BQ, Tories dispute who's best for Quebec
Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois sparred Saturday over Quebec's representation in Ottawa.
Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe said Conservative Leader Stephen Harper promised in the last election that his cabinet would only include elected members. But after winning a minority, he appointed Montreal lawyer Michel Fortier to the Senate and as minister of public works and government services.
"We have to have a cabinet minister from Montreal," Harper said at the time.
But Duceppe criticized the appointment Saturday while campaigning in Rigaud, Que., just west of Montreal.
Duceppe said Harper should commit to awarding cabinet jobs only to candidates who win an election.
Fortier had a different message for Quebecers Saturday.
While introducing Harper to a rally in Longueuil, near Montreal, he cited a list of federal grants and projects, and said the Conservatives have delivered benefits to Quebec.
He said nothing would have happened without the Conservative MPs from the province and the cabinet seat he held.
Harper picked up on the theme, saying voting for the Bloc would not benefit Quebec, but that a Conservative MP could deliver federal benefits.
Fortier resigned from the Senate Sept. 15 to run for the Conservatives in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, just west of Montreal.
It is held by the Bloc's Meili Faille.