Bloc Québécois youth wing drops support for Martine Ouellet

The youth wing of the Bloc Québécois has become the latest group to withdraw its support for embattled leader Martine Ouellet, declaring Wednesday she’s not the one to bring the crumbling sovereigntist party together again.

READ MORE: Bloc Quebecois leader Martine Ouellet refusing to step down

Members of the youth wing’s executive said in a statement they don’t believe Ouellet has the necessary qualities to end the crisis within the party.

The youth wing publicly supported Ouellet when she became leader last year and even after seven MPs quit the party in late February over her leadership style.

But youth delegates have since soured on Ouellet, whose leadership approach has been described by some as controlling and uncompromising.

WATCH BELOW: Bloc Québécois leader Martine Ouellet won’t quit after caucus turmoil

“It’s not an easy thing to do,” youth wing president Camille Goyette-Gingras said in the statement.

“We’ve always been by her side, but we do not think she’s part of the solution anymore.”

After battling with Ouellet over her approach of constantly zeroing in on independence instead of defending Quebec’s interests on the federal scene, the seven MPs recently announced plans to start their own political party.

READ MORE: Former Bloc MPs to form new party called Quebec Debout

For her part, Ouellet accused the seven of spreading “fake news” about her in the days before their final decision to leave and has steadfastly refused to resign.

The youth wing said it isn’t pulling support for Ouellet over ideology: they agree with the notion that the separatist cause should be central to the party, but that it should also defend Quebec’s interests.

READ MORE: More than 20 ex-Bloc Québécois MPs call on Martine Ouellet to quit in open letter

The youth wing said the two approaches are not opposed, but inseparable.

WATCH BELOW: Bloc Québécois head Martine Ouellet has no intention of stepping down, wants independent Quebec

A two-day vote on Ouellet’s leadership will begin June 1, along with a referendum on whether the Bloc should focus on promoting Quebec independence on a daily basis.

It will be decided on a 50 per cent plus one basis with the result announced June 3.

READ MORE: Ouellet’s leadership style causes 7 Bloc Quebecois MPs to quit party

Goyette-Gingras believes that reuniting sovereigntist forces is possible, but not with Ouellet at the helm.

“We must be united, emphatic in our words and we must seek out consensus that will permit us to find cohesion,” she said.

“Unfortunately, we’re not seeing this now.”

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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