Bernard Drainville continues to float trial balloons ahead of the upcoming Parti Québécois leadership race.
In a new blog post entitled "Independence 2025", the one-time architect of the failed Charter of Values sets out a 10-year plan for achieving independence for Quebec.
He says the PQ should hold off on holding a referendum in its first mandate — provided it wins a majority government in the next election scheduled for 2018.
Until then, he says, the party should spend its time in opposition to reflect on and renew their independence project — in particular, by reaching out to young people, who massively turned their backs on the PQ during the last election, dropping behind even Québec Solidaire in some polls.
The following four years from 2018 to 2022 in Drainville's victory scenario would be devoted to preparing the groundwork for independence. The 2022 campaign would see the PQ asking for a mandate to hold a new referendum in 2023 — this time, though, with a clear question, along the lines of "do you want Quebec to remain a province within Canada or become an independent country?"
"The more we're prepared, the more Quebecers will have confidence and will be more susceptible to want and to support independence," Drainville writes.
On a different planet?
In response, Liberal minister Martin Coiteux is suggesting Drainville is on a different planet.
"I hope Mister Drainville is on the same planet Quebec as everyone else," he says.
"We would have had a $5 billion deficit and here's someone talking about using public funds to build up an option that the population massively rejected at the last election."