Catalan independence vote sparks contrasting opinions from Quebec and Canadian politicians

Canadian and Quebec politicians are wading into the Catalan political debate, with some recognizing its independence and others, not quite.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada recognizes united Spain while Quebec premier calls for dialogue

Prime Minister spoke to reporters Friday in St Bruno de Montarville, Quebec 0:32

Canadian and Quebec politicians are wading into the Catalan political debate, with some recognizing its independence and others, not quite. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while on a stop in Quebec Friday, said Canada recognizes one united Spain.

Trudeau went on to say he hopes future discussions will take place according to the rule of law, and according to the Spanish constitution.

He is also calling for talks to be held in a peaceful fashion.

Trudeau was speaking this afternoon in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Que., on the same day the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona passed a motion unilaterally establishing a new country.

Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée stated his party's support of Catalonia independence, a position he has maintained since before the Oct. 1 referendum there.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard attempted to remain neutral, noting the National Assembly had adopted a motion on Oct. 4, calling for "political and democratic dialogue" between Spain and Catalonia.

"For the future, it's not up to Quebec to interfere in this policy debate or to dictate the way forward," Couillard said in a written statement Friday.  "We still believe that a political and democratic dialogue is essential to resolve this impass." 

But for Catalans in Montreal the declaration of independence is a victory, Èric Viladrich, the president of the Cercle Culturel Catalan told Radio-Canada.

Èric Viladrich, the president of the Cercle Culturel Catalan, says Catalan's citizen movement will continue to fight to uphold its declaration of independence. (Radio-Canada)

"I'm so happy," Viladrich said of Catalan MPs' vote to establish an independent republic Friday. "All the Catalans I know in Montreal had tears in their eye and so much joy."

He said his family in Catalonia shared his excitement, namely his 96-year-old grandmother. 

"She lived through the second Spanish Republic, the civil war, 40 years of dictatorship [under Francisco Franco], the return of democracy and all she was waiting for was this moment today," Viladrich said. 

As for Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy putting the Catalan government under trusteeship, Viladrich said it's something that is developing and that "we will have to watch in the following days and hours to really see who has control over the situation."

with files from the Canadian Press and Radio-Canada