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Quebec separatist party suffers crushing defeat - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Quebec separatist party suffers crushing defeat

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MONTREAL -

A big change in leadership in Quebec. The Liberal Party handed the Parti Quebecois a resounding defeat Monday. And that raises questions about Vermont's relationship with the province.

Quebec is Vermont's biggest trading partner. Last year, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a trade deal with Quebec Premiere Pauline Marois. But Monday's results mean she is out and Liberal Leader Phillipe Couillard is in.

Experts here say regardless of the party in power, trade is a vital part of Quebec's future.

"Politics needn't come between us, domestic politics. Whether there's a Democrat or a Republican in office on this side or a Parti Quebecois or a Liberal Party member on that side, the leaders on the top studiously avoid domestic politics in their conversation and they stick to matters which they have in common," said David Massell, a history professor at the University of Vermont.

The current trade cooperation agreement between Vermont and Quebec focuses on energy, transportation and the improvement of both economies.

Official results show the Liberals won or were leading the race in about 75 of the 125 National Assembly seats.

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