Pascal Bérubé named interim Parti Québécois leader

The former tourism minister and MNA for Matane-Matapédia will head the party until it chooses a replacement for Jean-François Lisée, who stepped down after the PQ suffered devastating losses in the Oct. 1 election.

Jean-François Lisée stepped down as head of the PQ on election night

Pascal Bérubé served as minister of tourism between 2012 and 2014. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Pascal Bérubé​, a former Parti Québécois tourism minister, has been named as the party's interim leader.

First elected in 2007, the MNA for Matane-Matapédia was most recently the PQ's house leader and its critic for identity issues.   

Bérubé will head the party's parliamentary wing until it chooses a replacement for Jean-François Lisée, who stepped down as leader after the PQ suffered devastating losses in the Oct. 1 provincial election.

The party founded by René Lévesque 50 years ago secured just 17.1 per cent of the popular vote, a historic low, and won only nine seats. (Recounts are underway in two ridings.)

So poor was the party's election performance that it's been stripped of its official party status in the National Assembly. 

Sovereignty to remain key plank

Speaking Tuesday at the National Assembly, Bérubé said he will lead a review into what went wrong for the party in the election.

But he also rejected outright suggestions the party abandon its support for Quebec sovereignty in order to ensure its survival.

Jean-François Lisée stepped down as PQ leader after the party suffered devastating losses in the Oct. 1 provincial election. (Sébastien Gauvin Blanchet/Radio-Canada)

"According to some, we should bring an end to our movement, as though we have outlived our usefulness," Bérubé said.

"No. The story continues. We will continue on in the spirit of the pioneers of this great political movement."

He said party officials will meet in the coming weeks to decide how they will select their next leader.

The Quebec Liberals also lost their leader, Philippe Couillard, in the wake of their own electoral defeat. Pierre Arcand, a former cabinet minister, will serve as its interim leader pending a leadership contest.


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