PQ leader going on Europe trip to promote sovereignty

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QUEBEC CITY – Parti Québécois (PQ) leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is heading to Europe on Friday until March 4, including a trip to the United Kingdom to discuss the abolition of the oath to the King by members of the National Assembly.
The trip means he will be absent for a good part of the campaign for the Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne by-election, which takes place on March 13. He will be back for a vote of confidence that he will have to undergo in a national council of his party on March 11 in Sherbrooke.

St-Pierre Plamondon wants to “strengthen ties with our key international partners,” a press release stated. The PQ leader is convinced that the tour will be productive for “the image of our cause,” in reference to independence from Canada, on the international stage.

On Feb. 24 and 25, he will be in Oxford, the city of the famous British university where he studied.

He announced that he will speak about the abolition of the compulsory oath of the members of the National Assembly to the King.

The three PQ MNAs refused to take the mandatory oath after the October election and were therefore barred from sitting by the Speaker until the other parties passed a law in December making the oath optional.

The leader of the sovereignist party will travel to Scotland, which is governed by a pro-independence party, from Feb. 25 to 27, and will also meet with Catalan pro-independence leaders, but without travelling through Spain.

Indeed, some figures of this movement are exiled in Brussels, where St-Pierre Plamondon intends to spend the 27th and 28th of February.

From Feb. 28 to March 4, he will be in Paris, a capital that has always welcomed the Parti Québécois and the sovereignist governments it has formed over the decades.

The campaign for the Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne by-election in Montreal is in full swing, and it is customary for party leaders to campaign in support of their respective candidates.

St-Pierre Plamondon went campaigning with his candidate, Andréanne Fiola, earlier this week, but she will likely be on her own or with her other colleagues until the last week of the campaign.

The PQ has indicated that MNA Pascal Bérubé will take over and support the PQ candidate on the ground during the leader’s stay in Europe

However, this riding is a Liberal stronghold. Québec solidaire finished second in the October 3 election against Liberal leader Dominique Anglade, who resigned later in the fall, vacating the seat.

QS is running the same candidate as in October, Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, while Christopher Baenninger is running for the Liberals and Victor Pelletier is running for the CAQ.

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