The Parti Québécois passes behind Quebec Solidaire and becomes the third opposition group in the National Assembly.
President François Paradis decided this delicate issue Wednesday confirming that the PQ can remain a party recognized in the National Assembly, but since it now has 9 deputies and QS has 10, he will have to give him his place of second opposition.
This change will result in a redistribution of seats at Salon Bleu and ensure that the PQ’s right to speak will be granted after QS.
Mr. Paradis said he relies on “extensive parliamentary jurisprudence” to make his decision. According to him, the agreement reached between the parties after the election of October 1 must be adjusted along the way, depending on the changes of allegiance of deputies and by-elections that may occur. “It’s hard to pretend that the agreement makes it possible to freeze the Assembly.”
The PQ, which clung to its parliamentary rank because it obtained more votes than Quebec solidaire on October 1 (17% of the votes against 16% for QS), took note of the decision.
PQ leader Martin Ouellet, however, said in the House that this decision does not “change anything” to the will of his team to defend those who voted for the PQ. “We will be the first official force of proposal (…) We are and we will always be the way for the independence of Quebec.”
Solidary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois thanked the president for his “expansive and quick” decision.
It was the departure of MP Catherine Fournier from the PQ ranks last week that led to this redefinition of roles in the National Assembly. Ms. Fournier now sits as an independent.