Quebec elections 2022

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2022 provincial general election results
QCGN: 2022 Provincial Elections

Projet de loi 96 sur la langue française
338Canada Quebec

UPDATES 4 October
Former PQ leader mocks PQ-minister-turned-CAQ-MNA over position on electoral reform
CAQ intentionally made controversial statements about immigrants to win votes: Duhaime
Liberals concede defeat in Fabre and Verdun after narrow losses
Liberal candidates came in second by fewer than 500 votes in both ridings in Monday’s Quebec election.
‘Our political system is broken’: Quebec opposition parties call for electoral reform
‘There’s no perfect voting system’ – Legault rules out electoral reform
St-Pierre Plamondon rules out alliance with Québec solidaire
Young people have spoken – and they want Québec solidaire in charge
Opinion: Quebec election results point to need for electoral reform
Manon Massé denounces online Islamophobic hate directed at new Québec solidare MNA
Pollsters were close to the mark, Université de Montréal expert says
Qc125’s seat projection was pretty close
Quebec records lowest voter turnout since 2008
Conservatives to call for recounts in two Beauce ridings
CAQ won 41% of the vote – and 72% of the seats in the National Assembly
‘National Assembly will continue to suffer from a huge democratic deficit,’ Duhaime says
Only Québec solidaire resisted the CAQ wave: Nadeau-Dubois
‘Our work continues,’ Balarama Holness says
CAQ steamrolls Quebec but stalls in Montreal
“I love Quebec, I love Quebecers,” François Legault said in a victory speech at CAQ election night headquarters at the Théâtre Capitole in old Quebec City. “You are paying me a great honour in choosing me a second time to be your premier.”
Buoyed by overwhelming majority, Legault pledges “to be the premier of all Quebecers” in his victory speech.
With his opposition splintered into four different parties and Quebecers in a mood for stability, François Legault Monday easily sailed into his second mandate as a premier with a majority government.
With all polls reporting, the Coalition Avenir Québec had bagged 90 seats, 14 more than he started with, and 40.97 per cent of the vote. It’s within the range of what pollsters had been projecting since August. It is also close to the contemporary record established in 1989, when late Liberal leader Robert Bourassa won a stunning 92 seats.
It is all the more significant because the last two parties that tried to win a second mandate — the Parti Québécois in 2014 and the Liberals in 2018 — failed.
The call giving Legault the win came early, around 8:10 p.m., sparking cheers from supporters here.
The only question mark hovering over the rest of the evening was who would form the official opposition and how many seats would be left for the other three parties. In the end the Liberals — despite dire predictions — retained the title with 21 seats, six fewer than when the legislature was dissolved.
With most of her support on the island of Montreal and Laval, Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade faces the daunting challenge of rebuilding her party and selling it to francophone voters in the regions. She will also have to explain what turned out to be the worst election score for the party in its 150-year-old history with a loss of 400,000 votes.
After seeing its share of the vote drop to 25 per cent in the 2018 election, it now has dropped further, to 14.37 per cent.
On the other hand, the party exceeded expectations. The fact Anglade held her home riding of Saint-Henri—Sainte-Anne may help stabilize her leadership.

Comparez les plateformes électorales des partis
Vous ne savez pas pour qui voter le 3 octobre prochain? Retrouvez les principaux engagements des partis politiques dans notre comparateur de programmes. Filtrez les promesses selon le parti, le thème et le sous-thème. Les promesses sont mises à jour régulièrement, en fonction des annonces.
How do the parties compare on these Quebec election issues?
Read the policies and promises of the five main parties on this election’s pressing issues. These will be updated as parties add to their platforms ahead of the Oct. 3 election.
What are the key election issues in Quebec’s provincial election?
Pollster Christian Bourque and journalists Jonathan Montpetit and Emilie Nicolas break down the Quebec election campaign.

