Despite 'adversity' in polls, sovereignty remains key for Parti Quebecois

The Parti Québécois (PQ) must maintain Quebec independence as a central tenant of their party going into the October election, even if it faces “adversity” in the polls, according to party head Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon.

The PQ leader spoke Saturday morning in front of supporters gathered for the party's national council meeting in Boucherville, Que.

“We don't back down, we don't deviate, we don't apologize, we don't change our minds. We are going to fight,” he said during the event at the Mortagne hotel. His speech was met with a standing ovation.

He repeated that the only way to move Quebec forward is through sovereignty and that sovereignty is a “necessary and urgent” matter.

“As long as we refuse, if only for a moment, to mention the word ‘independence,’ the truth is that Quebec will have no bargaining power,” he said.

“Quebec will only get refusals from Ottawa, and Quebec will unfortunately be condemned to linguistic and cultural decline.”

Recent polls suggest the PQ is sitting on 8 per cent support from Quebecers. By contrast, Francois Legault’s Coalition avenir du Québec (CAQ) is still in the lead, for its part, with 46% of support.

PQ MNA Joël Arsenau is nevertheless optimistic.

‘The only thing that is certain with the polls is that they will change,” he told reporters before the event. “We will not be able to give the keys to parliament to 125 CAQ deputies. It's not going to happen.”

-- This article was first published by The Canadian Press in French on May 28, 2022, with the financial support of the Meta Fellowships and The Canadian Press for News.

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