Quebec elections 2022

Written by  //  August 15, 2022  //  Politics, Québec  //  No comments

Projet de loi 96 sur la langue française
338Canada Quebec

Hanes: Coming election more important than ever for anglos: QCGN
“The English-speaking community has felt isolated and really not heard or represented. Of course QCGN is non-partisan, so we are not going to tell English speakers who to vote for,” interim president Eva Ludvig said.
[The QCGN] will be publishing a platform on its website this week calling for the next government to re-establish the primacy of the Quebec and Canadian human rights charters, which now play second fiddle to the Charte de la langue française; rescind the use of the notwithstanding clause shielding Bill 96 and Bill 21, the secularism bill that limits public servants in positions of authority form wearing religious garb; repeal parts of the new language law that limit government services in English to Quebecers who hold an eligibility certificate to attend English schools, a.k.a. so-called “historic anglos;” and lift the cap on enrolment in English CEGEPs — among many other high-stakes demands.
Next, the QCGN will release a list of questions for the parties and leaders. These include whether they will commit to preventing the Office québécois de la langue française from abusing its new extrajudicial search and seizure powers; restoring cancelled funding for the much-needed expansion of Dawson College; and allowing municipalities to maintain their bilingual status without having to renew it periodically.
The QCGN is inviting all the party leaders to address the community directly at a virtual town hall. Ludvig said three have already accepted: the Quebec Liberal Party, the Quebec Conservative Party and the newly minted Canadian Party of Quebec.

Auditor general’s pre-election report concludes Quebec government’s financial forecast is plausible
Can Quebec’s political parties realistically promise voters tax cuts or big ticket spending items? It is a debate which comes up in every election.
Philip Authier
The Coalition Avenir Québec government’s forecasts for Quebec’s finances are plausible but there is a “very high” level of uncertainty in its long term forecasts owing to soaring inflation and pandemic and Ukraine war-related economic disruptions, the auditor general says.

14 August
Liberal youth want additional French courses in English CEGEPs to be optional
The Liberals also announced their slogan for this fall’s election: “Vote for real. Real issues. Real solutions.”
The youth have also decided to scrap the freeze on enrolment in English CEGEPs decreed by the Coalition Avenir Québec government that limits freedom of choice for students and to restore full funding for a multi-million dollar expansion project at Dawson College which the CAQ also cancelled.
The package of resolutions soared through a plenary of the youth wing, which was meeting at a downtown Montreal hotel Saturday [13 August]. The vote was unanimous.
Six thèmes mis de l’avant, d’autres mis en sourdine
Éric Duhaime a présenté la plateforme du PCQ, dimanche
La plateforme électorale du Parti conservateur du Québec présentée dimanche par son chef Éric Duhaime met l’accent sur six grands thèmes – l’économie ; le logement ; la santé ; les transports ; l’environnement ; l’éducation et la famille –, mais reste muette sur plusieurs autres. S’il est élu, le chef conservateur promet par ailleurs de remplacer le projet de tunnel Québec-Lévis par un pont à l’est de la Ville de Québec.

11 August
As Quebec election draws near, top electoral officer in the dark about his future
Will he be reappointed? Will he be replaced by someone else? No one knows.
What happens next, however, will depend on the next government’s proposal, which will have to be endorsed by the opposition parties. The province’s chief electoral officer is one of five people whose appointment must be approved by two-thirds of MNAs to avoid any breach of independence.

5 August
Robert Libman: How leaders are perceived bodes ill for Quebec Liberals, PQ
When voters were asked in a recent survey to choose which of five party leaders they would most like to have a coffee or a beer with, Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade and Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon finished last, with only six and four per cent, respectively, well behind Premier François Legault
In the coming provincial election campaign, both the Quebec Liberals and the Parti Québécois — the two parties that dominated and polarized provincial politics for 50 years — will be fighting for their political relevance. The election of the Coalition Avenir Québec in 2018 ended a political era. After October, it’s entirely possible that the Liberals and PQ could be relegated to third-, fourth-, or fifth-party status in the National Assembly, or even worse.