28 September
Jour 32 de la campagne au Québec : notre couverture en direct
Le Coalition avenir Québec est encore une fois rattrapée par des déclarations controversées sur l’immigration.
Des médecins désaffiliés pourraient œuvrer dans les mini-hôpitaux privés de la CAQ
Le chef de la Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), François Legault, « n’exclut pas » que la Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) rembourse certains actes posés par les médecins qui ne participent pas au régime, du moins dans les mini-hôpitaux privés qu’il aimerait voir construits à Montréal et à Québec
‘Dangerous’ and ‘pathetic’: Legault, Boulet blasted for immigration comments
Saying a hike in immigration would be “suicidal” for Quebec or that most immigrants don’t work sows fear, opposition leaders charge.
(Montreal Gazette) Quebec’s opposition leaders accused François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec of sowing fear and using “dangerous” tactics after comments surfaced from the party’s outgoing immigration minister that “80 per cent of immigrants go to Montreal, do not work, do not speak French or do not adhere to the values of Quebec society.”
Legault says accepting more than 50,000 immigrants a year ‘suicidal
Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault says incumbent Immigration Minister Jean Boulet is no longer qualified to hold that job after Mr. Boulet said the majority of immigrants to the province “don’t work.”
(Globe & Mail) Mr. Legault on Wednesday was forced to confront the statement Mr. Boulet made during a Sept. 21 election debate. The premier held a series of media interviews during which he said Mr. Boulet would no longer be immigration minister if the CAQ wins the Oct. 3 election.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Legault distanced himself from Mr. Boulet’s comments and told reporters his minister made a “serious error.”
During the debate last week in his riding of Trois-Rivières, located between Montreal and Quebec City, Boulet said, “80 per cent of immigrants go to Montreal, don’t work, don’t speak French, or don’t adhere to the values of Quebec society.”

25 September
Campagne électorale : cinq chefs dans la cabane!
(Tout le monde en parle) À quelques jours de la fin de la campagne électorale, on cuisine les aspirants chefs et l’aspirante cheffe du gouvernement, ce qui donne lieu à des échanges corsés. Dominique Anglade, Éric Duhaime, François Legault, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois et Paul St-Pierre Plamondon ont une ultime chance de débattre ensemble à la télé pour convaincre l’électorat de leur accorder leur confiance.

25 September
Scrutin du 3 octobre : que pourrait-il advenir de l’opposition?
Le rôle et la place de l’opposition à l’Assemblée nationale pourraient bien être redéfinis après les prochaines élections.
Qu’arrive-t-il si aucun groupe d’opposition n’est officiellement reconnu?
Selon les règles de l’Assemblée nationale, un parti doit faire élire 12 députés ou récolter 20 % au suffrage universel pour être reconnu comme groupe parlementaire officiel et pour avoir droit aux avantages associés à ce statut (temps de parole, budget de recherche, employés politiques, etc.). Cette barre paraît difficile à franchir pour plusieurs partis d’opposition

Mainstream Research forecasts a CAQ majority
Updated September 24, 2022

22 September
What François Legault talks about when he talks about immigration
CAQ leader often backtracks, but a history of his comments reveals deep concern on the issue
Jonathan Montpetit
It can be difficult to ascertain what François Legault actually believes about immigration.
The issue wasn’t central to the first campaigns he waged as leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, the party he co-founded with a billionaire friend.
After a couple of middling election results in 2012 and 2014, however, Legault began to raise immigration with increasing frequency. His proposal to cut immigration levels and impose a values test on newcomers were centrepieces of the party’s platform in 2018, for example, when it swept to power with a convincing majority.
But then as now, when Legault speaks about immigration, he’s liable to utter falsehoods, contradictions, or to flirt with outright xenophobia — often before correcting himself.

