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The third referendum, “ultimate chance” to found a country, says PSPP

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “Either we maintain the status of a declining minority in Canada until our disappearance, or we finally become a majority here,” declared Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, addressing activists gathered on Sunday at the national council of the Parti Québécois .

François Carabin in Drummondville

April 14, 2024

  • Quebec

Despite the results of polls, which indicate that the “Yes” camp is neutral, the leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, believes that the “window has never been so gaping” for the holding of a third referendum on independence. And this meeting will be “very probably [the] ultimate chance” to achieve sovereignty, he assessed on Sunday.

“We see a certainty: that our moment will arrive more quickly than expected, therefore not in an idealized and distant future, but within a few years, certainly by the end of the decade,” launched the elected representative of Camille-Laurin, Sunday morning, during the national council of the sovereignist party, in Drummondville. “We will indeed experience a third referendum on the independence of Quebec! »

In a half-hour speech punctuated by standing ovations from PQ activists, “PSPP” castigated the “federal regime” for its “systematic encroachment in all areas of Quebec’s jurisdiction”. “For many, including those who sang God save the King [last week in the Canadian parliament], Quebec is a problem that must eventually be resolved,” said he lamented.

This frontal “charge”, coming from “a regime which only knows how to crush those who refuse to assimilate”, awakens the hope of a referendum “unthinkable a few months ago”, proclaimed the PQ leader in front of a crowd hanging on his lips.

Quoting the founding father of his political party, René Lévesque, he assessed having reached the “moment in history where the only suitable door for our people is to give ourselves a country normal named Quebec”. “Quebecers must realize that our next meeting with History – because it will take place – is perhaps… in fact very probably, our ultimate chance to give ourselves a linguistic and cultural showcase. »

Without which, he warned the room, the destiny of Quebec is clear: decline to the point of obliteration. “Either we maintain the declining minority status in Canada until we disappear, or we finally become a majority here,” he said.

“We are falling into a regime which is no longer a federation, but an increasingly unitary state […] which has a history of discrimination against French-speakers. What do you think will be our fate as Quebecers if we don't even have a fifth of the votes of a government that decides for us ? We're done,” insisted Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, during a press briefing held a few hours after his speech.

The risk of “disappearing”

The Parti Québécois has been at the top of the polls for several months, but support for sovereignty remains below the 40% mark. In a Léger poll dated March, it stood at 36%, up one percentage point from the Quebec pollster's most recent opinion survey.

However, over the past year, the PQ has become “the leading political force in Quebec,” Paul St-Pierre Plamondon boasted on Sunday. This reality, mixed with the attitude of a federal government that “does not care about the Canadian Constitution,” must lead Quebecers of all stripes to think about the future of Quebec, he declared.

“Whether you are on the right, on the left, whatever disagreement we may have on the subject of the day, we must, out of loyalty to Quebec, agree on the essentials,” said supported PSPP, reaching out to voters of all political groups: “conservatives, progressives, economic right-wing libertarians or even Pastafarians,” he joked.

The PQ's political adversaries were quick to attack its leader on Sunday. On the social network “By pointing out the culprits, he is banking on fear to promote his independence option,” wrote the liberal elected official. “He constantly targets, in his interventions, immigrants, first and foremost, students and temporary workers. »

Always on “It is already certain to win a majority in 2026. It is either arrogance or poorly controlled euphoria,” he said.

Defending himself to be “arrogant” at a press conference, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon once again insisted on opening the door to all voters, including those “from parties who do not dare to name the “I” word [independence ]”. “Who do we need ? Absolutely everyone who becomes aware of what is happening in terms of the sustainability of this Quebec who should exercise its right to determine its policies, should exercise its right to exist in French », he maintained.

A national council on housing

The PQ national council, on the theme of housing, was held in the presence of around 500 activists and observers. For the first time since the years in power of Pauline Marois, safety bars were installed at the entrance to the partisan event, on the recommendation of the Sûreté du Québec.

A decision taken because of the climate of increased threat towards elected officials, the history of the PQ in this matter – the attack on the Metropolis in the first place -, but also the growing notoriety of Paul St-Pierre Plamondon. “The events that I personally experienced and other events have ensured that we are in constant contact with the Sûreté du Québec,” maintained the PQ leader on Saturday.

After a week marked by the issue of the third Quebec-Lévis link in the National Assembly, the sovereignist party had to clarify this weekend what it intended to do with the controversial project if it was elected in the next general elections. If Jean-Talon's deputy, Pascal Paradis, maintains without qualification that a highway bill “is excluded in 2026”, his leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, is less assertive in his convictions.

“It will be public transport, the door is not open to the motorway, but we will have to take into account variables that we do not know. And I cannot comment on them since I do not know them,” he said on Sunday, referring to the work on mobility in the national capital of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

On the theme of housing, a series of proposals aiming in particular to create a national rent register, to bring 45,000 housing units off the ground in five years, to include them in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of person the “right to housing” or to transform government and heritage buildings into rental units were adopted on Sunday.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116