"No one can stop Quebec from using the Canadian dollar," said former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe in an interview that aired Sunday on CTV's Question Period.

The elder statesman of sovereignty was speaking in defence of Pauline Marois' claim that an independent Quebec would retain the loonie and request a seat at the Bank of Canada.

"No one can stop Quebec from using the Canadian dollar," former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe says in defence of Pauline Marois' claim that an independent Quebec would retain the loonie and request a seat at the Bank of Canada.

"All of the economists will tell you that it is impossible to stop a country from using the Canadian dollar," Duceppe told CTV's Question Period in an interview that aired Sunday.

Last week on the campaign trail, Marois was firm on these points:

  1. Quebec would continue using Canadian currency
     
  2. Request a seat at the Bank of Canada should a sovereignty referendum end in a "yes" vote
     
  3. The border between Canada and Quebec should also remain open if Quebec secedes

Duceppe told Question Period that Marois' was right to make all three points. For example, if Canadians continue to be allowed to carry more than one passport, Duceppe said, the courtesy should extend to residents of an independent Quebec.

"So if Canada keeps on with the same law, it will be possible in Quebec. Otherwise, they will say it's possible for all other countries in the world except Quebec," Duceppe said, noting that "that's a decision that has to be made by the people in the House of Commons."

On whether a referendum will be held soon after the April 7 election if the PQ wins a majority:

"I would say that one thing we'll have certainly is very large consultations like Parizeau did in 1995 and like Robert Bourassa in 1991."

"Then, the government will be in a situation to judge if we'll go in a referendum or not."

On Pierre Karl Peladeau declaring himself a sovereigntist and running for the PQ:

"His father was also a sovereigntist. During the very first campaign I made in 1990, he gave money to the Bloc Quebecois just like his father.

"So it was not a surprise to me. I did not discover he was a sovereigntist, I knew that. If he was to run, that I didn't know."

On that now-infamous shove by Marois to prevent Peladeau from answering a question:

"It happened to me also to tell a candidate, 'I'll take that question.'"

"It's not the first time it's happened in politics, it's certainly not the last time we'll see something like that."

On the sovereignty movement:

"One of the things I'm always saying to people in Quebec is that I discovered what the country was when I was in the House of Commons in Ottawa. When the word 'Canada' was pronounced, people from the NDP, the Reform (Party), the Tories, the Liberals were all together. That's their strength, being together. Their unity. And that's our weakness in Quebec. So this is why we need a party with people coming from different horizons."

On which federalist leader the PQ should fear the most:

"We never choose the opponent. In politics just like in football, we play the game and we're not the one deciding the other team's strategy, who's going to be the quarterback. So we'll see, they have to make their choice."