It's official: Jean-Martin Aussant returns home to PQ

Jean-Martin Aussant, the hardline separatist who left the Parti Québécois to found his own separatist party Option Nationale, is going back to the PQ.

Aussant was introduced as a PQ candidate for the next election by PQ leader Jean-François Lisée at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

He would also act as an adviser to the party, and would be in charge of drawing up an agency to come up with studies on the feasibility of sovereignty — should the PQ win power in the 2018 election.

For the moment, it's not clear where he will run. He had wanted to run in east-end Pointe-aux-Trembles, the longtime home of outgoing PQ MNA Nicole Léger, but the party already has a star candidate picked for the riding — Société St-Jean-Baptiste head Maxime Laporte.

Aussant was first elected to the National Assembly as a Péquiste in 2008, but walked out on the party in 2011 over then-leader Pauline Marois' go-slow approach to sovereignty.

He founded a more orthodox separatist party, Option Nationale, a short time later, and unsucessfully ran for re-election in his Nicolet-Becancour seat under the new banner in 2012.

An economist by trade, he left the party the following year to take a job with Morgan Stanley Capital International in London, England.

Option Nationale, meanwhile, never came close to electing a member in either the 2012 or 2014 elections. The party was folded into Québec Solidaire in 2017.