Loading articles...

Rae doubtful about Turmel's commitment to federalism

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said he has doubts about whether Nycole Turmel is a federalist.

It was disclosed earlier this week that the interim NDP leader was formerly a member of the separatist Bloc Quebecois for about four years until January.

She said she joined the Bloc because a friend asked her to and because of the party’s stance on various issues but said she was never a separatist.

Rae said her explanation “doesn’t add up” and she has some more explaining to do on the matter.

He saic that if she was truly a federalist she wouldn’t have joined the Bloc Quebecois in the first place.

Turmel publicly reaffirmed her commitment to federalism this week by promising to not renew her membership in another separatist party, Quebec Solidaire, when it expires.

Having a leader of the opposition with separatist ties could have consequences for national unity, Rae told reporters Friday in his Toronto-Centre riding.

“What kind of federalism is it that leads someone to join two other parties, both of which are committed to the independence of Quebec, the sovereignty of Quebec and in the case of Quebec Solidaire a socialist Quebec,” he said.

“What is she thinking?”

Turmel said she never supported separatism, even when she was a member of the Bloc.

She is filling in for the ailing NDP Leader Jack Layton as he gets treated for another cancer. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2009.