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Yves-François Blanchet shoots a few arrows at François Legault

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar16,2024

Yves-François Blanchet shoots some arrows at François Legault

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The leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

The leader of the Bloc Québécois Yves-François Blanchet took advantage of his party's general council in Quebec to shoot a few arrows at Quebec Prime Minister François Legault – without naming him – while the latter has just suffered a new setback by Ottawa on immigration and the government announced a deficit of $11 billion in its latest budget.

My job is to say that this deficit is abysmal, but above all it is federal, because the person responsible is federal […]. It's $11 billion, because we're not saying that Ottawa owes Quebec $7 billion, stand up! Explain to me why it takes an independence party in Ottawa and its brother in Quebec to tell the government: "you have a hole of $7 billion, because you don't demand it and you don't say it," launched in front of some 250 activists gathered at Laval University.

This is what happens when you commit to being a federalist. When we promise not to hold a referendum on sovereignty, we get a pat on the back of the head. We are told no and we will always be told no, added Yves François Blanchet.

The Prime Minister of Quebec said Thursday that' he was going to request full powers in matters of immigration from his federal counterpart, Justin Trudeau. The next day, the Canadian Prime Minister refused Mr. Legault's request.

Having all the powers in immigration is only the beginning, because what we want is all the powers, period. Without a balance of power, we are told no, added Yves-François Blanchet.

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We, here, in this room, when we are told no to what is ours to right, we stand up and we fight, he added.

The Bloc clearly wants to be ready for a possible federal election – which is possible at any time due to the minority Liberal government in Ottawa – and Quebec City will likely be an important battleground. Friday evening, the Bloc leader announced his first candidate for the next election. This is Simon Bérubé, who will represent the party in the Quebec riding.

Why are we still in Quebec, except for the inauguration of Simon Bérubé? When you want to conquer a country, you start with its capital. It's also because we feel good there and it's not for a Nordiques match and even less for a Kings match, said Yves-François Blanchet, throwing another point at the CAQ prime minister who was greeted with laughter in the audience.

The Legault government was mired in controversy after the announcement last November of a subsidy of $5 to $7 million for two Los Angeles Kings preparatory games at the Videotron Center in Quebec.

A few weeks ago, François Legault questioned the usefulness of the Bloc Québécois in the House of Commons. What is the purpose of the Bloc Québécois in Ottawa? It's used for? What is it for?, launched the Prime Minister during question period at the Salon bleu.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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