MONTREAL – Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois is not ruling out an independence referendum if she is re-elected with a majority government.
On the other hand, she says she might not hold a vote on taking Quebec out of Canada.
The PQ leader is also inviting Quebecers who don’t want a referendum to vote for her party when they go to the polls in the April 7 provincial election.
Marois told a news conference in Drummondville on Thursday the PQ will examine Quebec’s place within Canada if her government regains power.
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She promises no one will be taken by surprise because she has nothing to hide.
“When we decide to hold a referendum, there will be discussions with Quebecers,” Marois said.
“We’re not trying to hide anything, we’re not going to do anything in the middle of the night and there will have to be a certain consensus. I’m not going to discuss strategy in public but there is no promise to hold a referendum and there is no promise not to.”
Most Quebecers have expressed a continuing distaste for referendums after divisive votes in 1980 and 1995 won by federalist forces.
Marois has been criticized by some separatists for not pushing the issue harder, resulting in some PQ members joining other fringe sovereigntist parties.
Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard and Francois Legault, leader of the Coalition for Quebec’s Future, have said a vote for the PQ is a vote for another referendum.
Both opposition leaders focused on the economy on the second day of the campaign.
Couillard promised to create 250,000 jobs during the next five years if he is elected premier.
In the meantime, Legault pledged to give families a break of $1,000 by 2017-18 by gradually abolishing a health tax and a school tax.
©2014The Canadian Press