Canadian Flag Absent from Quebec National Assembly
The Canadian flag was removed from its spot inside the Quebec legislature as members of the pro-independence Parti Quebecois took the oath of office Monday.
The removal of the Maple Leaf was part of a longstanding see-saw ritual: it had been long absent in the legislature but was restored nine years ago when Jean Charest's Liberals took office and placed it next to the Quebec flag at the Speaker's chair in the building's ceremonial chamber.
It was gone again Monday as the PQ's 54-member, minority-government caucus took the oath of office in the ornate old upper chamber, known as the Red Room, where the Quebec Fleur-de-lis was once again standing alone.
The PQ officially takes office Wednesday, when premier-designate Pauline Marois will introduce her cabinet.
While the Canadian flag was gone, for the Parti Quebecois, there was still no escaping the Queen.
Every member of the PQ caucus swore an oath to the monarch, which is a prerequisite for taking office in Canada. This after the party had complained during the campaign about the increased presence of the Crown under the Harper Conservatives.