Quebec Liberal Party 2023-

Written by  //  February 18, 2024  //  Québec  //  No comments

Analysis: Can Quebec Liberals recover from the annus horribilis of 2022?
Whoever ends up winning the permanent leadership will be assuming control of a party in tatters and in need of a near-complete rebuild — as well as a raison d’être.
Jocelyne Richer
(La Presse Canadienne) The Quebec Liberal Party turned 155 years old in 2022, but this was also a year that saw the party go through the political equivalent of puberty — feeling unloved, confused about itself and uncertain over its future. It was the Liberals’ annus horribilis, with the Oct. 3 election seeing the party record its worst result ever — an unambiguous and massive rejection by Quebec voters. (30 December, 2022)

18 February
I’m almost sure on Quebec Liberal leadership run, Denis Coderre says
“I’m talking to a lot of people,” the former Montreal mayor said. “Frankly, the enthusiasm is there.”
Coderre, who recently recovered from a mild stroke, told the Gazette’s Corner Booth podcast his mind is almost made up on whether to run for the Quebec Liberal Party leadership. The former federal cabinet minister said he would probably announce his decision in June after completing the 300-kilometre hike between southern France and Spain’s Santiago de Compostela known as the Way of St. James.
Coderre’s European pilgrimage will serve both spiritual and political objectives.
“The first purpose is religious, because I thank God He gave me life again,” Coderre said. “A month ago, I was not even able to talk and walk. Now, I still have an accent in English, but it’s OK.
“Secondly, of course, you have a lot of journalists who think that when Jesus walked on water, he wasn’t able to swim,” he added. “After that, they might say that my health is OK. There’s no issue after 300 kilometres.”

24 January
Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre on tour as he eyes run for Quebec Liberal leadership
(Global news) Coderre, who lost the last two mayoral races to Valérie Plante, says there are a lot of people who want him to jump to provincial politics and he is seriously considering the idea.
He told a Montreal radio station today that he’ll be in Drummondville, Que., northeast of Montreal, on Saturday and that he plans to visit Quebec Liberal party organizers around the province.

11-13 January
Robert Libman: How Denis Coderre could help the Quebec Liberals
A potential leadership bid by Montreal’s former mayor could give the provincial party the visibility and spark it desperately needs.
The Liberals were decimated in the last election and have decided to wait until early 2025 to select a new leader. For many in the party, Coderre is damaged goods and his arrival on the scene is like a skunk at a garden party. And yet this is probably the best thing that can happen to the Liberals. Not necessarily because Coderre is the saviour who can immediately bring them back to where they can win the next provincial election, but because it thrusts the Liberal party back into the conversation. His media appeal and name recognition would elevate the leadership race into something much more interesting than the snooze fest few Quebecers seemed interested in.
High-profile names haven’t been busting down the door to run. MNA Frédéric Beauchemin has expressed an interest. Antoine Dionne Charest, at 35, is relatively unknown but an interesting prospect. He has been publishing think pieces on policy issues and individual rights, and advancing the narrative about Quebec’s “liberal-authoritarian” divide between liberal values and François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec. He has strong ideas and intellectual conviction, and is an effective debater, having put some of Quebec’s most ardent nationalist commentators on the defensive. He’s just a few years younger than his father when Jean Charest was recruited from Ottawa in 1998 to save the provincial Liberals. Although coy so far, Dionne Charest will likely run.

Allison Hanes: Could Denis Coderre save the Quebec Liberals?
With his track record, the former Montreal mayor has attributes that could be useful and relevant in the current Quebec political climate.
Denis Coderre is right about one thing: Everybody is talking about him.
But are they cheering or cringing after he let it be known Wednesday that he is seriously considering vying for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party? That’s a whole other issue.
For Coderre, the flamboyant former Montreal mayor and scrappy one-time minister in the federal Liberal cabinet, is right about something else, too: He leaves no one indifferent.
… With only MNA Frédéric Beauchemin stating potential interest — he recently rejoined caucus after being ejected over a now-withdrawn intimidation complaint — the Liberals have lobbed their selection of a new leader all the way to 2025, hoping someone will come along with the charisma and vision to revive their fortunes.

