TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. — Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe says he's got the wind in his sails after the French-language leaders' debate.
Duceppe said Friday he was satisfied with his performance and believes momentum is shifting in his party's favour.
"I said at the beginning of the campaign, we started with the winds in our face," Duceppe said. "We will finish with the wind at our backs."
He promised a few dozen supporters who greeted him during a campaign stop in Trois-Rivieres that he'd pick up the pace in the coming weeks.
Duceppe continued to raise the niqab issue, defending his party's position on a ban and arguing it was not a divisive issue as suggested by the NDP, Liberals and Green party.
The Bloc leader said polls show that 90 per cent of Quebecers have the same position as the Bloc.
Duceppe also says his take on face coverings is different from that of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.
"He is against the niqab during oaths; that happens once in a lifetime, just once," Duceppe said of the prime minister.
"The rest of the time, voting with their faces covered, Harper has no problem with that. Services rendered or received in the public service with a face covering, he has no problem with that."
While Duceppe had raised niqabs earlier in the day, he became annoyed when a reporter in Quebec City questioned him about the perils of making face coverings an election issue.
Duceppe asked at one point during the exchange whether the questions were coming from a reporter or an NDP partisan.
Duceppe also delivered a speech to the Federation of Quebec Municipalities, where he promised help for the province's forestry sector by tabling a wood charter that would promote wood construction for federal buildings, using wood products from second and third transformations of forestry products.
The Bloc won only four of Quebec's 75 seats in 2011, as the party was brushed aside by the NDP orange wave. There are 78 seats in the province in this election.
Some have suggested that the Bloc could be shut out completely in the Oct. 19 vote, an outcome that might leave the Bloc's survival in question.
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