Tories would work with whoever's in power in Que: Paradis
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Quebec lieutenant says the Conservatives are prepared to work with whoever is in power in the province, including the sovereigntist Parti Quebecois.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis says the Harper government and Quebec have common interests and would find common ground if the PQ won the next provincial election.
The PM's chilled relationship with Quebec has been under increased scrutiny since The Canadian Press revealed his recent secret meetings in Montreal with former prime minister Brian Mulroney and Premier Jean Charest.
Harper went to them for advice on the national unity issue, which some fear could rise again if the Parti Quebecois unseat Charest's unpopular Liberals.
Harper and Paradis are at a celebration near Quebec City today for the province's annual Fete nationale.
The Conservatives are trying to revive flagging Tory fortunes in Quebec, where the party won just five of 75 federal seats in the last election.
Charest confirmed to reporters today that he had met Harper recently, but wouldn't say what about.
He said Quebecers would have a chance to give feedback on the Conservative government's performance in the next election, but he said Harper would steer clear of the province.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called the meeting with Mulroney another sign that Harper is out of touch with Quebecers, and hasn't made efforts to reach out like his party has.
PQ Leader Pauline Marois said Harper should be concerned because Quebecers are fed up with a federal government she says doesn't represent their interests.