OUI Quebec wants provincial politicians to talk separation again

At their weekend assembly in Longueuil, delegates from one of Quebec's leading pro-separation organizations debated how to get Quebecers interested in separating from Canada again.

OUI Quebec (short for Organisations unies pour l'indépendance) focussed on the semi-successful referendum held in Catalonia nearly two years ago as a sign that fresh life can yet be breathed into the Quebec sovereignty movement.  The fall 2017 plebiscite in the Spanish province was declared illegal by Madrid and has since plunged the country into political chaos.

Delegates discussed the fact that pro-separation political parties in Catalonia have managed to stay relevant with voters over the year, something it seems has not been the case on this side of the Atlantic.  The election last fall of the CAQ government, which has promised to never hold a referendum on Quebec's status within Canada, and the collapse of the Parti Québécois were both cited as examples.

OUI Quebec's president, Claudette Carbonneau, said during a speech that sovereignty has "disappeared from the stakes of [recent] election campaigns" in this province.

In an interview with the Canadian Press's French-language service, Carbonneau called the near-absence of the sovereignty issue from last fall's campaign "particularly troubling."

The former trade unionist argued that an entire generation hasn't had the opportunity to cast a ballot for or against separation — 1.8 million registered voters in Quebec hadn't even been born at the time of the 1995 referendum.

With files from the Canadian Press's French-language service.