4 August
Conservative Party of Quebec announces Montreal-area candidates
The Conservatives have now unveiled 101 candidates. They plan to run a full slate of 125 candidates in the Oct. 3 provincial election.

Konrad Yakabuski: Quebec anglophones, feeling forsaken by the Liberals, weigh their options
Ms. Anglade is clearly in a pickle. A June Léger Marketing poll had the QLP at 10 per cent support among decided francophone voters, compared with 50 per cent support for the CAQ. Ms. Anglade desperately needs to move the needle before Oct. 3 if the QLP has any hope of preserving any of the ridings with francophone pluralities that it now holds, including her own Montreal seat. Fully 13 of the QLP’s sitting MNAs have opted not to run again, leaving many of those seats up for grabs by other parties.
So far, Ms. Anglade has focused on pocketbook issues to woo anglophones and francophones alike. The QLP is promising to cut income taxes for the middle class, eliminate sales taxes on basic food and hygiene necessities and freeze Quebec’s already low electricity rates.
In her efforts to rebuild her party in French Quebec, however, Ms. Anglade has left many anglophone voters feeling forsaken. … Regaining their trust in the next eight weeks will be a tall order. But it must be a top priority if she is to prevent her party from disappearing altogether.

2 August
Tom Mulcair: Legault is vulnerable on sustainability issues, and more
Quebecers care a great deal about the environment. It ranks at, or near, the top of the list in surveys about the most important political issues.
Social conflicts over resource development issues, including forestry, are increasing in Quebec, and Legault shows very little personal sensitivity to them. That could cost him dearly at the polls.
On the economic side, the CAQ can boast a solid track record (yes, we’re still overtaxed in Quebec). … Unemployment is low and it’s no small irony that one of Quebec’s biggest economic challenges is a shortage of workers, exacerbated by Legault’s anti-immigration policies.

‘Talented, passionate and principled’: Canadian Party of Quebec names new candidates
Leader Colin Standish said the party hopes to amass 125 candidates, but that it’s focusing on three core regions for now: Greater Montreal, the Eastern Townships and western Quebec.
Three candidates as well as a new party president were introduced by leader Colin Standish during a news conference at Place du Canada on Tuesday, adding to five candidates revealed last month, including Standish himself in the riding of Westmount—Saint-Louis. … Candidates announced Tuesday include Scott Kilbride in Verdun, David Hamelin-Schuilenburg in Vaudreuil and Donna Pinel in La Pinière. In addition to Standish, they join candidates Jean Marier in Nelligan, Jean Lalonde in Argenteuil, Danilo Velasquez in Gatineau and Marc Goguen in Labelle.
The new party president is Liz Campbell, who was described by Standish as “passionate about bilingualism.” Campbell has a background in human resources and has taught management at McGill University, and is replacing founding president Patrick Quinn, who will be heading to law school in the fall.

28 July
Quebec’s Conservative party surges in the polls as some of its candidates spread conspiracy theories
The party’s newfound popularity is testing the limits of anti-mandate politics
Éric Duhaime, a former shock-jock radio host, was an early critic of Quebec’s public health restrictions. As leader, he has continued to downplay the severity of the pandemic and the need for safety measures.
Now, as a fall election nears, he is welcoming into the party a slew of candidates who appear to be even more radical in their opposition to medical expertise and reigning democratic norms.
Of the first 54 candidates the party has announced, nearly 30 per cent have used their social media accounts during the pandemic to amplify medical misinformation, conspiracy theorists or to engage with far-right extremists, a CBC News investigation has found.

