US & Canada

Pauline Marois: No borders for an independent Quebec

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois (L) gestures during a campaign stop in Blainville, Quebec 10 March 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption With a less than month until the election, candidates have kept a demanding campaign schedule

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has said an independent Quebec would have no borders or tolls for Canadians, as she campaigns ahead of a 7 April election.

Ms Marois, who leads the separatist Parti Quebecois, has said she will only call an independence referendum if there is enough popular support.

She disbanded the Quebec legislature last week as part of her party's bid for a majority government.

The mostly French-speaking province is not currently sovereign from Canada.

Two referendums on independence in 1980 and 1995 failed.

Sovereignty, as well as a popular but controversial charter of values, has been a top issue in the forthcoming provincial election.

"We could continue to go see the Rockies in the West... go to Prince Edward Island and [the rest of Canada] could continue to come visit us," Ms Marois said in response to a question, according to Canadian broadcaster CBC. "There will be no borders and no tolls."

Ms Marois added that an independent Quebec would be "able to make our own decisions would give us more latitude, more freedom and allow us to concentrate on what's important to us".

She made the comments during a speech on tourism, near the town of Lac-Megantic, the site of a deadly rail crash last year.

Her main opponents have argued a push for sovereignty hurts the province.

"Every time they hint at a referendum, Quebec is weakened," Liberal leader Philippe Couillard said at a campaign event in Trois-Rivieres, according to CTV News.

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