Montreal·Video

Jean-François Lisée wouldn't push for sovereignty in first PQ mandate

Jean-François Lisée, who formally entered the running for the Parti Québecois leadership on Monday, says he wouldn't push for sovereignty in his first mandate if he became premier.

Leadership hopeful says his first goal is to get rid of 'toxic Liberal government'

Jean-François Lisée officially announced his bid to run for PQ leader. 0:36

Jean-François Lisée, who formally entered the running for the Parti Québecois leadership on Monday, says he wouldn't push for sovereignty in his first mandate if he became premier.

​In an interview CBC Montreal's Daybreak, Lisée outlined a two-step plan if he's elected leader of the Parti Québecois.

"Our immediate goal is to get rid of this toxic Liberal government," Lisée said.

The second part of his plan is to gain Quebec independence. But he said that move wouldn't come right away. 

"The Parti Quebecois must seize the call of Quebecers to say, 'We don't want a referendum in the next mandate. We don't want a PQ government — which is a good government — to engage in independence propaganda of any kind," Lisée said.

Lisée becomes the third person to enter the running to replace Pierre Karl Péladeau as PQ chief, following Véronique Hivon and Alexandre Cloutier.

Lisée, the MNA for Rosemont, laid out that plan in more detail in a post on his blog, saying first he would beat the Liberals, then achieve independence — "in that order."

Lisée was an advisor to the PQ's Jacques Parizeau during the 1995 Quebec referendum campaign.

He also served as minister of international relations under former PQ premier Pauline Marois.

Lisée briefly flirted with a leadership bid after Marois resigned as leader in 2014. 

But he abandoned that quest in January 2015, saying Péladeau had too big a lead.

With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak and Rebecca Ugolini