CBC Radio Drops Former Separatist Leader

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MONTREAL, Aug. 18 (UPI) — The Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s French radio network has canceled a commentator’s contract for former Quebec separatist leader Gilles Duceppe.

Two days after announcing Duceppe, 64, would provide commentary on a radio news program, the CBC’s Radio-Canada division announced Wednesday the deal was off because of a “misunderstanding,” the QMI agency reported.

The agency said Duceppe quit after being told he couldn’t use his position to talk about Quebec’s separatist movement.

Radio-Canada Director Anne Serode told QMI the network has a longstanding policy on what former politicians can do under its employ.

“Radio-Canada’s program policy clearly states that at least two years must pass before we can hire someone who has left active politics to discuss public issues as a host, reporter or commentator,” she said. “We understand Mr. Duceppe’s decision and regret that he wasn’t informed of our policy from the outset.”

Duceppe led the federal Bloc Quebecois separatist party in Parliament until the May 2 election in which he lost his own district, or riding, and his party lost opposition status for winning fewer than 12 seats. The bloc was reduced to four seats.

Duceppe receives an annual $141,000 pension as a former parliamentarian.

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