Parti Quebecois leadership hopeful, Martine Ouellet, has once again raised the idea of creating a Quebec contingent for international sporting events.
At a press conference in Montreal Saturday, Ouellet said that if she were elected to lead the province, she would set aside up to $10 million for the creation of teams to represent Quebec on the international stage.
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The financing would allow athletes to bear the “Fleur-de-Lis” Flag and represent “la Belle Province” at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, or to sport a blue and white jersey at the World Hockey championships.
“We have extraordinary talent and I want to make it possible for these passionate athletes to shine on the world stage, showing their true colours, those of Quebec,” Ouellet said.
She added that too often Quebec athletes feel discriminated against, and they have to be free of that political climate.
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She pointed to the case of Quebec swimmer, Jennifer Carroll, who was reprimanded by Swimming Canada after brandishing the Quebec flag while on the medal podium at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 .
Ouellet did concede that athletes could choose to remain part of Team Canada, at least until Quebec becomes an independent nation.
Ouellet said she would finance the measure by repatriating funds sent annually to Ottawa by Quebec’s education ministry to support Quebec athletes.