Final Quebec election debate: Leaders battle over taxes, immigration, a referendum and Bill 96
Two fiery exchanges mark debate – Anglade accuses Legault of being “paternalistic” on issues affecting women; Legault blasts Duhaime for being “willing to sacrifice” seniors amid the pandemic.
Debate analysis: Barbs fly as Legault goes on the attack to keep his job
Philip Authier
The debate was held as the election campaign moves into its final phase and the leaders are trying to shore up weak ridings across Quebec.
Off the top, moderator Patrice Roy set the tone, saying he wanted an “orderly and respectful” debate and the leaders, perhaps feeling contrite, generally followed the rules and exercised discipline.
“You have been exemplary,” Roy said as the two-hour debate drew to a close.
Anglade exuded energy … Unlike the first debate, [she] also squeezed in a pitch for federalism. It’s a sign she hopes Liberals who sat out the 2018 election campaign will come back into the fold.
She took heat from Duhaime, who accused her, again, of betraying Quebec’s English-speaking community by at first supporting the CAQ’s Bill 96 overhauling the Charter of the French Language, proposing amendments making it worse for the community and then in the end voting against the law.
… At the TVA debate last week, Legault boldly stated Quebec’s Liberals no longer have a monopoly on promoting federalism because the CAQ wants Quebec to succeed within Canada as well. He did not repeat the comment in this debate.
Legault this time said while he considers independence legitimate, Quebecers today are not interested in referendums.
As Journal de Montréal columnist Joseph Facal noted Thursday, it’s not enough for the CAQ to say the other parties are worse than they are and can’t be trusted to govern. It’s also not enough to sell your past because voters are an ungrateful lot and only vote on your past if they want to punish you.
“You thus have to say what you will do for them in the future, to map out where you want to go,” Facal wrote. “The CAQ risks dragging itself over the finish line and to have a less glorious victory than it wanted.”
21 September
Quebec election: Final debate could be last chance to coalesce opposition to CAQ
The French-language debate remains a major television event in Quebec and is a chance for the candidates to speak directly to voters — especially those who may not be following the campaign closely. …
For example, much of the media coverage of Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade’s campaign has focused on her party’s poor showing in the polls, Yaccarini said, “but we won’t be talking about that during the debate. It will be more about the ideas, so it’s an opportunity for the leaders to get certain voters to know them.”
Leaders prepare for 2nd and final debate of campaign
Quebec’s party leaders will be spending much of the day preparing for the second and final debate of the election campaign, as polls show the governing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) firmly in the lead.
CAQ Leader and incumbent premier François Legault is making a point of watching his tongue ahead of Thursday night’s debate on Radio-Canada.
Tuesday, he apologized for comments made during last week’s debate, when he repeatedly said that racism against Indigenous people at a Quebec hospital was “settled.”
He also walked back on comments made earlier in the campaign when he linked immigration to violence.
Meanwhile, Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade is slated to hold a news conference Wednesday morning on Montreal’s South Shore.
Quebec Liberal Party aims to create a Secretariat for people with disabilities
Quebec Liberal Party Leader Dominique Anglade is committed to forming a Secretariat for Quebecers with autism or a handicap, with a dedicated minister.
The project aims to represent more than one million Quebecers with disabilities, especially in education, transportation, and employment.

Quebecers want Québec solidaire as the official opposition, poll suggests
The survey found the CAQ continues to enjoy a commanding lead in voter support, at 40 per cent, as the Quebec election draws closer.
The Quebec Liberal Party, the Conservative Party of Quebec and the Parti Québécois were tied for third place at 14 per cent, but the survey’s three-per-cent margin of error essentially places all four opposition parties in a dead heat.
Privatizing health care isn’t the taboo it once was. But would it help Quebec’s ailing system?
Political parties float idea of bolstering system with more private options. Experts question the logic
(CBC) …one of the main alternatives being proposed in this election campaign is opening the network up to further privatization.
Both the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), which holds a commanding lead in the polls, and the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ), an upstart right-wing party, have laid out proposals to expand private care.
…the CAQ is proposing a pair of new private medical centres, in Montreal’s east end and Quebec City. The privately run “mini hospitals” would be open seven days a week and include a family medicine clinic, a 24-hour emergency room for minor ailments and day surgeries. All this would be covered by public health insurance, according to the CAQ.
The PCQ wants to go farther, and party leader Éric Duhaime…wants private companies to be allowed to operate some hospitals and believes doctors should be encouraged to practise in both the public and private health systems.
The CAQ and PCQ proposals have drawn criticism from the Quebec Liberals, but they, too, are promising to allow more private clinics covered by public health insurance to address the surgery backlog.
The Parti Québécois and Québec Solidaire are opposed to expanding private care. Both argue for more funding for the public system.

20 September
Quebec election: New poll has four opposition parties almost equal, CAQ way ahead
(Global) All five leaders are back on the campaign trail making new pitches and promises to try and secure votes. On Day 23 of the Quebec election campaign, one leader is trying to separate his party from the others, painting this as a two-party race to the top.
The Quebec Liberal Party, the Conservative Party of Quebec and Québec solidaire are tied at 16, while the Parti Québécois is at 13 per cent.
Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade told reporters [Tuesday] morning the poll shows that 62 per cent of Quebecers don’t want François Legault’s CAQ to be re-elected, and she says voters should rally behind her party.
Quebec Liberal leader faces questions about her political future

Quebec election: 880 candidates in the running for Oct. 3 election
While fewer candidates are running this year than in 2018, a higher percentage of candidates are women.
Dominique Anglade undaunted: ‘I never shy away from a challenge’
Quebec Liberal leader acknowledges the uphill battle to win over Quebecers this election. But her whole life has primed her for this fight.

