August 27, 2014 2:03 pm

PQ leadership race gains momentum

QUEBEC CITY – Barely recovered from a biking accident, Sylvain Gaudreault limped into his party’s caucus meeting on Wednesday and announced he is eyeing the leadership of the Parti Québécois.

“I am in my reflection now,” the Jonquiere MNA said.

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He isn’t alone. Six of his colleagues, including media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau, are also potential candidates.

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Recent polls show Péladeau is currently the front-runner. Already, groups are forming to try and stop him.

“Yes, people have been asking me and of course this is an important part of the reflection process,” said PQ MNA Véronique Hivon.

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Martine Ouellet thinks she has unions behind her.

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The MNA for the riding of Vachon was a member of the Syndicalistes et Progressistes pour un Québec Libre (SPQ-Libre) movement.

“I will always work with workers, whether they are affiliated or not,” she said.

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Jean-Francois Lisée sees his potential candidacy as the next logical step in his career.

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“I was an advisor to two premiers, I went through the referendum campaign, I wrote about language issues,” he said.

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As for Bernard Drainville, he doesn’t think his work piloting the Charter of Quebec Values will hurt his chances of becoming leader.

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He said he still believes in the basic principles put forward in the charter, but has distanced himself from the controversial ban on religious signs.

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“There are different ways of having a secular state, there are different ways of having a neutral state, there are different ways to strengthen equality between men and women and this, I suppose, will be part of the debate in the leadership race,” he said.

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All seven potential candidates remained prudent, refusing to “officialize” their candidacy until rules of the race have been established.

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That will likely happen on October 4th 2014, at a general council meeting in Sherbrooke.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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