Bloc Québécois MPs openly criticize party leader Martine Ouellet
Turmoil comes after Ouellet fired her chief of staff for allegedly trying to discredit a Bloc MP
Bloc Québécois leader Martine Ouellet will have to work hard to regain the confidence of her caucus, seven of the party's 10 MPs said Wednesday.
The party is challenging Ouellet's leadership after a news report revealed her chief of staff, Louis-Philippe Dubois, allegedly leaked information to the press in order to tarnish a Bloc MP's reputation.
"We learned that Louis-Philippe Dubois was working more against Bloc MPs than for the Bloc," House leader Gabriel Ste-Marie told a news conference surrounded by six other caucus members.
"It was an enormous lack of judgment to have named Dubois as chief of staff. We told her [Ouellet] he didn't have the competencies and that he didn't have our confidence."
- Martine Ouellet wins Bloc Québécois leadership
- Martine Ouellet jumps into Bloc Québécois leadership race
- Bloc Québécois hopes to find new leader by April
According to a report published Wednesday by HuffPost Québec, Dubois allegedly tried to discredit Bloc MP Rhéal Fortin by leaking information about him and the law firm where he used to work.
In response to the news story, Ouellet fired Dubois, saying he had lost the trust of the caucus.
Ste-Marie said Fortin, who served as the Bloc's interim leader, is a respected member of the party.
"We are with him and he has our full confidence," Ste-Marie said.
The Bloc caucus will meet Thursday morning to discuss the matter.
"Here at the Bloc, we air our dirty laundry as a family," said Ste-Marie.
Tensions have been rising in the Bloc since Ouellet was named party leader in March.
She has not been elected to the House of Commons and continues to sit as an Independent in Quebec's legislature after a long stint with the Parti Québécois.
With files from CBC News