12 September
Quebec Liberals sputter as CAQ, QS see fortunes rise in fortress Montreal
PLQ struggles to raise funds, find candidates, leaving pundits to wonder what happened to party machine
(CBC) The QLP has raised less than any other major party so far in 2022 and just a fraction of the millions of dollars it attracted annually between 2003 and 2008
Université Laval Prof. Valérie-Anne Mahéo says that the slow trickle of donations could signal more than a need to turn elsewhere for cash. The political scientist said the PLQ’s longtime faithful might stop donating if they don’t believe in the party’s current direction.
It is early in the campaign, but Fournier said there are already some indications Anglade may be in trouble in her own riding, the traditional Liberal stronghold of Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne in southwest Montreal.
All the party leaders except Anglade managed to raise more political donations than the candidates they are up against in their own ridings.
In Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne, however, Québec Solidaire’s Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, an immigration lawyer, has collected $16,367, while Anglade has raised only $12,643.
Considering the date of this year’s election was no secret, the fact that the Liberals started the race without a candidate in 17 ridings raised some eyebrows.
The party now has a full slate of 125 candidates, but for the last-minute additions, it’s clear the party brass had to scramble. “They even had to pull some candidates from the political staff,” Mahéo pointed out. That is the case in at least three ridings.

7-9 September
John Ivison: As François Legault divides, Quebec is diminished
Legault’s pure laine paradise is within reach, but it promises to be an insular and insipid place
Cultures do not live or die by government diktat. They thrive when they offer a shared understanding of the world and bind people together.
On the contrary, Legault’s vision is to divide and conquer.
It will lead to an exodus of talent — primarily but not exclusively anglos and allophones — and ultimately a dearth of investment. Montreal is currently buzzing as a home for cutting-edge AI and life sciences, but corporate leaders have warned the provincial government that the language legislation will saddle companies with additional costs and complicate their hiring processes (it requires new immigrants to communicate with the government in French after they’ve been in the province for six months).
In the words of the former editor of La Presse, André Pratte, Legault has engaged in “an obvious ploy to create a crisis where none exists.”
Legault apologizes for comments citing ‘extremism,’ ‘violence’ as reasons to limit immigration
François Legault has apologized for comments he made citing the threat of “extremism” and “violence” as well as the need to preserve Quebec’s way of life as reasons to limit the number of immigrants to the province.
“Immigration is a richness for Quebec,” the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec tweeted Wednesday late afternoon, hours after he made the statement at an election campaign stop in Victoriaville, Que.
“Integration will always be a challenge for a French-speaking nation in North America. I didn’t mean to associate immigration with violence. I am sorry if my comments caused confusion. My desire is to unite.”

François Legault intervenes to remove English from the CAQ website
Apart from the Parti Québécois and the Coalition Avenir Québec, all the major provincial parties discuss their policies and platforms in English as well as French on their websites.
François Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, has personally intervened to remove English content from his party’s website.
On Wednesday morning, he requested that the English version of a CAQ’s report, “Now. Our record” be removed from the website, after he became aware via a Presse Canadienne article [that] pointed out that Legault’s party was practicing bilingualism when it had just passed Bill 96 to strengthen the French language in Quebec.
Asked about this on Wednesday at a press conference in Longueuil, Legault said he regretted that his party had published content in English on its website.

Protection du français : Au-delà de la loi 96
Si la « louisianisation » du Québec évoquée par François Legault est peu probable, il faut tout de même rester vigilants, disent les experts. Mais les enjeux à surveiller ne sont peut-être pas ceux que l’on désigne le plus souvent.

8 September
Éric Duhaime and the Conservative Party of Québec’s contradictory stance on nationalism
Frédérick Guillaume Dufour, Professeur en sociologie politique, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM); et François Tanguay, Doctorant, Université de Montréal
What role will Québec’s Conservative Party play in the election on Oct. 3? And where does it stand on the political spectrum of the right? As a professor in the department of sociology at the University of Québec in Montréal, my current research focuses on nationalism and populism in Canada, Québec and Germany.
Nationalism without a quest for statehood
If the national question no longer creates the same division and no longer puts the same two political parties in the forefront of Québec politics, the last four years have shown that it is too early to declare an end to nationalist dynamics in Québec politics.

