Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, during the unveiling of the version renewal of the year one budget, October 23, 2023
The independence of Quebec will not be accompanied by financial sacrifices, according to Paul St-Pierre Plamondon. “This is not the most likely scenario,” he said on Sunday, at the end of a week which saw him table his version of the “year one budget”.
In his closing speech to the national council of the Parti Québécois (PQ), in Saint-Hyacinthe, the elected official from Camille-Laurin wanted to respond to Prime Minister François Legault, who had affirmed this week that independence , although viable, would require “sacrifices” from Quebecers.
“The fears of federalists are, strictly speaking, hypothetical and theoretical,” proclaimed Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon in front of a convinced crowd on Sunday. According to him, the sacrifices of remaining in the Canadian federation are much more numerous. In particular, that of “bequeathing to our children the decline, the status of a Quebec which is slowly sliding towards insignificance”.
“It’s another fear operation, this story of sacrifices,” said Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon during a press briefing, a few minutes after his speech. “Fear has always been the basic argument of the federalist movement. »
In 2005, future Prime Minister Pauline Marois affirmed that the transition to a Quebec country would generate five years of economic turbulence. In his speech on Sunday, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon initially seemed to agree with the same sentiment.
“It seems to me that the sacrifices of being a minority experiencing linguistic and cultural decline and whose political and economic interests are not well considered in Canada, when we compare that to the sacrifices of a year-long transition or two… Asking the question is answering it,” he said in his speech.
“That’s not my argument. I take up François Legault’s argument,” Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon justified himself to journalists in the following minutes. “Even if we had to accept it, it’s a horse and a rabbit” between the sovereignist and federalist option.
In presenting its year one budget last Monday, “PSPP” agreed that there would be job losses associated with sovereignty, given the elimination of duplication in certain federal ministries. The attrition measures he proposed in this regard do not represent a sacrifice either, according to him.
“I still remind you that we are in a context of labor shortage work and that nothing prevents the government from supporting these workers towards equivalent jobs,” he said.
PSPP believes that it will give Quebecers “pleasure” to work “voluntarily” for independence. “There’s going to be excitement. You can call it work, but I don't see it as a sacrifice. It will happen spontaneously because it will be pride that replaces fear,” he said on Sunday.
“I do it when I make my Christmas tree,” he said. -he added to the joke.
As he had done the day before, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon closed his party's national council by calling on activists to show humility in the face of the good results of recent months. The PQ leader agrees that the PQ weathered storms in its early days as leader. He now anticipates headwinds, due to the increasing place of the sovereignist group in the public space.
“There may be more tomatoes, but should that change anything in our political action? “, he asked himself out loud, in front of journalists. “That’s also, perhaps, the trap. If there is more animosity directed at us, should we change our style as a result? »
The day before, the PQ elected official had refused to respond to the “anonymous childishness” of elected officials from the Coalition Avenir Québec cited in Le Devoir. One of them, who did not want to be identified, criticized the image of Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon by calling him a “spoiled baby.”
Parent Commission 2.0
In the morning, Parti Québécois activists unanimously adopted a proposal to hold a new Parent Commission on education. However, they were divided on another proposal aimed at gradually defunding private schools that refused to “contract”.
This was narrowly defeated, after MP Pascal Bérubé had invited the members present to do so.