Maria Mourani's declaration that she can no longer support the sovereignty movement has outraged many separatists.

The MP, who was tossed out of the Bloc Quebecois in September for denouncing the Charter of Values proposed by Quebec's Parti Quebecois government, issued a statement Wednesday that what was once the extreme wing of the sovereignty movement has now become the core of its supporters.

Other moves proposed by the PQ, including drastic alterations to Quebec's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, convinced Mourani that it was only through being part of Canada that Quebecers could hope to maintain their values.

Social media erupted in a storm of insults, the most gentle of which was calling Mourani a traitor to the cause.

Former premier and PQ leader Bernard Landry debated Mourani Wednesday evening, and he became very emotional during the televised broadcast.

"Your arguments are filled with contempt for the Quebec people," said Landry.

Mourani countered that standing up for the rights of all Quebecers should never been seen as contemptuous.

Gilles Duceppe attacked Mourani's shift as the result of “tortured logic” and accused her of having “moral elasticity.”

Duceppe attacked Mourani for saying that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms offers better protection to minorities than anything offered by the sovereignist movement.

“It’s silly to rely on a document without the approval of the Quebec nation. Her logic doesn’t hold up. How can she claim that the Canadian charter protects minorities while it doesn’t even recognize the Quebec nation?” asked Duceppe.

Duceppe said that in 2006 Mourani asked for a review of the Bloc Quebec’s position on recognition of the Armenian genocide on the grounds that “Armenians and Turks vote Liberal.”

“That’s not how we should do politics,” said Duceppe. ”Her asking to reconsider genocide because people vote Liberal, well doesn’t show very high principles, to say the least.”

Andres Fontecilla spokesman and chairman of Québec Solidaire said in a statement that, “Maria Mourani erred in turning her back on Quebec sovereignty" and that “the path of federalism is a dead end.”

Liberal MP Marc Garneau defended her stance, however.

“It took a courageous decision,” he said. “It must be difficult for a person who has given body and soul to a party and isn’t recognized by that party, to publicly renounce her desire for independence,” said Garneau.

Quebec Inclusif's open letter

Members of Quebec Inclusif, who have frequently denounced the PQ's proposed restrictions on religious icons as being hateful, say it is still possible to support an independent Quebec that welcomes those of all ethnicities and religions.

"You are wrong, Ms. Mourani," says the open letter signed by 30 supporters of Quebec Solidaire and Option Nationale, as well as former Bloc Quebecois MP Jean Dorion.

The authors contend that federalism "does not allow the full expression of our collective aspirations," using the example of the Canada-EU trade agreement which puts quotas on beef from Canada, but has no restrictions to protect cheese manufacturers that are mostly based in Quebec.

"As supporters of independence we are saddened by the manner in which the PQ is using the concept of a secular state in an attempt to win a majority government in the next election. Hunting out the hijab will not bring us closer to independence," states the letter.

"Don't put all separatists in the same basket."

Cannot join the NDP until next election

Meanwhile federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said he is pleased with what Mourani is doing, and said he supports her decisions.

As to speculations made by former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe that Mourani was coming out as a federalist just to maintain a job as an MP, Mulcair said he couldn't accept Mourani into the NDP just yet.

"The NDP has a very strong principle against floor-crossing so anyone who would ever want to run for us would have to run in a nomination meeting and then run for the party," said Mulcair.

"I spoke to Madame Mourani when she first stepped down just to express my appreciation for the work she had done and understanding that it was a difficult circumstance for her, beyond that perhaps we'll have a chance to talk again in the future but the rest of those choices are up to her."

Mourani said Wednesday that she had not been approached by any federal party and had not made a decision about what to do in 2015.

Political pundit Jean Lapierre said that the NDP would be a likelier future destination for Mourani than the Liberals.

"From my calls that I made to different parties, the NDP is a little more open," said Lapierre. "As for the Liberals, the new electoral map is going to give an advantage to the Liberals so they could win Ahuntsic without her and so I don't think they're so excited about getting her."

Deadline to comment is Friday

The public hearings on the Charter of Values are scheduled to begin in January.

Friday is the last day for people who wish to comment on the bill to make their application to the National Assembly.