PQ cabinet retreat interrupted by anti-charter protesters

ST-MICHEL-DES-SAINTS – Will they or won’t they?

Parti Québécois ministers are trying to decide whether or not to launch an election this Fall.

They’re meeting in a remote location 180km north of Montreal, deep in the woods, to reflect on the possibility of hitting the campaign trail as early as November.

“We’re discussing,” said Junior Regions Minister Gaétan Lelièvre. “I don’t sense any division inside the party.”

The resort is posh; the meeting is costing taxpayers over $20 000.

Officially, the PQ say they’re at Auberge du Lac Taureau to take stock of the session.

The timing though is no coincidence: rumours are rampant the PQ is considering calling a snap election, even though efforts are being made to downplay expectations.

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“I’m among those who think we still have a lot of work to do,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Alexandre Cloutier.

Behind the scenes, the PQ is actively choosing candidates and targeting ridings where they think they can make gains, including in the Mauricie and the 450.

But try to get a peep out of ministers and all you get is…

“I wish you the best of days,” was all Deputy Premier François Gendron said as he entered the meeting.

PQ cabinet retreat interrupted by anti-charter protesters - image
Jean-Vincent Verville / Global News

One man who is talking though is Jaggi Singh.

He and his supporters made the trek to Lac Taureau to protest against the Charter of Quebec Values.

“We’re here to denounce the charter as xenophobic, that it’s a disgusting political attempt to instrumentalize racism and xenophobia in Quebec society and it’s a distraction from real issues,” said the famous activist.

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Security soon stepped in and escorted the handful of protesters outside, far away from the meeting room.

“We’re going to be following the PQ everywhere they go,” said protester Joël Pedneault.

With the ministers locked in and silent, the question of whether or not Quebecers should prepare for an election remains shrouded in mystery.

As for the cost of this meeting to taxpayers, the PQ said it’s $6 000 cheaper than the Charest Liberals’ cabinet meeting in Laval in 2006.

The PQ meeting continues Friday night and Saturday morning.

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