6-8 September
Éric Duhaime and the Conservative Party of Québec’s contradictory stance on nationalism
By Frédérick Guillaume Dufour, Professeur en sociologie politique, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM); et François Tanguay, Doctorant, Université de Montréal
(The Conversation) The strength of the CAQ’s nationalist mobilization strategy is that it brings economic, republican, autonomous and populist nationalists together under one umbrella. The party is quite adept at seizing opportunities to win the loyalty of these different currents by playing on a number of legal and symbolic issues, but without arousing the fears often associated with the referendum option and the sovereignist horizon.
In a political climate in Québec where threats against politicians of all stripes have never been higher, many point out that Duhaime is playing a dangerous game by adopting the anti-establishment, friend-enemy rhetoric of radical right-wing insurrectionist movements, only to timidly call his activists to order later.
The election platform presented on Aug 14 is silent on nationalist issues. It includes no reference to secularism, immigration or protection of the French language. This is not, however, the case with the party platform, nor with Duhaime’s public statements.
After advocating for a decrease in immigration, Duhaime is now sticking to the 50,000-immigrant threshold proposed by the CAQ. Speaking in French, he has repeatedly introduced the notion of “civilizational compatibility” as a principle that should structure immigration policy. In the vocabulary of the populist right, this notion of immigration is a dog whistle referring to the limitation of Muslim immigration. The program also aspires to a pro-natalist policy without detailing its content.
… The PCQ seeks to present itself both as a defender of the French language, and as representing libertarian positions that oppose Québec’s language laws.
The program claims to want to protect French, “the most important vector of national identity and of the unique character of the Québec people in Canada and in America.” But while seeking to defend an identity centred around language, family and defending civilization, Duhaime is trying to appeal to an English-speaking electorate jaded by the Québec Liberal Party. On Tuesday, before an English-speaking audience in Montréal, he said he was opposed to using the notwithstanding clause to protect Bill 96.
These are difficult tensions to reconcile in Québec politics. It is hard to imagine how libertarians can commit to supporting Québec culture if they systematically oppose the institutional and cultural instruments that allow the state to subsidize, disseminate and promote that culture. So, even for federalists who support traditional Québec constitutional claims, Duhaime’s platform remains very vague.

Duhaime would repeal Bill 96, saying anglos shouldn’t trade in historic rights
In an election campaign speech, the leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec says the anglophone community is an ally, not a threat.
He said the English community has served as the “punching bag” of Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault, who has abused their rights in order to appeal to separatist voters.
Duhaime has pledged to repeal Bill 96, and said the divisive language law passed by Legault’s government does little to further the cause of French, but instead pits communities against each other.
“It’s a symbol of dividing Quebecers, and that’s the wrong message,” he said. “We want to unite Quebecers. We will present a bill to ensure we can integrate more immigrants to the French reality, without poking the English community.”
Quebec Liberals offer $1.85 billion in tax cuts and other breaks to small businesses
Independent workers and businesses with fewer than five employees would pay 3.2 per cent tax instead of 11 per cent.

4 September
André Pratte: Quebec’s political parties acting as if province suddenly awash in cash
Forget Quebec’s desperate pleas to Ottawa to help the province finance its health-care system. Forget that we have not enough money to improve the quality of education and renovate our schools. Forget that our infrastructure is crumbling. Finally, ignore the danger signals flashing on the world’s economy dashboard. Miraculously, Quebec is awash with billions of dollars!
At least, that’s what provincial politicians would like us to believe, as in the first days of the election campaign, they have all promised huge tax cuts to compensate Quebecers’ financial difficulties caused by inflation. Such promises are egregiously irresponsible.
Responsibly helping Quebecers make ends meet
(QLP Press Release) Today, the Quebec Liberal Party is unveiling its financial framework for the October 3, 2022, election. At a time when Quebecers are struggling to make ends meet, a Liberal government will offer them assistance, including through an income tax break that will represent up to $1,125 per person, as well as through the creation of a $2,000 “Seniors’ Allowance” for those aged 70 and up who are still living at home.
Moreover, the Quebec Liberal Party is proposing a modern economic perspective for Quebec, one that tackles our two greatest challenges with stronger measures to address the workforce shortages and investments in the ECO project to cope with an aging population and fight climate change.

1 September
Jonathan Montpetit: Inflation emerges as main issue in Quebec campaign. Whose plan will help you more?
(CBC News) in Canada’s most heavily taxed province, it was suddenly hard to find a political leader not vowing to put money back into the average voter’s pocket.
There are, however, important differences between how the parties aim to accomplish the feat. Some are focused on cutting income taxes, while others are targeting consumption taxes or tax credits.
Arguably the biggest difference, though, is in how the parties plan to finance their inflation relief: Do we pay for it now, with money on-hand, or stick future generations with the bill?
The PQ, which in recent years has adopted a conservative approach to identity and immigration issues, has put forward what may be the most progressive way of dealing with inflation.

