Maria Mourani, ex-Bloc MP, signs NDP membership card
Montreal MP has sat as Independent since 2013 split with sovereigntist parties over Quebec secular charter
Former Bloc Québécois-turned-Independent MP Maria Mourani signed a NDP membership card this morning and now says she wants to run for the New Democrats in the next election.
However, she will not sit with the NDP caucus in the meantime.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair reminded reporters that the NDP has a policy on floor-crossing that states that any MP who changes parties must first run in a byelection.
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Mourani was first elected in 2006. Her riding, Ahuntsic, was held previously by the Liberals, who continued to fight hard for the seat in subsequent, close election races.
"Since one year, I'm independent, and I do my job, I vote, I do everything. So it doesn't change for me. The difference is I have a new family and this family, it's so important for me because I don't feel alone [anymore]," Mourani told reporters.
Met with Liberals
Mourani said she spoke with Dan Gagnier, a high-ranking Liberal Party official, about crossing the floor to sit with them, but that ultimately she decided against it.
She says she met with Gagnier this year, but wasn't comfortable with the Liberals.
"I don't share the same values, I don't share the policies, I don't want to say that, but I have to. I felt like there is no leader in this party. So for me, a party, we need policies, we need values and we need a leader. There is a leader but he's not a leader who leads," Mourani said, adding that she was told there was no need for her to meet with Trudeau.
Trudeau told reporters that Mourani approached the party "a number of times" but they referred to their process of open nominations in turning her down. He says he never met with her.
Mourani said she still needed to speak to some people about whether she would run in Ahuntsic. But with new riding boundary adjustments coming for 2015, Mourani would be in a tough fight in the riding.
Gave up on sovereignty last year
Mourani, who is of Lebanese descent, was expelled from the Bloc Québécois caucus in September 2013 over her criticism of the PartiQuébécois charter of values.
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- Separatists oppose Mourani's defection from sovereignty
Mourani told Radio-Canada that the controversial secular charter was a "political calculation" on the part of then Premier Pauline Marois. She said that independence could not be achieved without including everyone, and that it would be "impossible" without Montreal.
Last December, she told Radio-Canada that after much reflection, she came to the conclusion that the federal system is better placed to protect the rights of Quebecers.
One of Mourani's former colleagues, Jean-François Fortin, has formed a new political party with a former NDP MP that they say is "nationalist" but not sovereigntist.
- An earlier version of this story reported that Maria Mourani was joining the NDP caucus. In fact, while Mourani is joining the party and will run for the NDP in the next election, she will not sit with the NDP caucus until she has been elected as a New Democrat.Nov 19, 2014 10:27 AM ET
With files from Rosemary Barton