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NDP Leader Jack Layton speaks at an Ottawa news conference on July 6, 2010.


I see from Jane Taber's notebook that Conservative MPs are complaining that they were trapped by separatists into voting to rap Maclean's knuckles for its cover story on corruption in Quebec. If only it was so simple.

Yesterday, I was interviewed by Pierre Maisonneuve on Radio-Canada about the whole affair. Since Gilles Duceppe was to be interviewed before me, I was phoned early and asked to stay on the line to listen to what he had to say.

Asked by Mr. Maisonneuve why he had drafted the motion, Mr. Duceppe mentioned in a by-the-way manner that the Bloc had worked with the NDP in putting it together. And checking the report in yesterday's Le Journal de Montreal, I see that Bloc House lLader Pierre Paquette is quoted as saying that he worked on the wording of the motion with the NDP so as to be "as consensual as possible" and so as not to create "friction" with "Canadians and federalists."

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It's not clear from the report who in the NDP thought it would be a good idea to recognize the Quebec nation - as opposed to the Quebecois nation that St├ęphane Dion and others supported on the grounds of it being a "sociological reality." My guess is that it would have been either deputy NDP leader Tom Mulcair or House Leader Libby Davies. Perhaps one or both of them - or NDP leader Jack Layton himself - will explain why they thought it a good idea to endorse a recognition of Quebec long sought by the secessionists -a recognition that the House of Commons deliberately avoided using in the 2006 motion adopted by MPs.

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