31 August
Quebec businesses ramp up opposition to Bill 96 ahead of provincial election
The number of signatories of an open letter against the law, first published in June, has more than tripled in recent days. The letter warns the legislation, known as Bill 96, could “do enormous damage” to the province’s economy.
Business leaders say they’re concerned about the tightening of language laws in Quebec deterring future employees from wanting to work in the province.
The letter highlights an element of Bill 96 that says immigrants will need to communicate with government agencies in French after six months of living in Quebec.
Daybreak Montreal with Sean Henry: Where do English speakers fit into this provincial election?

30 August
What are the key election issues in Quebec’s provincial election?
Pollster Christian Bourque and journalists Jonathan Montpetit and Emilie Nicolas break down the Quebec election campaign.

28 August
The 5 major parties taking part in Quebec’s provincial election
Quebec’s election campaign began on Sunday and Quebecers will go to the polls on Oct. 3
Before the dissolution of the legislature, Legault’s party had 76 seats, while the Quebec Liberals had 27, Québec solidaire had 10 and the Parti Québécois had seven. The Conservative Party of Quebec held one seat and there were four Independents.
There is a total of 26 authorized parties including the two new Anglo rights Bloc Montréal – Équipe Balarama Holness and Parti canadien du Québec / Canadian Party of Québec (Colin Standish).
What are the key election issues in Quebec’s provincial election? (video)
(Power & politics) Pollster Christian Bourque and journalists Jonathan Montpetit and Emilie Nicolas break down the Quebec election campaign.

Legault announces Quebec election campaign will begin Sunday (August 28)
Polls suggest Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec party holds a commanding lead heading into the campaign. … A Léger poll published earlier this month found support for Legault’s party at 44 per cent, compared with 18 per cent for the second-place Quebec Liberals. Québec solidaire and the Conservative Party of Quebec polled at 15 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.

Jack Jedwab: Frank discussion on immigration needed in Quebec
Quebec needs immigrants to address demographic and economic challenges, and this is something that should be discussed in the election campaign.
The bottom line is that Quebec and the rest of Canada need immigrants to meet significant demands in the labour market in light of the aging of the population. When the CAQ promised cuts to immigration, many Quebec leaders of industry voiced their concerns about the proposed reductions at a time when there was a desperate need for workers to meet growing labour market needs.
The CAQ and the Quebec governments preceding it have encountered important challenges in recruiting large numbers of francophone immigrants and as such have focused on increasing the numbers of newcomers who know French, most of whom happen to be bilingual. As well, while the CAQ talked to voters about the need to cut immigration to address integration challenges during much of its first mandate (2018-2022), it tacitly supported Quebec employers’ recruitment of record numbers of temporary workers. The numbers of such temporary migrants more than offset the initial reductions that the CAQ made to Quebec’s annual immigration.
A study by the Institut du Québec found that between 2016 and 2019 there were important increases in the share of temporary migrants. And during the first three years of the CAQ government, their numbers grew from 55,000 to 72,000, the vast majority from countries with relatively few French speakers.

Beyond the Pages: Beryl Wajsman with NDG Quebec Liberal candidate Désirée McGraw (video)

24 August
Liberals would be more inclusive, Anglade tells anglo [QCGN] town hall
Bills 21 and 96 go too far, but won’t be completely repealed, she says.
A Liberal government would allow Quebec teachers to wear hijabs, erase enrolment limits imposed on English-language CEGEPs and create a more just and inclusive society to wash away the divisiveness created by the Coalition Avenir Québec, Dominique Anglade promised Tuesday evening.

Quebec Liberals promise family doctors for all
It’s a promise that has been made before, but the problem keeps getting worse.
To reach its objective, promised in other campaigns including by the Coalition Avenir Québec in 2018, a Liberal government would train 1,000 additional doctors to fill the gap evaluated by the Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ).
While previous governments have tried to increase access to family doctors, the situation has only gotten worse. In 2018, about 400,000 people were on waiting lists for family doctors. Now there are more than a million.
The Liberals plan to give priority to people with chronic illnesses or mental illnesses, seniors and people with disabilities. They also promise to better distribute family doctors geographically and create more family medicine groups, including some that would work 24/7.

15 August
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.

8 August
73% of Quebecers believe the Legault government has done a poor job on senior care
(Cult MTL) 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 election.
“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

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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