Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi may have inadvertently helped the Parti Québécois get support for its Quebec values project.
Nenshi told CBC radio he would welcome doctors who wear turbans and teachers who wear hijabs in his city if they feel uncomfortable in Quebec.
But Christian Bourque, the Vice-President of Léger, told Radio Noon Montreal listeners those comments, as well as the other attacks on the PQ values plan coming from outside Quebec, are helping the PQ and even help explain the party's rise in the polls.
Bourque says most Francophone Quebecers rarely read or hear comments made by opinion leaders outside Quebec.
Those comments get diluted down to a few words and often get interpreted as Quebec bashing. That in turns helps polarize the debate around identity issues.
"As soon as you convince the population it's Quebec bashing, regardless of intent of the author, it plays into the hands of the PQ," said Bourque.