BEAUCE, Que. – “What’s said in a caucus is like in Vegas; it stays in the caucus.”
Caucus meetings are typically closed-door affairs and thsi week’s Parti Quebecois caucus, held in a remote location 50 kilometres southwest of Quebec City, is particularly secretive.
PQ MNAs are said to be airing their dirty laundry after last month’s devastating defeat.
Jean-François Lisée has been especially nasty to colleague Bernard Drainville over the party’s proposed charter of Quebec values.
“We’re a party of ideas, we have things to say, we say a number of things, we discuss things between each other and it’s behind us, that’s all I have to say,” Lisée told reporters.
Lisée has accused Drainville of lying about having solid legal advice supporting the charter.
Drainville thought it best on Thursday to lay low.
“I’ve given numerous interviews in the last 48 hours. Allow me to leave you with my colleagues’ comments,” said Drainville, as he walked off.
Now, the PQ is desperate to show it is united, even seating Drainville and Lisée together for a photo opportunity.
“You know what? We’re a strong party, we have good tradition and we have good people. The people of Quebec know we’re there for the good reasons,” said PQ MNA Pascal Bérubé.
PQ MNA Stéphane Bergeron added: “I think we have an opportunity to have a look at what happened in the last few weeks and try to build for the future.”
But that’s not all.
There was more infighting when interim leader Stéphane Bédard named two MNAs to the PQ’s executive committee without consulting the rest of the caucus.
MNAs responded during the retreat by voting in two different MNAs.
“The people I named sat on an interim basis,” said Bédard, arguing all of the issues have now been put to rest.
“This episode is behind us. What we have is a united team,” he said.
MNAs said the retreat in Scott was a healing exercise. They will let the dust settle a while longer before they plunge the party into a leadership race that is sure to divide MNAs into camps.
© Shaw Media, 2014