April 8, 2010
Duceppe brings sovereignty roadshow to Toronto
By KEVIN CONNOR, QMI Agency
TORONTO — - Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe was in Toronto Thursday to spread his separatist agenda.
It was a stop on a tour that will take him from coast to coast to tell Canadians the day will come when Quebec becomes a sovereign country.
But he admits that today he doesn’t have the support to make that happen.
“Since Quebec and Canada are on increasingly divergent paths, I firmly believe that sovereignty is the only way forward for Quebec. In my opinion sovereignty would be preferable not only for Quebec, but also for Canada, leaving it free to shape its future exactly as it wishes,” Duceppe said to small and mostly French group of media during a press conference at the very English King Edward Hotel. “Twenty years after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord and the rejection of Quebec’s most basic aspirations there is no room left for illusions. Canadian federalism can never be reformed to accommodate Quebec’s aspirations.
“Since the symbolic recognition of the Quebec nation in the House of Commons, the Bloc Quebecois has put forward a number of proposals to give this recognition. Yet all our proposals have been rejected. This proves Canada does not truly recognize the Quebec nation."
Duceppe believes the status quo will make Quebec grow politically and economically weaker in Canada and that will lead to a decline in the French language.
He says the fact that the Bloc has won six majorities since 1990 shows Quebeckers reject the status quo and federal system.
“With regard to matters relating to identity such as French language, culture and citizenship, the reality is different in Quebec and it needs full powers in these areas in order to make its own choices,” he said. “The same is true in economic and financial matters. When the interests of Quebec and Canada conflict, most often Quebec has to give in and accept policies that are opposed to its interest.”
He says a sovereign Quebec would still do business with Canada, but there wouldn’t be the fighting.
Duceppe also met with the Ontario Federation of Labour, members of the CD Howe Institute and with the Economic Club of Canada.
“I’m not saying we are better or worse, but different. People are usually very warm with me,” he said.
After the tour, Duceppe says there will be a meeting in Montreal on May 8 to assess the situation.