MONTREAL -- Former Bloc Québécois Leader Martine Ouellet says she’s disappointed by the party’s “cautious” 2019 federal election campaign, saying it pushed aside the importance of independence.

"I do not know what they can do once they have decided, with Yves-François Blanchet and Gilles Duceppe, to put independence aside," said Ouellet.

“They said it: 'the campaign is not about independence, we will work together in the Canadian system.' Working within Canada is the opposite of trying to leave Canada. There is a contradiction. I do not know how they will adjust that.”

The Bloc Québécois finished the election on Oct. 21 with 32 seats in the province -- a big difference from its 10 seats in 2015.

Ouellet argues the old strategies of working within the Canadian system do not benefit Quebec.

"This is not a strategy that has advanced the independence movement in any kind of way," she said in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press on Thursday night.

“The winners, unfortunately, are still the Liberals, with 35 seats in Quebec.”

Nevertheless, Ouellet says she’s pleased that Quebec has sent the message to Canada that it wants to take care of its own affairs, including the controversial secularism law.

"I know several independent-minded deputies who were elected. I hope they will succeed in making their voices heard inside the party," she added.