Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press a referendum, even those who are for the “yes”, launched François Legault Thursday.
François Legault does not make much of the results of a Léger-Le Devoir poll according to which support for the sovereignist project is rising in the Quebec population. “I don't feel any appetite […] for a referendum,” the Prime Minister said Thursday.
According to data from a poll that appeared in our pages on Wednesday, 38% of Quebecers support still the separatist option, an increase of six percentage points compared to the last Léger-Le Devoir pollconducted on this subject, in 2018. And that's not all. Also according to poll data, 48% of French-speaking Quebecers would vote “yes” in a referendum on sovereignty, compared to 41% who would vote “no”.
However, in the eyes of Prime Minister François Legault, who has repeatedly said that the “appetite” for a referendum campaign was not there, the picture does not move an inch. “I think it's a project that is legitimate, which is supported among others by the Parti Québécois [PQ]. It is up to the Parti Québécois to promote it. We, at the [Coalition avenir Québec], what we want is to defend the Quebec nation within Canada, “he argued during a press scrum held Thursday on the sidelines of a meeting with the mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand.
The PQ leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, took advantage of the parliamentary break this week to make a European tour on independence. He notably met leaders of the Catalan and Scottish sovereigntist movements.
Support for the “yes” within his party is still healthy. PQ supporters are – unsurprisingly – 85% in favor of the sovereignist option. But the idea of a Quebec-country also garners support from CAQ members (42%) and solidarity members (43%).
Never mind. “I don't sense any appetite among the majority of the population for a referendum, even those who are for the 'yes',” Mr. Legault said on Thursday.
In June 2022, Mr. St -Pierre Plamondon had encouraged the Prime Minister of the CAQ to make a federalist profession of faith, after Quebec had suffered a series of refusals in terms of immigration from the federal government. “We are a nationalist party, within Canada,” said Mr. Legault.
Then, again this week, the elected representative of the CAQ refused to launch a commission on the future of Quebec within the Canadian federation, despite a request to that effect from the PQ.