National Council of the Parti Québécois | Success should not “distract” us, says St-Pierre Plamondon

(Saint-Hyacinthe) Galvanized by its victory in Jean-Talon, the Parti Québécois must remain “concentrated” on its objective of achieving independence, believes Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, who asks his troops to remain “modest” despite this last gain.

“We must remain focused on the objectives even when there is success,” explained the leader of the Parti Québécois on Saturday upon his arrival at his party’s National Council this weekend in Saint-Hyacinthe. This is the first time that PQ activists – there were supposed to be around 400 at the end of the week – have met since their resounding victory in Jean-Talon.


The National Council of the Parti Québécois takes place in Saint-Hyacinthe.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon entered a room electrified to the sound of the piece Hymn to Quebec of Loco Locass, surrounded by the three other PQ deputies. The new elected official, Pascal Paradis, was also invited to speak. “We are the party that will make Quebec a country. Full stop,” declared the MP for Jean-Talon vigorously, to thunderous applause.

The atmosphere was rather festive on Saturday. ” Everything that [M. St-Pierre Plamondon] said turns into gold,” enthusiastically launched Isabelle Létourneau. This activist from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, in western Montreal, cited the victory in Jean-Talon – a riding located in Quebec City which had never been in the hands of the PQ – and the abolition of the obligation to take an oath to the king to sit in the National Assembly.

However, the PQ leader wants to take advantage of the event to remind his members to remain “modest” and to stay focused on the goals of his party. This is the message he will convey during his closing speech this Sunday.

Despite a rise in the Parti Québécois in recent polls, the Coalition Avenir Québec remains a clear favorite in voting intentions.

“When it was more difficult, I found it exceptional that the activists remained focused on our objectives without there being any chaos. But conversely, when things are going very well, you must not let yourself be distracted [de] our real objectives, namely to have a positive impact on society and to really help people,” explained Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon.

It is also important to “not get distracted” by the criticism of your opponents. The Parti Québécois faced criticism this week with the presentation of the year 1 budget for a sovereign Quebec. The filing of the document caused clashes at the Salon Bleu a few days ago between Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon and Prime Minister François Legault, who himself carried out the last similar exercise in 2005.

“We learned from the past,” says Marois


Former Prime Minister Pauline Marois

Former Prime Minister Pauline Marois, who gave a speech on Saturday on the importance of education in society, believes that lessons have been learned from the referendum failures and that Quebec’s economy is in much “better shape ” Today. During the race for the leadership of the Parti Québécois in 2005, Marois had affirmed that five years of “turbulence” would follow the creation of a sovereign Quebec.

“Five years is a bit of an exaggeration,” she admitted in the press scrum. “Quebec is stronger than it has ever been. We are at full employment, we have fantastic investment tools,” she stressed.

We have learned from the past and the future should demonstrate this.

Pauline Marois, Prime Minister of Quebec from 2012 to 2014

Furthermore, she supports the proposal of Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon who believes that a sovereign Quebec should have its own currency. At the time, she held the opposite position. This option “would basically save us a lot of debates with the Bank of Canada and tensions,” she said.

Private school has its place, nuance St-Pierre Plamondon

Education is the central theme of the National Council. Members will have to vote this Sunday on a series of proposals, notably to put an end to the “three-speed school”.

For example, there will be discussion of the option “to offer the opportunity to all currently subsidized private schools to become approved schools, entirely financed by the State”, and to “gradually reduce subsidies below 50%”. private schools that do not have agreements.”

This is a more nuanced position than the one that the PQ proposed in its last electoral platform, namely to gradually withdraw all subsidies granted to private schools. However, the PQ leader seems more comfortable with the new proposal.

“I think what’s in the notebook [de propositions], at the moment, it’s reasonable, then it’s on target,” he explained, affirming that private schools also have their place in the Quebec ecosystem. “We are right to think about three-tier schools, it’s unfair, but we also have to go for something gradual and which respects the fact that there are private schools which work very well,” said -he said.

Words which contrast with those of Pauline Marois who delivered a vibrant plea in favor of public schools. “We have a significant weakness, subsidized private schools and special-purpose public schools, which select students. These schools segregate based on income and social affiliation,” lamented the former Minister of Education.

The problem is difficult. I understand each parent individually when choosing the best school for their child. Unfortunately, the social consequences of this selection [sont] undeniable.

Pauline Marois, former Prime Minister of Quebec

She herself made the choice to send her four children to public school, which was highlighted on social networks by MP Pascal Bérubé. Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, for his part, was categorical: there was no question of requiring MPs (and future elected officials) to have their children attend the public network.

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