Bloc to seek party status, new leader: MP
The only Montreal Bloc Québécois MP remaining after last week's election says her party will still ask to be recognized in the House of Commons.
Maria Mourani said Tuesday that even though the Bloc now holds only four seats, it should be allowed to be treated as a party.
"Because the House of Commons recognized us like a nation first of all, and we represent 24 per cent of the people in Quebec, I guess we have the right to be a party," said Mourani.
According to the Parliament of Canada Act, a party must have a minimum of 12 members in the House of Commons to gain official party status, which grants a party certain funding and parliamentary privileges.
But parties with fewer than 12 members have fought in the past to keep some privileges, rather than be treated as Independent MPs.
The Bloc lost 43 seats in the last election, and the party also lost its leader, Gilles Duceppe.
Mourani, who managed to keep her seat in the Montreal riding of Ahuntsic, said voters shouldn't have turned to the NDP.
"The voters are never wrong, but they can be fooled...We have to accept it, we have to accept that this is what can happen in a democracy," said Mourani.
Hunt for a new leader
The Bloc is reportedly searching for a new leader, but Mourani said the party has not yet made a decision.
Longtime Bloc MP Pierre Paquette, who was defeated in the election, is reportedly set to announce he wants to take over the party.
According to Radio-Canada, he will make the announcement after speaking with his caucus colleagues Wednesday.
Paquette was beaten in his own Joliette riding by about 8,000 votes.
Rookie Bloc MP Jean-François Fortin, who was elected in the Gaspé area, said it's still too early to focus on a leadership race.
"We must first think about the future of the Bloc Québécois. The Bloc Québécois must redefine [itself]," said Fortin.
Fortin said Bloc candidates will meet this week for a post-mortem.