Bloc MP to sit as independent

BQ MP Ghislain Lebel says he will sit as an independent when Parliament resumes.

A Bloc Qubcois member of Parliament has decided to quit the party and sit as an independent when the Commons resumes in the fall.

With the departure of MP Ghislain Lebel, the Bloc will have 35 seats in Quebec, which is one fewer than the Liberals.

Last week, Lebel was highly critical of Quebec Premier Bernard Landry for endorsing an agreement in principle with the province's Innu.

The agreement gives four native communities autonomy over several thousand square kilometres of land.

Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe told Lebel he had to apologize to Landry if he wanted to remain in the party.

Lebel refuses to do that, and will now sit as an independent in Parliament.