Parti Quebecois loses bid to remove Maple Leaf from legislature

(QMI Agency file photo)

(QMI Agency file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:28 PM ET

QUEBEC CITY — Opposition MNAs defeated a Parti Quebecois motion Tuesday to remove the Canadian flag from the legislature's "red room."

Fifty-five Liberal and CAQ members joined forces to vote down the separatist motion supported by all 50 PQ MNAs as well as three members of separatist fringe parties.

The vote ends a controversy that began in September when Premier Pauline Marois had the flag taken down from the legislature's upper chamber, also known as the red room.

The upper chamber most often serves as a backdrop for ceremonies.

The Liberals have vehemently opposed the PQ motion, saying the flag belongs in the legislature so long as Quebec is still a part of Canada.

Yves-Francois Blanchet, the PQ MLA who first asked the legislative Speaker to remove the flag, says the Maple Leaf shouldn't be in the legislature as a matter of jurisdiction and history.

"It's about the exclusivity of the Quebec flag," he said.

Former Liberal premier Robert Bourassa introduced the flag to the legislature in 1985 and Jacques Parizeau had it taken down when his separatists took power in 1994.

The Liberals put it up again in 2003 when they toppled the PQ.


Photos