QUEBEC — The Parti Québécois have turned down an invitation to address the crowd at a major concert marking the province’s national holiday in protest over the choice of host.
Party spokeswoman Méganne Perry Mélançon accused the organizers of lacking judgment when they named Émile Bilodeau as host of the Quebec City concert on the Plains of Abraham the evening before the June 24 holiday.
The 28-year-old Bilodeau has been a vocal critic of the province’s secularism law, known as Bill 21, and he has mocked the Parti Québécois and its leader.
Perry Melançon wrote that she wouldn’t feel comfortable attending the pre-concert ceremony and accused the group organizing the show of violating its principles of non-partisanship when it selected a host who has campaigned for rival sovereigntist party Québec solidaire.
The concert on the Plains of Abraham is among the signature events marking the Fête nationale, which is also known as St-Jean-Baptiste Day and is associated with Quebec sovereignty movement.
Bilodeau suggested in a social media message that the PQ was trying to “cancel” him, and promised to put on a great show with a variety of diverse performances celebrating Quebec.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2023.
The Canadian Press