There are those shock MPs who, unlike Claire Samson – the Conservative MP who is about to leave – are not “green plants”. Pascal Bérubé is one of those elected officials who are anything but extras.
He has been MP for Matane since 2007 but, as I recently wrote, risks leaving the only member of the Parti Québécois on the evening of the October 3 elections.
In recent weeks, Mr. Bérubé and his unelected chairman, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, have clearly been upset at reading and hearing so many umpteenth PQ obituaries in the media.
Pascal Bérubé, who is busy courageously standing his ground with others for a once-great political party, this reaction is understandable.
There is certainly nothing Jojo can do to prevent his ship from sinking while observers whose job it is to provide the detailed description of the sinking in question.
For the PQ, which has been in decline for more than 20 years, the reality is no less brutal.
Unless there is an incredible turnaround, the PQ is in danger of disappearing under the steamroller of the CAQ. Despite still high-quality candidatures, including that of Alexis Deschênes in Bonaventure.
For Pascal Bérubé, a passionate personality and brilliant mind coupled with a tireless workaholic, the challenge promises to be daunting. The opportunity to sit alone in the National Assembly for his party is not for the faint of heart.
The heart, just like his colleague from Joliette, Véronique Hivon – who will no longer compete – the MP for Matane is nevertheless very sensitive. Luckily by the way.
Because in this Quebec, where for almost 30 years the governments have been deconstructing whole parts of services for the most vulnerable people – the pandemic has confirmed this to us – big hearts like those of Pascal Bérubé and Véronique Hivon should clone ad infinitely.
They are also sovereignists. That hated word, now confined to the CAQ’s dungeon, nevertheless persists. Even without “the numbers”. Even without the Grand Soir down the street.
Burden and challenge at the same time
It is precisely there that Pascal Bérubé finds both his heaviest burden and his greatest challenge.
If he finds himself alone in the Blue Room after October 3rd – or barely accompanied by another wonderful elected PQ member or two – how can we keep the idea of independence from being forgotten forever?
Eventually, will another serious political vehicle emerge to advance the sovereignty project? Possible but unlikely. And Quebec solidarity?
Especially a progressive party – and its electoral support is polarized between sovereignists and federalists – it’s hard to believe it could take up the same torch without risking a split within its own ranks.
Unless one day, across the Outaouais, the Bloc Québécois and its leader Yves-François Blanchet come to the rescue? Unless, on the contrary, they choose their comfort in the other state capital? Very clever the fortune tellers.
In the meantime, Pascal Bérubé will not be idle. Don’t we say that in adversity we discover what a person is really made of?
If we know what solid wood the member has been basking in for Matane for a long time, he will certainly be able to do it with panache as long as he can withstand the tornado.