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PQ leader's allusion to deportations, executions a threat to social cohesion: MP

Pablo Rodriguez, minister of transport, speaks during a press conference responding to the latest auditor general report at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press) Pablo Rodriguez, minister of transport, speaks during a press conference responding to the latest auditor general report at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press)
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Quebec Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez says he deplores the tone taken by the leader of the Parti Quebecois, who referenced dark moments in Canadian history to justify the party's push for independence.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon told a news conference Tuesday that the history of francophones in Canada is coloured by deportations and executions.

Days earlier, he referenced Canada's encroachment on Quebec jurisdiction as another argument for Quebec sovereignty, and he pledged to hold a referendum on independence before 2030 should the party take power in 2026.

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The PQ leader also said Ottawa wants to "crush Quebec."

Rodriguez, who is transport minister and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Quebec lieutenant, denounced the comments as "deeply disappointing and even worrying."

He told reporters in Ottawa today that mentioning executions and deportations, while historically accurate, doesn't reflect present day Quebec or Canada and that using those words hurts social cohesion.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

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