New NDP interim leader Nycole Turmel was a member of the separatist Bloc

Revelations the new interim leader of the federal New Democrats was a member of the separatist Bloc Quebecois has sent the party reeling once again, another of several high-profile incidents since it became the Official Opposition.

But not only was Nycole Turmel a card-carrying member of the Bloc, she had discussed running for the party in the previous two elections with then-Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe, as noted in the Toronto Star.

In her defence, Turmel said there were some Bloc policies she supported, but was opposed to sovereignty.

"I had a vision for Canada. I had a vision for families and I was really active in the NDP where I was not with the other parties, so to me it was clear that I wanted to do something for my riding, but I wanted to do something on behalf of Canadian families in general," the the MP for Hull-Aylmer was quoted in the Star article.

As for being a long-time member of the separatist Bloc, Turmel's spokesman said she only did it to support a friend, a Bloc MP, and the NDP brass knew about her affiliation before she became a candidate in the May 2 election.

She dropped her Bloc membership in January when told by the NDP she couldn't be a member of both parties, the Globe and Mail reported.

On Tuesday Turmel reaffirmed her position.

"I am a federalist," the rookie MP and Interim Leader of the Official Opposition told the Globe and Mail. "I want to reassure people about my allegiance to the NDP, my allegiance to Canadians, and reassure them that we are getting ready for the fall sitting of Parliament to work on their behalf."

Turmel was selected to lead the party after Jack Layton announced last week he was temporarily stepping down to battle a new form of cancer. He has suffered from prostate cancer.

Aside from the Canada Post filibuster, which only seemed to entrench the NDP's core support, not a lot has gone well for her majesty's loyal Opposition.

Here is a list:

May 3: Rookie MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau faced a media firestorm for not visiting her riding during the election campaign and for having questionable command of French.

May 4: NDP Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair was forced to explain himself after questioning the authenticity of the United States' picture of the Osama Bin laden corpse.

May 5: Newly elected Pierre-Luc Dusseault, 19, told a Toronto radio station separatism isn't dead in Quebec.

"In my campaign, I said sovereignty will be done in Quebec and Quebecers will decide if Quebec wants to be a country," he said to radio host John Oakley.

"And waiting for this moment, I said, 'Why not give us a real government that is good for us?' And we will respect sovereignty in the NDP."

May 24: Jack Layton angered Quebec's three main provincial political parties when he declared his support for the Clarity Act. The Clarity Act sets conditions for Quebec independence and ultimately gives Ottawa the right to decide what constitutes a clear referendum question.

May 26: Jack Layton stirred more controversy when he flip-flopped on his support for the Clarity Act and said 50 per cent plus one is enough for a Quebec sovereignty vote.

Aug. 2: A report revealed interim leader Nycole Turmel is a member of Quebec Solidaire, a provincial party in Quebec that promotes sovereignty. The report also noted she was a long-time member of the Bloc Quebecois.

(Reuters Photo)