WATCH ABOVE: Premier Pauline Marois was in Montreal today to meet with Mayor Denis Coderre. Rachel Lau has the story.
MONTREAL – Premier Pauline Marois started her twelfth day of campaigning by taking a stroll – not in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade – but into city hall to speak with Mayor Denis Coderre.
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“Our metropolis is very important for the development, the economic development, cultural development, social development, international development of Quebec,” said Marois.
It was a meeting of Quebec’s two most powerful politicians:
Coderre, a firm federalist who doesn’t believe in the Charter, and Marois, a stout sovereigntist who brought the bill forward.
“We don’t want to talk about an election with a referendum,” said Coderre.
“We are talking about the status of the metropolis. We want to be focused on the future of our metropolis.”
Despite their opposing views, the two say they are ready to work together in placing the focus on transportation, the economy, and Montreal’s status in Quebec.
“My flag is Montreal,” said Coderre.
“I’ve been in politics for 30 years. My role is to make sure that we have some assurance from nevertheless who’s winning will provide us their agenda and it’s related to the priority of Montreal.”
Political analyst Bruce Hicks points out that in meeting with Coderre, Marois may be trying to reach out to Montrealers.
“In the run up to the election with the Values Charter debate, she’s very much sacrificed the urban world in favour of an almost prejudice, rural anti-Islamic Quebec,” he said.
In fact, Marois did not contest when Coderre stated he did not want to speak about a referendum.
“The more independence gets talked about, the more it becomes a front-of-mind issue,” said Hicks.
“The more it becomes a front-of-mind issue, the more it’s going to scare people away from the PQ.”
Coderre insists he will meet with all the party leaders over the next week in order to make sure the future of Montreal – and not just Quebec – stays a priority in the election.
“My priority is to talk about economy and I sent a clear message from the start,” he said.
“I don’t want to hear anything about a referendum election and I think it’s not the issue here.”