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Bloc defectors 'wrong' to support NDP, Duceppe says

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe speaks to supporters during a campaign stop in Gatineau on April 29, 2011.

FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe is brushing off former party supporters who are now turning to the NDP, saying they are "wrong" to believe in Jack Layton's version of social-democratic values.

Mr. Duceppe made his comments in the traditionally Liberal riding of Gatineau, which went Bloc in 2006 and 2008 and is now threatening to switch once again as part of the NDP's orange wave.

He was particularly critical of an open letter by two former Bloc officials who are encouraging Quebeckers to consider Jack Layton's party. Mr. Duceppe added that the NDP's values are more aligned with Canadian interests than Quebec's.

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"If you ask me if I think they are right, I'll tell you they are wrong," Mr. Duceppe said of the former Bloc staffers, predicting their ultimate defeat. "I think they're making an error, just like [former Bloc supporters]who ran for the Tories in the past."

Speaking about the NDP, Mr. Duceppe added: "On the issue of Quebec's place in Canada, they have shown their true colours and have never acted in Quebec's favour. .... The best social democracy for Quebec is a Quebec social democracy, and not a model that doesn't suit our needs and comes from outside Quebec."

Mr. Duceppe is travelling Friday afternoon to the cities of Granby and Magog, in ridings that are currently in Bloc hands but that are at the heart of three-way races in which anything could happen.

The Bloc is running a staunchly sovereigntist campaign in the days leading up to Monday's election. The goal is to mobilize sovereigntist voters who have been tempted by the surging NDP, in a bid to salvage as many of the Bloc's 47 seats as possible.

He will campaign Saturday with Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois in the Bloc's traditional heartland between Montreal and Quebec City, on both shores of the St. Lawrence.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Daniel Leblanc studied political science at the University of Ottawa and journalism at Carleton University. He became a full-time reporter in 1998, first at the Ottawa Citizen and then in the Ottawa bureau of The Globe and Mail. More

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