Vive Le Canada

Harper calls Turmel's Bloc membership 'disappointing'
Date: Sunday, August 07 2011

CTV Staff

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it is "disappointing" that the NDP's interim leader was once a member of the Bloc Quebecois, but Nycole Turmel said while she regrets her association with the separatist party she will not step down from her post.

Controversy has swirled around Turmel since she confirmed Tuesday that she was a card-carrying member of the Bloc for about four years before turning in her card in January. She is also a member of the provincial Quebec Solidaire, but says she intends to let her membership lapse.

"I think it's very disappointing," Harper said when asked about Turmel by reporters while handing out scholarships at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. "I don't know that I have a lot to say but I do think Canadians will find this disappointing. I think Canadians expect that any political party that wants to govern the country be unequivocally committed to this country. I think that's the minimum Canadians expect."

Turmel has hit back hard at her critics since news of her political affiliations broke, saying she joined the Bloc to support her friend, former Bloc MP Carole Lavallee. Lavallee held the seat in Saint-Bruno--Saint-Hubert from 2004 until her defeat in the May election.

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