Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Couillard defends Canada as Quebec legislature returns amid election rumours

QUEBEC - Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard has given a clear indication of his election strategy, vaunting the merits of Canada while in the same breath saying he is a proud Quebecer.

The former health minister won a byelection last December and his return to the national assembly on Tuesday came against the backdrop of the possibility of a Quebec election as early as April.

Couillard's address to the legislature was littered with references to the advantages he sees in Quebec remaining within Confederation.

"We are Quebecers first, but we are also proud to belong to the Canadian federation," he said.

"This belonging provides us the opportunity to benefit from the major economic and financial entity that is Canada. That is a positive impact that is easy to show.

"But beyond the numbers and the billions, it's first and foremost for us the choice of a model of citizenship that is the envy of the entire planet."

That kind of talk will obviously clash with Premier Pauline Marois' expected election strategy of promoting Quebec independence and blaming Ottawa for many of the province's problems.

Marois, whose Parti Quebecois currently forms a minority government, is believed to be tempted to cash in on favourable opinion polls suggesting she could form a majority.

If re-elected with that majority, Marois has promised her party would consult Quebecers on whether the province should hold another referendum on independence.

One of Couillard's challenges will be to cut into the PQ's lead among francophones, who determine the winner of most of the province's 125 ridings.

The Liberals and the third-placed Coalition for Quebec's Future have been hammering the PQ for weeks to table a budget before calling an election so Quebecers can get an updated picture of the province's finances.

On Tuesday, Marois refused to commit to Couillard's request, saying only that Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau was getting down to preparing one.

There are rumours of a Feb. 20 budget.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media