21 July
73% of Quebecers believe the Legault government has done a poor job on senior care
by Matthew Renfrew
(Cult) Ironically, the demographic most impacted by the government’s failures in senior care is also the one where Legault is polling the highest ahead of the Oct. 3 election. As per Angus Reid’s latest election poll, 48% of Quebecers 55+ plan to vote for the Coalition Avenir Québec, followed by just 20% for the Quebec Liberal Party and 10% each for the Conservative Party, Québec Solidaire and Parti Québécois.
“Among all of the top five issues chosen by Quebec residents — senior care and housing affordability rounding out that list — at least 3 in 5 say the government is currently doing a poor job handling each. This includes 7 in 10 who say their provincial government has performed poorly on health care and the cost of living (69%).” —Angus Reid Institute

19 July
Tom Mulcair: Legault romp in Quebec election not a given
The CAQ’s record is coming under increasing media scrutiny — from the state of our roads and schools to health care and gun violence.
… With respect to policy, Dominique Anglade’s Liberals are staking out fresh turf on climate. It’s an area she knows well, and her party’s plan to make Quebec a leader in the production of green hydrogen is visionary and will be a challenge for both the Coalition Avenir Québec and Québec solidaire.

The Canadian Party of Quebec has announced its first slate of five candidates.
The party, which largely targets Anglophone voters, says it’s offering an alternative to people who are unhappy with Bills 96 and 21.
The candidates include:
Party leader Colin Standish, Westmount–Saint-Louis
Jean Marier, Nelligan
Marc Goguen, LaBelle
Danilo Velasquez, Gatineau
Jean Lalonde, Argenteuil

18 July
10 nouvelles candidatures pour le Parti conservateur
Le mot « liberté » était sur toutes les lèvres lors de l’annonce de 10 nouvelles candidatures du Parti conservateur du Québec (PCQ) dans la grande région de Montréal, lundi soir au centre-ville. Les aspirants tenteront de ravir des châteaux forts caquistes, solidaires et libéraux lors des élections du 3 octobre prochain.

11 July
338Canada: Quebec Premier François Legault is en route to historic victory — with an assist from adversaries
While Parti Québécois and Liberals fight old battles the ruling Coalition Avenir Québec is cruising to another majority.
(Politico) …It is as if both the Liberals and PQ, who have been at each other’s throat about the “Question nationale” for half a century, don’t have any muscle memory on how to campaign on any other issue.
… Meanwhile the CAQ dominates the Quebec political landscape, polling near or above the 50 percent mark among francophone voters.
The left-wing Quebec solidaire and populist-right Conservative Party are both polling in the mid-to-high teens. They are working to reshape the axes of Quebec politics toward a more traditional left versus right wing, rather than federalist versus separatist.
While QS appears to have plateaued (it won 16 percent of the vote and 10 seats in 2018), the once fringe Conservatives have been on the rise since last winter and could potentially challenge for a handful of seats in the Quebec City area (all at the expense of the CAQ).
Using the latest Quebec polls (see complete list here), the 338Canada electoral model currently projects the CAQ winning a stunning 95 seats on average, more than 30 seats clear of the threshold for a majority at the National Assembly. Only twice since confederation has a party won more than 95 seats in Quebec, so Legault appears en route toward a victory of historic proportions.
One could argue that the PQ and Liberals, who ruled the National Assembly from 1970 to 2018, needed each other for all those years.
Now the “third-way” CAQ is drawing support from a plurality of Quebec voters — and, in some polls, from a majority among the francophone demographic. Neither the Liberals nor the PQ seem to have a clue on how to take down their new adversary, whose leader has enjoyed historically high approval ratings throughout the pandemic.
Quebec democracy would obviously benefit from a strong opposition to keep the CAQ in check should Legault’s reelection efforts materialize in October…. However, watching the Liberals and PQ campaigning on “gotcha” one liners — shaming those who wave the maple leaf or warning of ominous referendum plots — it appears they will keep cooking the same recipes that led to their crushing defeats four years ago. And the CAQ is just fine with that.

6 July
Quebec’s provincial Conservative Party surges as ‘protest vote’ against province’s heavy-handed government
(National Post) Eric Duhaime’s party’s staunchly populist messaging about personal freedoms after two years of COVID seems to be resonating now more than ever
… With most of Quebec’s COVID-19 restrictions now gone, Quebec Conservative Party leader Duhaime says he knew he needed to broaden his freedom message to stay relevant.
… an Angus Reid poll published Tuesday put support for the Conservative Party of Quebec (CPQ) at 19 per cent, good enough for second place ahead of the Quebec Liberal Party (18 per cent), Québec Solidaire (14 per cent) and foundering Parti Québécois (10 per cent).
It’s still a far stretch behind the reigning Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), whose support oscillates between 35 per cent (Angus Reid) and 41 per cent (Leger) in polls and is looking likely to win a crushing majority in the upcoming election.

