NEWS

Marois pushes hard for majority, sovereignty in play

09/01/2012 03:05 EDT | Updated 11/01/2012 05:12 EDT
Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois says she would demand that the federal government hand over more powers to the province were she to become premier on Sept. 4.

"I would like to have the responsibility of linguistic policy, French policy on the territory of Quebec, on culture, communication," Marois said heading into the final few days of campaigning.

Opponents believe Marois wants to set the stage for a referendum on sovereignty by picking fights with Ottawa.

Liberal leader Jean Charest says he would focus on the economy and jobs if he was elected for a fourth mandate as the province's premier.

- Marois starts planning for PQ victory

Daniel Weinstock, a law professor at McGill University says even if the PQ were to end up with a majority government, a referendum would not be likely within the party's first term.

"I don't see the population right now viewing the referendum lying anywhere near the top of their priorities," said Weinstock.

He added that Marois' push for a majority is understandable as it would be virtually impossible for the PQ to push its sovereignty agenda through the National Assembly.

CBC's Lynne Robinson, travelling on the PQ bus, said Marois started the day of campaigning Saturday at 7:30 a.m., with a stop in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal.

"It's surprising to see just how many people show up at every whistlestop to meet the PQ leader. With every stop, the crowds get bigger and bigger and fairly enthusiastic," she said.

CAQ makes promises to Anglos

Meanwhile on Friday, Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault was reaching out to the anglophone community.

Legault said the English-speakers would be represented in a CAQ government.

"In the region of Outaouais, we have some anglophones and on the island of Montreal. I hope that they win. If they don't we'll find a way to make sure the anglophone communities are represented," said Legault.

He added that the CAQ would maintain health care and education services given in English.

However, his campaign calls for the repurposing of school boards as service centres. He said individual schools would have a greater autonomy.

MORE:cbcNews