Duceppe apologizes for remarks about making Liberals 'disappear'
Bloc QuÃ©bÃ©cois Leader Gilles Duceppe said on Monday he was overly enthusiastic when he said his party wants to make the Liberals "disappear" in Quebec.
Duceppe apologized for the remark, saying he only meant to say he wants his party to win every riding in Quebec, and blamed the comments on having too much enthusiasm.
He also said he'd like an apology from Jean Lapierre for comparing him to a Nazi for the remarks.
"There's no question of giving up one single riding to the Liberal Party of Canada," Duceppe told a special general council meeting of the party on Sunday.
"The Liberals, we'll make them disappear. Give yourself a present," he said.
Liberal cabinet minister Lapierre reacted angrily to the comment. "That kind of language, where you say you want to make your opponents disappear, there's a little bit of a Nazi tone in that," he said.
The Bloc won 54 of the province's 75 seats in 2004, and hopes to build on that result.
Liberal Leader Paul Martin told reporters in St. John's on Monday that Duceppe's comments reflect some of the thinking among separatist leaders in Quebec.
"I think that it demonstrates a narrowness of mind and arrogance that is unacceptable...
"What they're saying is that if you don't share the separatist option, then we don't believe that you belong in contemporary Quebec," Martin said.
Anger over the sponsorship scandal is highest in Quebec, and Duceppe entered the campaign aiming to hit the Liberals where they are vulnerable and intending to take seats away.
The Liberals under Pierre Trudeau won 74 seats in Quebec in 1980.
The BQ is targeting ridings where they were close in 2004 and has budgeted $50,000 to encourage women and the elderly to vote. Those two groups tend to have lower voter turnouts.
The party wants to get above the 50 per cent threshold in popular vote. In 2004 the Bloc received 48.9 per cent of the votes.