09/28/2015 02:23 EDT | Updated 09/28/2016 05:12 EDT

Spain's Catalonia Separatists Thrill Bloc Quebecois Leaders Gilles Duceppe

"We are always happy to see nations make progress in their quest to become countries.''

MONTREAL — The victory of pro-independence parties in elections in Catalonia sends a signal to federal party leaders that Quebec sovereignty is not a debate from another era, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said Monday.

Pro-secession parties pushing for independence from Spain won a majority of seats in Sunday's election and picked up 48 per cent of the vote.

"We are always happy to see nations make progress in their quest to become countries,'' Duceppe said as he campaigned in Montreal against tax havens.

"But it's up to each one to determine its strategy. But I hope with all my heart that Catalonia succeeds.''

He said federalist leaders in Canada have often maintained that Quebecers are no longer interested in the sovereignty question and that the subject is outdated.

Duceppe invited them to speak with the leaders of Spain and Britain where debates were held recently on the sovereignty of Catalonia and Scotland.

"In Scotland, Catalonia and Quebec, there is a desire among a major segment of the population to have one's own country,'' he added.

The Bloc leader also said it is paradoxical the same federal leaders are ready to defend the sovereignty of Canada, such as in the Arctic, but judge the issue to be old-fashioned when it comes to Quebec sovereignty.

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