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Duceppe to step down, loses his Montreal riding to little-known NDP candidate

MONTREAL – Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe lost his Montreal riding on Monday after a 21-year run.

The 63-year-old Duceppe proved to be just another Bloc pushover as the NDP steamrolled to a crushing victory in Quebec.

Duceppe, who became the Bloc’s first MP in 1990, was defeated by Helene Laverdiere in Laurier-Sainte-Marie.

“A month ago it was a dream,” Laverdiere said. “(Then), a few weeks ago seeing how people were listening to what we had to say, we started to think, ‘Well, maybe the dream will come true.’ ”

Laverdiere lived in Ottawa for years as a Canadian diplomat.

“As I like to say, I didn’t sign up to race against Gilles Duceppe,” she said.

“I signed up to let the people of Laurier-Sainte-Marie have a good, wide look at what the NDP would offer and obviously they seem to have liked it.”