Lucien Bouchard blasts PQ sovereignty plan while Liberals replace Jean Charest

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

And, so it begins.

Pundits and analysts warned that a Parti Quebecois victory would be, well, interesting.

After a one week respite following Quebec's September 4 election, it appears they were right.

This week started with an op-ed column in the Montreal Gazette written by PQ executive member Alexandre Thériault-Marois berating the Anglophone media for calling his party racist.

"In the days after our Quebec general election, a Calgary Herald columnist wrote in her newspaper...'fully 31.94 per cent of Quebec voters have no problem supporting the bigoted and racist agenda of the winning Parti Québécois.'

This is just one example of a plethora of comments published in English-Canadian newspapers and blogs during and after the election campaign that made reference to alleged racism of PQ candidates, volunteers and voters.

Are these accusations founded, and can they be considered as fair — and therefore necessary — commentary?

Or are they, as suggested by some nationalist groups, a new trick by federalists to demonize and crush the PQ?"

If the PQ was annoyed by that, they are certainly not going to like this: Former premier Lucien Bouchard has written a new book blasting, among other things, the PQ sovereignty plan, citizen initiated referendums and his former party's position on tuition hikes.

[ Related: What does a minority PQ government mean for Quebec and the rest of Canada? ]

According to the National Post, Bouchard argues that the debate about independence is at an "impasse," and that young Quebecers need something else to inspire them.

"What remains when the dream of sovereignty fades, when it cannot rally people like before?" he wrote in Lettres à un jeune politicien due out in stores, Wednesday.

"You can no doubt see that my generation is lacking a collective myth."

Meanwhile, the Liberals are moving quickly to replace Jean Charest.

On Wednesday, they announced that outgoing Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier will step-in as interim leader.

The Globe and Mail's Rheal Seguin suggests the list of those vying for the permanent job could include former health minister Philippe Couillard, former intergovernmental minister Benoît Pelletier, and outgoing finance minister Raymond Bachand.

The Liberals expect to officially launch the leadership race in October, with a vote as early March 2013. With a tenuous minority PQ government in the national assembly, that is probably a wise choice.

Also, in the coming days, we can expect incoming premier Pauline Marois to contact Stephen Harper to ask for more provincial powers, as she promised during her campaign.

Welcome to PQ land — where there's never a dull moment.

[ Related: Saskatchewan's Brad Wall continues to rank as Canada's most popular premier ]