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PQ launches sovereignty campaign in English

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"It pays off to be independent," proclaims a new ad by the Parti Québécois (PQ) -- in English -- as part of its sovereignty campaign.

Walking towards the camera, PQ Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon lists "health, education and the French language" as important topics to Quebecers.

"Each year, we send to Ottawa $82 billion of our money, but what do we get in return?" he asks. "Hardly any significant direct services for our people."

The "exercise" of explaining "the reasons why Canada is hurting Quebec" is a first in English, according to the party.

In the video, the 47-year-old accuses Ottawa of stepping on Quebec's toes, particularly when it comes to immigration.

Plamondon has previously stated that there are currently 560,000 temporary immigrants in Quebec, and if the federal government doesn't change its ways, "there is no viable future for Quebec."

"What if I told you we could keep this $82 billion here in Quebec?" St-Pierre Plamondon states, pinpointing the need to fund education, health care, environment and "the French language."

"That's what independence is all about," he said. "Reclaiming the money that belongs to us and spending it where it really matters."

St-Pierre Plamondon has already assured that the province "will definitely be living through a third referendum" on sovereignty before the end of the decade if his party comes to power in the provincial election scheduled for Oct. 5, 2026.

LISTEN ON CJAD 800: PQ appealing to anglophone voters with new campaign promoting indepedence

A first of its kind

Video campaigns are nothing new for the PQ, but an English video is the first of its kind, according to the party.

"We want to make a country for everyone: the French population, the English-speaking population, the First Nations, people coming from everywhere in the world, this is about a country for everyone," said PQ MNA Pascal Bérubé.

At the Quebec legislature, interim Liberal leader Marc Tanguay said the PQ is already making sovereignty a ballot box question.

"The message is clear with the Parti Quebecois, it's going to be a third referendum. And the only political party at the national assembly able to respond to this is the Quebec Liberal Party," he said.

Not just about Quebec

Political analyst David Heurtel believes it's too early to say if the next election will be fought over sovereignty.

"There's a lot that's going to influence the next provincial election. First of which is the result of the federal election," he said.

Heurtel said previous PQ leaders who courted English voters.

"This is not just about Quebec for Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, this is speaking to the rest of Canada and actually, the world. And showing that he is serious about this and he understands the rest of the world speaks English and he wants to be taken seriously," he said.

The English language ads will start broadcasting on Wednesday. French ads have been airing since Monday.

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