08/11/2015 16:51 EDT | Updated 08/11/2016 01:12 EDT

Duceppe downplays Quebec labour federation's stance

QUEBEC — Gilles Duceppe is downplaying confirmation by Quebec's largest labour group that it will help the best-placed candidate, regardless of party affiliation, defeat the Conservatives in 10 ridings in the province.

The Quebec Federation of Labour wants to concentrate its efforts on thwarting the Tories in specific ridings, even if it means not supporting Duceppe's Bloc Quebecois in those constituencies.

The federation has supported the Bloc at every federal election since 1993, with the exception of the 2004 campaign.

Duceppe said Tuesday the labour group's position is not new.

"The QFL is not endorsing any specific party," he said in Quebec City. "It will support candidates in 10 ridings...We've known that for a year."

He also urged unions that want to get rid of Harper to campaign against him in the rest of the country.

Serge Cadieux, secretary-general of the labour federation, said the strategy of supporting the Bloc since 2004 has not worked because the Tories have been in power since 2006.

Cadieux acknowledged that NDP candidates will likely benefit from the QFL's anti-Conservative approach given the fact Tom Mulcair's party had 54 MPs at dissolution, compared with two for the Bloc.

"In most ridings, the NDP candidates probably have the best chance of defeating the Conservatives because they are the incumbents," he said in an interview.

The 10 ridings will be chosen around the end of the month.


The Canadian Press