Quebec premier says federal Liberal win means questions for sovereignty movement

Quebec premier says federal Liberal win means questions for sovereignty movement

Main pic: Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard reacts to the election of a Liberal majority government Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at the Quebec legislature. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot.

MONTREAL — Premier Phillipe Couillard says the Quebec sovereignty movement’s leadership needs to ask itself some tough questions after the election of a majority of federal Liberals in the province.

The staunchly federalist premier says the separatist movement will have to deal with the fact the Bloc Quebecois’ share of the popular vote dropped again as Justin Trudeau’s Liberals swept to power.

Couillard says four out of five Quebecers opted for parties committed to working within the Canadian federation, something the premier believes should give sovereigntists pause for thought.

But Parti Quebecois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau says parking their vote with Liberals doesn’t signal a decline in the desire of Quebecers to create a nation.

When the federal election began, Peladeau cautioned against using the Bloc’s results to cast any aspersions on the provincial party’s fortunes.

He congratulated Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe on the campaign, but admitted they’d hoped for a better result than the 10 seats and the 19.3 per cent of the popular vote the party obtained.

The 10 seats fell two short of the 12 needed for official party status.

The Bloc leader, who lost his own seat, is to address reporters later today.

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