Parti Québécois names Pascal Bérubé as interim leader
Pascal Bérubé will be the Parti Québécois (PQ) interim leader.
“We are going to win the respect of the people of Quebec with our work,” he said.
The announcement, which was made at a press conference in Quebec City on Tuesday afternoon, comes a week after the provincial election.
Bérubé replaces Jean-François Lisée, who stepped down on Oct. 1 after the party suffered a crushing defeat at the polls as the Coalition Avenir Québec swept to power.
The PQ — once a powerhouse of the Quebec sovereignty movement– headed into the campaign as the official opposition but lost official party status as its seat count plunged from 28 to nine.
Lisée himself lost the riding of Rosemont to political neophyte Vincent Marissal of Québec Solidaire.
Since 2007, Bérubé has been the MNA for Matane-Matapédia. He said his experience as parliamentary leader shows he has the necessary qualities to lead the party and would serve as long as necessary.
“I want to be useful,” Bérubé said.
Bérubé’s first order of business is to go ahead with an election post-mortem, an exercise he hopes will be “constructive, efficient and open.”
He also cautioned party members against rushing ahead in the search for a new leader. The PQ will likely hold a leadership race in 2019.
“We want to give ourselves time,” said Véronique Hivon, who was re-elected in Joliette.
WATCH: Global News’ Mike Armstrong breaks down the Parti Québécois’ loss.
And while some might argue its time to close the chapter on the sovereigntist movement, Bérubé was of a different opinion.
“I do think that we have a great heritage with the Parti Québécois but we have such a great future if we decide to go forward with the great values that we have, the great project that we have for Quebecers,” he said.
Bérubé said he plans to lead not with slogans, but with actions and the help of a close-knit team.
‘I will be pleased to work with him’
Quebec party leaders took to social media to congratulate Bérubé and the PQ shortly after the announcement was made.
“I will be pleased to work with him and the representatives of the other parties to make the National Assembly a place of constructive debate for the benefit of the people,” Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé said.
Quebec Premier-designate François Legault said he was “very excited to work with him to advance the Quebec we both love.”
Quebec Liberal Party interim leader Pierre Arcand, whose party also suffered a massive defeat during the election, also congratulated Bérubé. He said they would have “the opportunity to have interesting exchanges” at the National Assembly.
–With files from the Canadian Press
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