Bloc Quebecois leader says party won't take part in a coalition federal government

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet is rejecting the idea of being part of a coalition federal government after the Sept. 20 election.

Blanchet says he would refuse any scenario that would see his party prop up a Liberal or Conservative minority government for any length of time in the House of Commons.

He says he would instead support a minority government that would survive a full four-year mandate.

Blanchet says forming a coalition would unduly tie down his party even if it would hold the balance of power.

He says he would prefer for a minority government to propose policies in the best interests of Quebec in order to receive support from the Bloc.

In 2008, the Bloc led by Gilles Duceppe had entered into an ill-fated agreement with the Liberals and NDP to form a coalition government to prevent the Conservatives under Stephen Harper from governing.

The Bloc at the time had agreed to lend its support for 19 months to a government composed of ministers from the Liberals and NDP.

In reaction, Harper prorogued Parliament to avoid having his minority government toppled.

"The obligation for a (minority) government or a party to do something that is good for Quebec in order to secure the support of the Bloc is the best guarantee we can have," Blanchet told reporters in Gatineau, Que., on Thursday.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

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