Paul St-Pierre Plamondon apologizes for miming suicide in the House

The leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, apologized Wednesday for having mimed at the Salon Bleu the gesture of opening one’s veins to commit suicide during an exchange with Prime Minister François Legault.

In the minutes following the question period, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon rushed to correct the situation on social networks. “I withdraw my comments and I apologize, it was a joke taken from a common Quebec expression, but it was not appropriate in the circumstances,” he declared.

In the House, Mr. Legault himself highlighted the off-camera gesture of Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, which occurred after the Prime Minister had questioned him about the prospect of him joining the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) in following a third referendum defeat on sovereignty. “You have seen the signs of the leader of the PQ who wants to open his veins, and therefore commit suicide. Look, that’s his problem,” he said.

Spontaneous response

In his statement on social networks, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon explained that he wanted to be humorous. “I spontaneously responded to the Prime Minister’s assertion that I would one day become a CAQ player, with a smiling joke, to the effect that I would prefer to open my veins, in the sense of ‘never in life’,” said specified the PQ leader.

Previously, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon had asked the Prime Minister if he was ready to commit to holding a referendum on the repatriation of federal powers over immigration, as he mentioned at the beginning of the month.

Mr. Legault picked up on Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon’s controversial gesture after discussing his changes in position on nationalism, the decline of French and Bill 101 in CEGEP before he became leader of the Parti Québécois. “If he ever loses a third referendum on sovereignty, will he become CAQ? Eh ? One might wonder that,” he said.

Lack of sensitivity

Upon leaving the Salon Bleu, the Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Jean-François Roberge, expressed his indignation after witnessing the gesture of the PQ leader. “He made the gesture of slitting his veins by saying: “If we lose another referendum, I will slit my veins, I will open my veins.” Let’s say it’s a bit of an excessive reaction,” he said.

The Minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant, judged that Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon acted inappropriately. “It was still insensitive. Mental health problems are very serious; I take it very seriously. It was still something insensitive,” he said after leaving the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers.

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