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PQ leadership hopeful, Martine Ouellet, wants Quebec athletes to compete under Quebec Flag

Martine Ouellet speaks to supporters in Montreal, Friday, May 27, 2016, where she announced her intention to run for the leadership of the Parti Québécois.
In this file photo, Martine Ouellet speaks to supporters in Montreal, Friday, May 27, 2016, where she announced her intention to run for the leadership of the Parti Québécois. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Parti Quebecois leadership hopeful, Martine Ouellet, has once again raised the idea of creating a Quebec contingent  for international sporting events.

At a press conference in Montreal Saturday, Ouellet said that if she were elected to lead the province, she would set aside up to $10 million for the creation of teams to represent Quebec on the international stage.

READ MORE: Martine Ouellet becomes fourth candidate to enter PQ leadership race

The financing would allow athletes to bear the “Fleur-de-Lis” Flag  and represent “la Belle Province” at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, or to sport a blue and white jersey at the World Hockey championships.

“We have extraordinary talent and I want to make it possible for these passionate athletes to shine on the world stage, showing their true colours, those of Quebec,” Ouellet said.

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She added that too often Quebec athletes feel discriminated against, and they have to be free of that political climate.

READ MORE: PQ leadership candidate says he will implement Charbonneau recomendations

She pointed to the case of  Quebec swimmer, Jennifer Carroll, who was reprimanded by Swimming Canada after brandishing the Quebec flag while on the medal podium at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 .

Ouellet did concede that athletes could choose to remain part of Team Canada, at least until Quebec becomes an independent nation.

Ouellet said she would finance the measure by repatriating funds sent annually to Ottawa by Quebec’s education ministry to support Quebec athletes.