition Saturday to approve the Parti Quebecois’ Nov. 20 budget.

With the opposition united against any tax increases, Marois’ minority government is facing unpalatable options: backtrack from a promised tax increase on the rich or lose the confidence of the National Assembly and face a winter election.

"I want to say: don't think about the next election, think of the next generation," Marois said in a speech at a PQ meeting in Sherbrooke, Que.

It looks unlikely that Marois will work with the main opposition after she took a number of swipes at the Liberals during her speech, criticizing the party for leaving a hole in the public coffers.

"After the election we were immediately confronted with the result of lax management," she said.

Reversing the tide of English with Bill 101

In her speech to the presidents of each of the PQ’s riding associations, Marois touched on her party's ultimate goal of independence, but cautioned that she faced more pressing concerns for the moment.

“Our country is within reach,” said Marois, adding that but she would need to secure a majority government before she could seriously consider sovereignty.

With a minority, Marois announced that a revamped Bill 101 would be tabled in the National Assembly before Christmas, as part of the PQ’s nationalist agenda.

First unveiled during the fall electoral campaign, the new Bill 101 would be aimed at reversing “the decline of French” in Montreal, the Outaouais and the South Shore.

While Marois didn’t confirm what would be included in the law, her campaign promises stipulated that the new Bill 101 would apply to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, limit enrollment to Anglophone CEGEPs, and create stricter regulations for English on signage.

—with files from The Canadian Press.