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Parti Québécois rules out alliance with Coalition Avenir Québec

Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée announces improvements to the parental leave plan while campaigning Wednesday, August 29, 2018 in Nicolet, Que. Ryam Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Parti Québécois Leader Jean-Francois Lisée says he would accept a minority government mandate but is ruling out any possibility of forming a coalition with François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec.

His comments today come as a Leger poll conducted for Le Devoir and the Montreal Gazette suggests a minority government remains a real possibility a little more than a month out from the Oct. 1 vote.

READ MORE: Quebec party leaders should sign joint NAFTA declaration: PQ leader

It has the Coalition ahead with 37 per cent of voter intentions followed by the Liberals at 32 per cent and the PQ at 19 per cent, with many predicting a minority government.

Lisée says the PQ and Legault’s front-running CAQ disagree on so many key issues that an alliance wouldn’t be an option.

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Lisée says he’ll respect the choice of Quebecers and head a minority PQ government for a four-year term should it come to pass — a scenario that would require support of other parties on important votes like the provincial budget.

READ MORE: Stéphane Le Bouyonnec, Coalition Avenir Québec president and candidate, steps down

The PQ leader, meanwhile, has been forced to dump prospective candidate Pierre Marcotte as past Islamophobic comments from him on social media came to light.

Marcotte was expected to be formally announced in the riding of Drummond-Bois-Francs on Wednesday night, but Lisée said the party has severed ties with him.

Lisée said he was disgusted by the comments and said someone in the party structure had admittedly not done a proper job of vetting Marcotte.