It will come as a surprise to English readers (as well Liberal MP Marcel Proulx it would appear) that the latest bombshell to hit political Ottawa is the speculation that Francoise Boivin may run for the NDP in the next federal election.
The former Liberal MP for Gatineau and chair of the women's caucus has given up on her old party and is speaking very positively about running with the NDP following her discussions with Layton, Thomas Mulcair and even party stalwart Ed Broadbent.
The stunning news of Boivin’s decision is another sign of the changing face of federal politics in Quebec.
In the next election, Quebec will be key. Yet it is in Quebec that the misdeeds of the Sponsorship scandal have the most resonance and where the Liberal brand is the most discredited.
The NDP has been out performing the Liberals in Quebec since the 2006 Repentigny by-election and the September 2007 by-elections where the Liberals lost their Outremont stronghold to Mulcair and placed a shocking fourth overall.
For a party to defeat Harper in the next election, it will need to have credibility on the war, credibility on the environment, as well as the crucial name recognition of former MPs like Boivin in Quebec.
Boivin’s interest in the NDP is another sign of what could be a hopeful reemergence of a progressive federalist force in Quebec. The Harper Conservatives have reason to look worried.