POLITICS

Mario Tremblay, Liberal Candidate, Blames Volunteer For Suggesting He's A Separatist

08/07/2015 07:48 EDT | Updated 08/07/2015 07:59 EDT

OTTAWA — A Quebec Liberal candidate is blaming one of his volunteers for posting comments on Facebook suggesting he is a separatist.

On a webpage devoted to his nomination race, Mario Tremblay, now the Grits’ representative in Manicouagan, told his friends he understood that some, like himself, might support the Parti Québécois provincially, but he told them he was entering politics federally with the Liberal Party of Canada to defend their rights and their region.

“Supporting me by taking out a card for the Liberal Party of Canada at a cost of $10 does not change anything about your convictions at the provincial level. Until sovereignty is realized, we must be well represented at the federal level,” he wrote in a February post on a page that has since been deleted but was circulated on Twitter Friday by Quebec political analyst Jean Lapierre.

In a statement posted on Facebook later Friday, Tremblay said the comments which expressed expressing support for the separatist provincial party had been posted by a volunteer on his campaign, under his name but without his authorization. “This publication contained remarks in support of Quebec independence that run contrary to my own convictions,” he wrote.

“While I consider myself a proud Quebecer, I consider myself first and foremost a Canadian.”

Tremblay said he quickly informed the Liberal Party of Canada of the error, clarified the facts with the executives of the party, and reiterated his federalist principles. “I deeply believe that the Canadian federation is the best option for our region, Quebec, and Canada,” he wrote.

The Liberal Party said it had no additional comments to make.

Tremblay won a contested nomination against Michèle Audette, the former president of the The Native Women's Association of Canada. She was considered one of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s star candidates.

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