PQ youth wing debates future of sovereignty after disastrous 2018 election
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, May 4, 2019 11:53AM EDT
Roughly 200 young Parti Quebecois activists gathered for a symposium on the future of sovereignty on Saturday.
The event, held at the Universite de Montreal and organized by the party’s youth wing, is meant to reflect on how the current reality in the National Assembly will affect the Quebec independence movement. The Parti Quebecois suffered a disastrous loss in the 2018 election, winning just 10 seats – the same amount as Quebec Solidaire.
PQ youth wing president Frederique St-Jean said she believes young people must have a say in the new landscape.
“Young people want change and I think they will become leaders in this new dynamic,” she said.
Among the big questions being asked is whether young people have the same motivations for seeking an independent Quebec as previous generations.
“We will ask them the question to know if the subject is still of interest,” said St-Jean. “I that if young people are coming, it’s still interesting to them.”
The party’s youth wing has been at the centre of controversy as the PQ attempts to find its way forward in their new political reality. Some long-time PQ members have accused the young activists of wanting to take up too much space, even accusing their young colleagues of ageism.
“This will not be at all confrontational,” said St-Jean. “It’s really a reflection symposium. We want young people to regain possession of the independence movement and make it happen again.”
Other topics on the agenda include the urgency of climate change and the widening gap between rich and poor.
Interim PQ leader Pascal Berube will address the gathering on Saturday afternoon.