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Quebec independence 'by no means settled,' Duceppe tells Americans

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe speaks to reporters in Montreal on Sept. 14, 2010.

Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

In a speech to a U.S. audience, Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe insists that Quebec sovereignty remains in the cards and says it would be a win-win for everyone in North America - except for those who still believe in the "Canadian dream."

Mr. Duceppe said the Liberal government in Quebec can be expected to lose the next election at the hands of the Parti Québécois and he predicted the Bloc will continue to dominate the federal landscape in Quebec.

"I am here to tell you that the question of Quebec's political future is by no means settled," he told the Woodrow Wilson Centre and Hudson Institute as part of a two-day visit to Washington.

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"A sovereign Quebec will be a win-win outcome for Quebeckers, Canada, the United States and the world - for everyone except those who are nostalgic for a Canadian dream that no longer exists in reality."

The Bloc Leader is urging the American government to stay out of Quebec's internal politics but to move quickly to recognize an independent Quebec in the event that a third referendum on sovereignty succeeds.

"What we hope to see from the United States government is, first and foremost, no interference in our domestic affairs when Quebeckers make their decision," Mr. Duceppe said, without mentioning specifically former U.S. president Bill Clinton's clear statements in favour of the federalist option in the 1990s.

"Secondly, I am counting on the United States to be a decisive player in the event that the 'Yes' side wins a referendum, and to push for negotiations and a quick and orderly resolution between Canada and Quebec," Mr. Duceppe said.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Daniel Leblanc studied political science at the University of Ottawa and journalism at Carleton University. He became a full-time reporter in 1998, first at the Ottawa Citizen and then in the Ottawa bureau of The Globe and Mail. More

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