By Chantal Hébert Star Columnist Mon., Jan. 21, 2019 MONTREAL—Justin Trudeau is not the only federal leader who could benefit from the decline of the NDP in Quebec come next fall’s general election. The Bloc Québécois, under its latest leader, is also banking on the weakness of the New Democrats under Jagmeet Singh to help it earn back official party status in the House of Commons next fall. It might just work. Winning a dozen seats — up only two from the sovereigntist party’s current MP complement — might seem like a modest goal for a parliamentary group that once held the lofty title of official opposition but it was only a few months ago that the Bloc was given up for dead. Having narrowly avoided implosion, the party has put its divisions behind it or at least set them aside to kick off the election year under a just-acclaimed new leader. Article Continued Below Yves-François Blanchet sat in the … [Read more...] about Can Quebec’s Bloc Québécois win back party status in the House of Commons?
By Chantal Hébert Star Columnist Mon., June 4, 2018 To the surprise of no one except herself, Bloc Québécois Leader Martine Ouellet has lost her bid to remain at the helm of the federal sovereigntist party. On the weekend, two-thirds of the remaining BQ members showed her the door. The verdict could not have been clearer. Still, it took Ouellet almost 24 hours to acknowledge that she had finally run out of options. A Martian landing on Earth in the middle of her parting news conference on Monday might have thought she was launching a purge of her party, rather than bowing out after decisively losing the confidence of its members. Ouellet prefaced her resignation with a 30-minute lecture, more than half of which was spent taking shots at those who had called on her to resign. The list included everyone from former leader Gilles Duceppe and the party president who initially recruited her to the majority of MPs who left her caucus in protest … [Read more...] about A chance at relevance for the Bloc Québécois
By The Canadian Press Sun., June 3, 2018 MONTREAL— Martine Ouellet has lost a confidence vote on her leadership of the Bloc Quebecois. The party says 32 per cent voted in favour of her leadership, whereas 67 per cent voted against. Ouellet had said she believed getting the support of 50 per cent plus one would give her the legitimacy to stay on as head of the party. The Bloc has been in disarray since late February when seven of its 10 members of Parliament quit over Ouellet’s leadership style. The Bloc’s youth wing and one of the three remaining MPs also withdrew their support of Ouellet, who has been criticized for being uncompromising and for focusing too sharply on Quebec independence instead of defending the province’s interests on the federal scene. Article Continued Below Bloc members also voted in favour on a question on whether the party should focus on promoting Quebec independence on a daily basis. TOP STORIES, DELIVERED TO … [Read more...] about Martine Ouellet loses Bloc Quebecois leadership confidence vote
By Chantal Hébert Star Columnist Mon., April 30, 2018 And then there were two. That’s how many of the 10 MPs elected under the Bloc Québécois banner in 2015 still support Martine Ouellet in her agonizing bid to hang on to her leader’s job. Seven of them defected earlier this year. On the weekend, Mario Beaulieu – himself a former BQ leader and the party’s current president – became the eighth MP to declare he had lost confidence in Ouellet’s leadership. He is considering whether to resign his position or wait for the result of a leadership review vote to be held in early June. Beaulieu’s defection is a major loss for Ouellet. He was instrumental in paving the way for her to take the party’s helm last year. Anyone else in her position would have surrendered to pressure to bow out by now. But then anyone else would also agree that for a leader to have a minimum of moral authority, he or she needs … [Read more...] about Bloc Québécois leadership fight will end badly for Martine Ouellet
By Giuseppe Valiante The Canadian Press Wed., Feb. 28, 2018 MONTREAL—Shortly after seven of the 10 Bloc Quebecois MPs quit Wednesday citing Martine Ouellet’s leadership style, the embattled leader defiantly told reporters she wasn’t going anywhere. “I am staying on as leader,” Ouellet said after news broke she was losing 70 per cent of her caucus, leaving the once-powerful party in complete disarray. The seven, who will sit as Independents, made the announcement after a Bloc caucus meeting in Ottawa. One of them is Louis Plamondon, who has been in the Commons since 1984, including the last 25 years as a Bloc MP. He said he is “leaving the leader” but “is not leaving the Bloc Quebecois.” Article Continued Below The exodus is a crushing blow to a party that formed the official Opposition under Lucien Bouchard in 1993. Gilles Duceppe then took over the reins of the Bloc and led it in five consecutive elections … [Read more...] about Bloc Quebecois leader says she’s not going anywhere after 7 of 10 MPs quit caucus in protest