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Updated: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 16:38:46 GMT | By The Canadian Press, cbc.ca

PQ platform highlights secular 'values' charter, French language



Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois speaks to party delegates during a general council meeting in Laval on Saturday. Graham Hughes / The Canadian Press

Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois speaks to party delegates during a general council meeting in Laval on Saturday. Graham Hughes / The Canadian Press

The Parti Québécois released an election platform Saturday that puts the proposed secular charter and protecting the French language at the top of its list of priorities.

The platform outlines 36 commitments in all, ranging from identity issues to the economy, healthcare and the environment.

There's another priority that's not numbered but gets listed before all the others, in a preamble on the document's first page: a commitment to Quebec independence.

The platform says the PQ will call a referendum when the time is right but it doesn't commit to a time-frame.

Until then, the PQ will work to defend the province's interests within Canada.

That echoes comments made by PQ Leader Pauline Marois in recent days as she makes a push for a majority government in the April 7 election.

The platform also adds a new element to the PQ’s proposed secular charter — a call to create a research centre on religious fundamentalism.

Former Liberal MNA Fatima Houda-Pepin was the first to suggest such a research centre. 

The 23-page document was unanimously approved by party members on Day 4 of the campaign, at a meeting at a Laval hotel.

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