Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bloc Quebecois Loses Another MP: Andre Bellavance Quits Party; Won't Run in 2015

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bloc Quebecois Loses Another MP: Andre Bellavance Quits Party; Won't Run in 2015

Article excerpt

Andre Bellavance quits the Bloc Quebecois

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OTTAWA - Veteran Bloc Quebecois MP Andre Bellavance announced Monday that he too is quitting the embattled sovereigntist party because he can't work with its new leader.

He becomes the second of the formerly four-member Bloc caucus to bow out in recent weeks.

Bellavance said he will serve the rest of his mandate as an Independent and won't seek re-election in 2015.

Bellavance said his decision to leave the party came after a recent meeting with Bloc Leader Mario Beaulieu, the man who beat Bellavance for the party leadership in June.

The Bloc has been in complete disarray since Beaulieu's arrival over his approach to running the party. Beaulieu has pushed sovereignty as the main electoral theme even as polls suggest the appetite for it is waning.

Beaulieu has also been critical of past Bloc leaders, accusing them of having a defeatist attitude towards sovereignty.

The new Bloc leader said in a statement that Bellavance has been thinking about his political future since the leadership vote and has never responded to attempts at reconciliation.

Bellavance has represented Richmond-Arthabaska since 2004 but the 10-year veteran said that he no longer felt at home in the sovereigntist party under Beaulieu.

He said he simply could not work with Beaulieu going forward.

"I no longer felt comfortable with this team," Bellavance said. "I don't feel that we are going in the right direction."

Bellavance also denounced a "purity test for independence" that has taken place within the party to determine members' commitment to sovereignty, saying that it had made him feel like an outsider.

"It made me feel like an impostor and an intruder within the Bloc," Bellavance said.

He noted an "unhealthy atmosphere" within the party and described two very different political outfits: the Bloc Quebecois that existed "before June 14" and the one "after June 14" with Beaulieu at the helm. …

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