4 July
Québec solidaire vows to dismantle Bill 21, allow religious symbols
“We think secularism, which is an important value in any democratic society, should apply to institutions and not individuals,” says Québec solidaire’s Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
Québec solidaire’s Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said his party would drastically rewrite Quebec’s Bill 21 and allow teachers, police officers and other civil servants in positions of authority to wear religious symbols while on the job.
Three months away from provincial elections, the party is also proposing to contest the law in Quebec’s highest court, arguing it infringes on the province’s charter of rights

21 June
Allison Hanes: Anglos have choices now — do the Liberals deserve a comeuppance?
The Canadian Party and Bloc Montréal are welcome voices championing minority rights, but dividing the vote could help hand Legault another victory.
… There is deep frustration, however, among anglophones towards the Quebec Liberal Party over its incoherent handling of the recently adopted law to bolster French. …
Both new parties are pledging to stand up for minority rights in Quebec at a time when they are under attack. Both are seeking to counterbalance Legault’s increasingly nationalist posturing with inclusive politics. And both are looking to make gains in ridings that have historically voted Liberal.
Meanwhile, Quebec Conservative party Leader Éric Duhaime is also courting anglophones, announcing candidates like Roy Eappen, a doctor at St. Mary’s Hospital, to run in the Liberal château fort of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, where Holness is also running.
Perhaps the Liberals deserve a comeuppance. Many anglophones will relish having choices when casting their ballots. But there are risks to splitting the vote, even in Montreal ridings where English speakers and minorities have clout.
Tom Mulcair: Protest parties could help Quebec Liberals
Attacked from both sides, Dominique Anglade will be able to speak to the higher sentiments of all Quebecers.
The most recent one calls itself the Canadian Party of Quebec. Its leader, Colin Standish, did the rounds on Monday but there was no point asking him about his platform or candidates — he has neither!
The party looks like an empty shell, its leadership self-anointed, with no known process to get him there. His plan is to be in play “from Baie d’Urfé to Baie-Comeau.” (Yeah, sure.)
He says he wants to abolish this bill or that one, with absolutely no tools, experience, manpower or credibility to win a single seat, much less an election.
Let’s get serious. Anyone launching a new party after the political season has already wound down in Quebec City either doesn’t want to win or doesn’t understand what it would have taken to win.

11 June
André Pratte: Quebec separatists face reality, flee to CAQ
Independence will stay on the horizon, but only as an extreme possibility.

6 June
Kathleen Weil bows out of Quebec politics after 14 years
Désirée McGraw chosen to be new Liberal candidate for N.D.G. riding.
Weil becomes the 13th Liberal — half of Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade’s caucus — to announce they will not run again. The 12th was former finance minister Carlos Leitão, the MNA for Robert-Baldwin, who made his announcement Saturday.
With the election campaign on the island of Montreal potentially more heated than in the past given the arrival of new political parties, the Liberals are moving rapidly to replace Weil.
On Monday, Anglade and Weil will hold a news conference to introduce the new Liberal candidate in the riding. The party has chosen Désirée McGraw, an internationally recognized public affairs and sustainable development advocate.
McGraw is the co-founder of Al Gore’s Climate Project in Canada and a former adviser on the same theme to former prime minister Paul Martin. She has served as president of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, which helps young Canadians address global issues here and abroad.

4 June
Carlos Leitao becomes latest Quebec Liberal to not seek re-election this fall
Carlos Leitao, the MNA for the West Island riding of Robert-Baldwin — which covers the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough and Dollard-des-Ormeaux — said he made the decision to leave the National Assembly some time ago, fulfilling a promise he made to his family about his time at the National Assembly.
Twice elected by strong majorities, the finance critic for the Liberal opposition served as finance minister between 2014 and 2018 under Philippe Couillard’s government, overseeing a period of fiscal belt-tightening in Quebec and some major structural reforms to the health system. He was also president of the province’s Treasury Board over that same time period.

