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Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable (The Globe and Mail)
Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable (The Globe and Mail)

Talking points

Tories blast Gilles Duceppe's relentless bid <br/>to 'create squabble and division' Add to ...

Gilles Duceppe is being accused by Stephen Harper's Conservatives today of trying to churn up division and unrest "to justify his obsession" with tearing apart the country.

At issue are controversial remarks made by the Bloc Leader this weekend, comparing the French resistance fighters of the 1940s to Quebec sovereigntists.

"Gilles Duceppe shows once again that he is always trying to create squabble and division, only to justify his obsession to hold a referendum on sovereignty in Quebec, as soon as possible," according to the internal missive to MPs and supporters early this morning.

"It seems that Gilles Duceppe has forgotten that Canadians, including Quebeckers, bravely fought Nazism during World War II."

Usually the Conservatives go after the Liberals in their internal e-mail memos, which are titled "Alerte-Info-Alert," but the Bloc Leader gave them a golden opportunity with his comments in a weekend speech. The Tories need to gain more traction in Quebec, a province that has 75 seats and makes the difference between a minority and majority government.

"Duceppe: 20 years later - Still frustrated" is the headline of today's memo. (In August, Mr. Duceppe will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first electoral victory.)

Seizing on former premier Lucien Bouchard's remarks last month that sovereignty was an impossible dream and not the answer to Quebec's problems, the Tory missive says Quebeckers don't want another referendum.

Rather, the Tories say they want "their government to protect their jobs and a return to balanced budgets without taking money out of their pockets. We are focused on this, in the interest of all Quebeckers."

But that isn't Mr. Duceppe's dream, according to the Tories. "We all know that the leader of the Bloc Quebecois only wants to make things worse to further his own ends," the memo says.

Given all this, Question Period should be very lively this afternoon.

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