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Federal Liberals still squabbling in Quebec

Yesterday, Jean Chrétien returned to Parliament Hill, and it was a day of nostalgia for federal Liberals. Meanwhile, back home in Quebec, the Party remains divided every which way.

According to a report in this morning's La Presse, the president of the Liberal Party of Canada's Québec wing, Marc Lavigne - who'd been in his position for only four months - tendered his resignation on May 14. The resignation, which to the best of my knowledge has not been reported, is said to have been "for family reasons."

"This is all about the leader and the result of the Liberals not taking off in Québec," according to a party member who asked to remain anonymous. … "Because of this, no one is working …and the Chrétien-Martin divisions are still being felt."

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La Presse also reports that one of the Quebec directors of the Liberal Party, Marc Bélanger, sent out an e-mail in April denouncing the increased role being played by Michael Ignatieff's office to the detriment of party structures in the province. And, on Monday of this week, another director of the Party, Michel Faure, denounced the on-going treatment of the Liberal Party's executive director in Quebec, Louis-Philippe Angers:

"I've been able to observe, contrary to official denials, that several attempts have been made to get rid of Philippe Angers…without anyone saying what he's done wrong. In my view, he's being harassed, which is unworthy of our Party and unacceptable," Mr. Faure wrote.

The former president of the Liberals' Quebec wing, Robert Fragasso, has demanded an extraordinary meeting of the executive, which will be held tomorrow, in order to deal with the resignation of Mr. Lavigne and elect a new President.

To date, two candidates are in the running, according to La Presse: former minister Lucienne Robillard, who chairs the party's campaign committee in Québec, and Stéphane Lacoste, the Quebec wing's secretary who is close to Ignatieff's former Quebec lieutenant, Denis Coderre.

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