20 May
Montreal up for grabs in fall Quebec election as voting patterns poised to shift
Philip Authier
“Usually on election night we can predict in advance which ridings will be Liberal and which not,” said veteran pollster Jean-Marc Léger. “This time there will really be fights.”
If last Saturday’s march against Bill 96 was any indication, many voters in Montreal — particularly minority voters — are in a foul and frustrated mood.
With less than five months to go before the Oct. 3 election, the jury is out on which way the wind will blow this time, but pundits and pollsters agree on one thing: The normally predictable outcome of elections in the island of Montreal’s 27 provincial ridings is now up in the air.
There are other factors explaining the voter volatility. In the last few weeks, many popular veteran Liberal MNAs have announced they are ending their political careers. Eleven of the party’s MNAs have said they will not run for re-election this year.
The list includes Christine St-Pierre (Acadie), Nicole Ménard (Laporte), Gaétan Barrette (La Pinière), Lise Thériault (Anjou—Louis-Riel), Hélène David (Marguerite-Bourgeoys), Francine Charbonneau (Mille-Îles), Jean Rousselle (Vimont), David Birnbaum (D’Arcy-McGee), Monique Sauvé (Fabre), Paule Robitaille (Bourassa-Sauvé) and Pierre Arcand (Mont-Royal—Outremont), who was the latest to announce his departure.

New Liberal candidate in Mont-Royal—Outremont rips Legault government for Bills 21, 96
The bilingual business lawyer will replace veteran Liberal Pierre Arcand, who announced Sunday he will not seek another term.
“In my view, themes with a nationalist flavour or (focused) on identity, which divide us, should not occupy such a large space in the public debate,” Michelle Setlakwe said. … Questioned further, Setlakwe reached into her past. Noting she attended an English elementary school before switching to French for high school and CEGEP, Setlakwe said she does not think being bilingual imperils French, which she agreed, nevertheless, needs protection.

9 May
1 in 4 women in Quebec’s National Assembly aren’t seeking re-election. What happened?
For women leaving Quebec politics, is quitting an act of self-preservation?
The 2018 provincial election…was one which a record number of Quebec women made their way to the National Assembly. They represented 52 of the province’s 125 seats. Since then, thanks to byelections, there are three more women occupying those seats, for a total of 55, about 44 per cent.
But already, 16 of them have announced they will not be running again in this year’s provincial elections. Five of the women leaving hold seats for the governing party, Coalition Avenir Québec, seven for the Official Opposition Quebec Liberal Party, two for the Parti Québécois, one for Québec Solidaire and one for the Conservative Party of Quebec.
Just Friday, Paule Robitaille, the Liberal MNA for Bourassa-Sauvé in Montreal, said she would be leaving, too, after just one term.

7 April
Andrew Caddell: Why a new Quebec anglo-rights party is being contemplated
In the spring of 2021, a group of concerned anglophones and allophones founded the Task Force on Linguistic Policy. Now, an offshoot, the Exploratory Committee on Political Options, is planning a new political party that will be moderate, federalist and defend the rights of anglophones. It is a substantive project, undertaken by serious citizens from various backgrounds.
In the wake of the fiasco at the Bill 96 committee hearings, the Quebec Liberal Party’s credibility is waning every day. The party is begging the government to rescind the amendment requiring students in English CEGEPs to take three regular courses in French. And its foibles are creating an opportunity for a new party to represent non-francophones.
The Liberals are now desperate to save the furniture, but they appear to lack both conviction and bench strength. Each day, the news is filled with Liberal MNAs who will not run again. And while Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade is brilliant, it appears that she is being advised by people who don’t seem to have a clue.
Prominent anglos unite to fight changes to language laws
The group says it decided to proceed with a task force because members feel they have been abandoned by the major political parties in Quebec’s legislature and federal parliament. (21 June 2021)

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