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Catherine Fournier, youngest woman elected to Quebec’s National Assembly, leaves PQ

Catherine Fournier, centre, with Jean-François Lisée, right, and Carole Poirier, in 2017.
Catherine Fournier, centre, with Jean-François Lisée, right, and Carole Poirier, in 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Catherine Fournier, the youngest woman ever to be elected to Quebec’s National Assembly, is leaving the Parti Québécois (PQ) in favour of sitting as an “Independent sovereigntist.”

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“To have joined politics at such a young age, I did it for a simple reason: I love Quebec and I am convinced that we, as Quebecers, have much to gain by being in charge of our own affairs,” she said Monday morning.

“No one should be surprised by my decision today.”

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She argued that the province’s independence movement is too broken to succeed under any of the current parties.

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Fournier pointed out that the PQ underestimated what it meant to lose both the 1980 and 1995 referendums.

“The PQ is losing. It has lost a lot of its relevance. It makes sense. After all, why would you vote for a party that is incapable of achieving the main objective they were founded on? What does that do?” Fournier said.

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“I invite my fellow péquistes [PQ supporters] to ask themselves this question.”

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The flailing party, she insists, is past the point of being saved — even under new leadership.

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“We have to assume our own responsibility instead of blaming others,” she said.

“The sovereigntist movement needs an electric shock. Too many Quebecers don’t listen to them [the PQ] anymore.”

“We want to not only attain power but succeed at convincing the majority of our citizens to find consensus that unites us. If not, we’ll never move forward,” Fournier added.

The young politician was first elected to the Quebec National Assembly in a byelection for the electoral district of Marie-Victorin on Dec. 5, 2016.

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Born in Sainte-Julie, the 26-year-old holds a degree in economics and political science from the Université de Montréal.

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Prior to entering politics, Fournier was a political blogger and columnist for 103.3 FM.

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Fournier’s departure leaves the PQ with nine MNAs at the National Assembly, falling to fourth place behind Québec Solidaire, which has 10 MNAs.

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Newly-elected Quebec MNAs sworn in