MONTREAL — Martine Ouellet acknowledged that the situation of crisis in the Bloc québécois “is not a good news”, but she believes that the creation of a new party by seven members of parliament who had resigned, has at least the merit of clarifying things.
Flanked by the only two members bloquistes who continue to support it, Xavier Barsalou-Duval, and Marilène Gill, and the new vice-president of the Bloc québécois, Gilbert Paquette, Mrs. Ouellet was charged Monday in Montreal, the new party in its infancy, be in favour of the status quo constitutional, since the quitters say they are ready to welcome representatives from other training federalists in their ranks.
“This party-there will not be the promotion of the independence; it will defend the interests of Quebec, but in the perspective of the current regime, in the perspective of status quo“, she said in a press conference.
Gilbert Paquette, for his part, went so far as to call the future advantage of “crypto-federalist” because its members will not associate the defence of Québec’s interests to the attainment of independence.
Martine Ouellet maintains the line that she is defending since his arrival at the head of the formation, namely that it must “promote the independence of all the stands at every opportunity”, as provided for in article 1 of the party program.
“The cement of the sovereignty movement-independence, that is independence”, says Ms. Ouellet when asked to explain the divisions that mark the movement both at the provincial level, with the presence of two parties, sovereignists [the Parti québécois and Québec solidaire], that federal with the spin-off of the Block.
According to it, there’s only this theme that can rally its supporters and that is why it persists and signs. “We must assume: it is not by hiding the independence that we’re going to make, on the contrary,” she said.
According to her, it is this substantive issue which is at the heart of the crisis and not his own personality or his leadership style, which has been harshly criticized by the resigning members.
To this effect, it does not hide a certain bitterness in the face of criticism of which she was the object, in particular when you called his supporters a cult. “These are attacks that are really unworthy,” she insurgent.
“It is hurtful, I must say, of all the blunders the media and the attacks and insults that I have received on the personality, while the main issue is a power struggle on the role of the Bloc québécois.”
Because Martine Ouellet, did not budge: according to her, “this is not the personality which is the main issue,” but rather the substantive question of the role of the Block.
Double standard for a woman?
This does not prevent him to recognize that it is his personality that has been at the heart of the public debate and believes that this issue has created a distortion of perception. “I’m not inflexible, I am not controlling,” she said, saying any more than “demanding”.
But she wondered about the treatment of which it was the object: “does the fact that I am a woman has (led to) a different opinion in people? I don’t know.”
“I ask myself the question: is there a double standard in the analysis?”, she continues, arguing that, compared to its predecessors, its way of working “was much more flexible objectively”.
The about Ms. Ouellet have been greeted with a grain of salt by mps who resigned in Ottawa.
Rheal Fortin recalled that their party is still a project. “I see that there are some who are more advanced than us in defining our party. Ms. Ouellet, to the best of my knowledge, she is still leader of the Bloc québécois”, he said.
“There is one thing on which we all get along: we are here to defend the interests of Québec,” he continued, adding that if ever a federalist wanted to join a future party “which will not only had the mission to defend the interests of Quebec, I think it is a federalist, which is not far from being pro-independence”.
For his part, Louis Plamondon said see this openness as a unique opportunity to proselytism with federalists disillusioned, recalling that the support for sovereignty is around 30 % in the polls.
“Come and speak to us it is the first step towards sovereignty. […] It is necessary to go in search of federalists and convert them, then we are going to do it,” he said.
Mario Beaulieu, undecided
During this time, the case of Mario Beaulieu, remains nebulous.
The ex-president of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of Montreal is officially still president of the party, but was not alongside Ms. Ouellet during the press conference.
It is also always a member of the Bloc québécois, but has not yet stated publicly whether he supported Martine Ouellet or not.
Ms. Ouellet will be submitted to a vote of confidence on 3 June. It will need 50 percent plus one vote to stay in the saddle.
The members of the Block will also be called to vote on the reaffirmation of article 1 of the party program which states that “the Bloc Québécois is using every forum and every opportunity to demonstrate the need for the independence of Quebec”.