PQ renegade gets good audience
a party of one, the separatist Option Nationale may be on to something. Its chief and sole representative at the National Assembly, Jean-martin Aussant, was in Sherbrooke last Thursday in front of a standing room only audience at the Université de
Sherbrooke at noon and in front of around thirty to forty at a one hundred dollars a pop fundraiser later in the evening. If the first event turnout was to be expected, the fact that a practically unknown, who nevertheless was able to jump to 2% in the recent CROP/LA Presse survey, was able to raise a couple of thousand dollars on his first visit to Sherbrooke raises some questions as to the outcome of the next election.
Mr. Aussant, who represents Nicolet-yamaska which is across the Saint-lawrence from Three-rivers, is a rare beast. Not much is known of him; he is around forty and if not for a twitter exchange last summer, when he admitted needing help about how to raise twin toddlers, not much is public knowledge. What is known is that he has a rather impressive resumé , with studies in England and Spain, and real business experience in the international banking sector, having risen to a vicepresidency at a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, in London.
“I can only see advantages for Canada if Quebec becomes a sovereign country and even more for Quebec, naturally,” he said. While the speech is well known, it is unusual that it comes from a banker with Canadian and European experience under his wing.
Asked about the place of Anglophones in an independent Quebec, we learned that the PQ, he was a member until the defection of five members
last June, had always denied him the option of giving speeches to the Anglophone community. “For them it’s a waste of time. I did offer to go and speak in English in front of the business community and was told that the PQ had nothing to gain there. Well, as head of my party, I will speak frankly about why Quebec can be a prosperous independent country, not only in English but in Spanish also.”
On Bill 101, where his party wants to restore it as it was, with no exceptions, he was both firm and practical. “Obviously a business that operates on a street full of English speakers would get permission to do so.”
Speaking to his spinners after the interview, once again we were struck by the frankness of what they see: a hard road ahead. Asked about the surprise showing of the Pirate Party in Berlin last year, we got a startled stare.
Jean Martin Aussant spoke to a packed audience at the
Université de Sherbrooke