PQ accused of sabotaging transfer payment talks
Liberals say PQ is hurting talks with federal government to push sovereigntist agenda
Opposition parties are accusing the Parti Québécois of deliberately sabotaging relations with the Harper government in an attempt to fuel support for their pro-sovereignty agenda.
The Liberals claim the Marois government is stalling on discussions that could risk losing billions of dollars in transfers from the federal government.
"Let's look at the situation. When Madame Marois is happy, is when she has a problem with Ottawa," said Jean-Marc Fournier, leader of Quebec’s official opposition party.
Talks between the premier and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are stalled on two main issues: the federal provincial accord on health, which expires in a few months, and an agreement on the new Champlain Bridge.
But the PQ claims dialogue between the province and the federal government went sour long before they took power.
"This is a spent line, this is just spin. There is no foundation. All we're asking for is to have our fair share," said Bernard Drainville, Quebec’s minister responsible for democratic institutions.
Pierre Moreau, Quebec’s Liberal intergovernmental affairs critic, says Quebec isn't making progress on either front.
"They want to have fights with Ottawa, in order to establish that this country doesn't work," he said.
Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault says it is critical the province open a dialogue with the federal government right away or it will risk losing the $8.5 billion dollars Ottawa sends every year to cover health services.
"We cannot afford to have a decrease in transfer," he said.