Should Bloc Quebecois fade away?
Published Tuesday, January 7, 2014 12:09PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 7, 2014 7:41PM EST
One of the elder statesmen of the Quebec sovereignist movement says the Bloc Quebecois should disappear.
Yves Michaud was a Quebec MNA in the 1960s for the Liberal party, who then switched camps and became an influential advisor to several Parti Quebecois governments.
The 83-year-old now says the Bloc no longer has any influence in Ottawa, and does nothing aside from letting a few sovereignists collect federal pensions.
"The only advantage is that it lets a few Parti Quebecois MNAs like [Serge] Menard to also have a federal pension. Serge Menard is skimming from state finances," Michaud told the Canadian Press.
Menard is a former PQ MNA who served as a Bloc MP from 2004 to 2011.
Former Quebec MNA Robert Libman agrees that the Bloc is an outdated brand, and also agrees that giving up on the Bloc will help concentrate the sovereignist cause.
"With only three or four members in the House of Commons, the recent very loud departure of Maria Mourani, sovereignists must be questioning whether or not the Bloc is still relevant, and by still having a gaggle of sovereignists sitting in the House of Commons as federal MPs it sort of diminishes what people like Parizeau and Michaud like to represent," said Libman.
"It's us versus them when they refer to Quebec versus the rest of Canada."
Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe said with a sizable minority of Quebecers supporting sovereignty, having the party in Ottawa is "sane for democracy."
"I have confidence in the militants of the Bloc Quebecois," said Duceppe. "There's 35,000 members, more than any other federal party. So those people will regroup and get ready for the next election."
Last month Daniel Paillé suddenly resigned as Bloc Quebecois leader for health reasons, and this coming weekend the party is expected to decide how and when it will replace Paillé.