Bernard Drenville, former minister and radio host at PQ, formalized his candidacy for coalition membership avenir Québec (CAQ) on Tuesday, saying he was ready to fight inside Canada.
Mr. Drinville explained that as early as 2014 he began to see this support as insufficient to win a referendum on the sovereignty of Quebec.
Mr. Drinville introduced himself as a pragmatist, and declared that he had joined Mr. Legault and his nationalist project within the Canadian Confederation.
“There are battles in Quebec that have to be fought inside Canada and I am a fighting man and I answer present,” he said.
Mr. Drenville said only that there was no desire among residents to argue about Quebec’s place in Canada or outside Canada. He did not specify whether he had given up his dream of achieving sovereignty.
He said: “The dead end locks itself in the false dilemma between the sovereigns and the federalists, when there is a third way, which is the way of nationalism, and this is what I have agreed upon today. We are not condemned to impotence, but quite the opposite.”
Mr. Drinville explained that he first became a nationalist before joining the CAQ after being approached by the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Martin Koskinen.
“I had no intention of returning to politics until Martin Koskinen called me on Saturday morning ten days ago,” he said.
For his part, in a room in Levis, Prime Minister François Legault emphasized Mr. Drinville’s economic picture, insisting on the similarity in their respective paths, from Parti Quebecoa (PQ) to CAQ.
He said: “It tracks everything we do in the battery sector, in the green economy, with green aluminum. This is a topic that Bernard has always been interested in economic development.”
As a candidate to ride Levis, Mr. Drinville was convinced that the tunnel project under the river towards Quebec has an environmental dimension because it provides a lane reserved for public transportation during rush hour.
“It would be irresponsible not to have a third link in an urban agglomeration that will reach a million people within 15 years,” he explained.
Mr. Drinville had left Party Quebecoa in June 2016. He was then an MP to ride Marie-Victorian. At Levis, he will succeed François Paradis, who has represented CAQ riding since 2014.
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