Pauline Marois is being called "mean-spirited," "petty" and "disgusting" for the declaration issued by her office following yesterday's Olympic hockey win.
The Quebec premier's office said she was "happy to congratulate the men's hockey team for this gold medal," but nowhere in her statement does she say which country the athletes had been playing for, or mention the word "Canada."
"I think it's the first time in Olympic history that a leader can not exactly say which country won the gold medal," says the CAQ's Gerald Deltell.
He's accusing the premier of putting a sovereignist stamp on a declaration that would normally be made on behalf of all Quebecers.
"When you are premier, you are premier of all Quebecois. Federalist or sovereignist," says Deltell.
"It's small, petty and miserable," he says.
The premier's office says it has no reaction to the criticism.
The original statement also specifically congratulates four of Quebec's players by name, without mentioning that they come from Quebec.
The premier's press release, translated into English:
The premier of Quebec, Pauline Marois, and the minister for Education, Leisure and Sport, Marie Malavoy, are happy to congratulate the men's hockey team for this gold medal obtained today.
"I am issuing my most sincere congratulations to the men's hockey team, which has won a gold medal at the Olympic games in Sotchi. Marc-Édouard Vlasic, Patrice Bergeron, Roberto Luongo and Martin St-Louis, notably, can be proud of their performances. This medal is a joy to their numerous fans!" the premier declared.
"High-level athletes play an important role in the transmission of values such as the importance to lead an active life. The admiration they provoke draws numerous young people along their trajectory. Therefore, we have more than one reason to applaud and pay tribute to them," declared minister Malavoy.
For more information on Quebec athletes who participated in the Olympic winter games in Sochi, visit sportcom.qc.ca