New minister for sovereignty
THE CANADIAN PRESS
The newly installed Parti Quebecois government wasted no time showing its sovereigntist stripes by appointing, on its first day in office, a minister responsible for advancing the cause of Quebec independence.
A unique new portfolio of minister for ``sovereigntist government'' was among the cabinet titles handed out as Premier Pauline Marois took office and introduced her ministry Wednesday.
The man with that title has a doctorate in constitutional law and knows the rest of Canada far better than most Pequistes: 35-year-old Alexandre Cloutier worked as a clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada and lectured at the University of Ottawa, in addition to studying at Cambridge University in the U.K.
Cloutier's mission: loosen Quebec's ties to Canada.
The party has promised to introduce policies that could butt up against Canadian constitutional law, confront the federal government for a transfer of powers, and use each case as evidence of how Quebec would be better off on its own.
``It is becoming apparent to us that remaining a province of Canada has become an unacceptable risk for Quebec,'' Marois said as she introduced her cabinet, with the Canadian flag once again gone from the Red Room in the provincial legislature as it is whenever the PQ holds office.
``It is imperative to advance with force our interests, to promote our identity - not as a province but as a nation.''
She said Quebec is no better, or worse, than other provinces - it's just different.
photo credit Jacques Boissinot Canadian Press