3 January
Liberal MNA Marwah Rizqy confirms she’s pregnant with second child
The announcement means her consideration of running for the party’s leadership is on hold — at least for now.

2023

12 October
Quebec Liberal Party will not choose next leader until 2025
…party spokeswoman Millene Berube Comtois indicated all the rules would be shared Sunday morning at the QLP general council meeting this weekend in Drummondville.
Former Quebec premier Jean Charest applauds Liberals recovery report
The document, entitled “Asserting ourselves, uniting, prospering,” was made public on Thursday by former senator André Pratte and MNA Madwa-Nika Cadet, among others.
It reaffirms the Liberal Party’s “federalist-nationalist” position and proposes a series of avenues to follow under three main themes.
In Havre-Saint-Pierre, where he attended the inauguration of the La Romaine hydroelectric complex, Charest said he was “impressed” by the report.
“It’s a work of substance and substance, (…) done with a long-term perspective… A new constitution for Quebec, interculturalism, the question of an industrial policy, I am very impressed”, he said.
Quebec Liberal Party looks for revival as it sets blueprint for the future
A year ago, it was a disastrous night for the Quebec Liberal Party (QLP).
The party was most relegated to Greater Montreal in back-to-back election defeats to the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ).
On Thursday, the party said something needs to change.
“In the last two elections, Quebecers told us: ‘The Liberal party, go and do your homework. We’re not ready,'” said Liberal Bourassa-Sauve MNA Madwa-Nika Cadet.
In March, the Liberals launched the Committee on the Revival of the QLP that included former Liberal ministers, who toured the province, speaking to party members.
Its final report was released on Thursday.
In its 75 pages, the Liberals focused on a number of issues, including identity, immigration, the French language and the economy.
The Liberals also want Anglophone rights to be protected in a Quebec constitution(opens in a new tab).
“What is new is we’re saying we will enshrine those rights, the existing rights, in law, and that’s extremely important,” said committee co-chair Andre Pratte.
Political analyst David Heurtel questions some of the proposals, like transforming the Canadian Senate into a chamber of provinces.
Anglophone rights should be enshrined in new Quebec constitution, Liberals say
As the Quebec Liberal Party tries to rebound from a devastating blow in the last two provincial elections, the official opposition is proposing the rights of the English-speaking community be enshrined in a new Quebec constitution.
The proposal is from a report by a committee that studied the relaunch of the party after speaking with Liberal party members on its path forward.
Specifically, the committee, co-chaired by Liberal MNA Madwa-Nika Cadet, called for the first-ever Quebec constitution to “enshrine the rights of English-speaking Quebecers, guaranteeing their existing rights to English-language services and control of their educational and health institutions.”

8 September
Josée Legault: Le fabuleux destin de Marwah Rizqy
Marwah Rizqy a tout le potentiel pour brasser la cage désespérément rouillée du PLQ.
(Journal de Montréal)… Il n’y a donc rien d’étonnant à voir chacun des candidats potentiels à sa chefferie se presser au portillon pour se désister.
Jusqu’ici, seul le député Frédéric Beauchemin semble être tenté par l’aventure. C’est dire l’ampleur abyssale du désintérêt que provoque le PLQ depuis la gouverne désastreuse du duo Couillard-Barrette.
…leur prochain chef, qui qu’il soit, est condamné à n’être que de passage. Un chef de transition. Du moins, aussi longtemps que la CAQ tiendra le coup.
C’est là qu’entre en scène le nom de Marwah Rizqy. Étoile montante de la scène politique québécoise, à 38 ans, la députée libérale de Saint-Laurent a le luxe du temps.

1 June
André Pratte: Le parti rassembleur
Lorsque je dis que le nationalisme du PLQ est rassembleur, je ne prétends évidemment pas qu’un futur gouvernement libéral ferait l’unanimité autour de lui. La politique, en effet, implique des décisions, des choix, dont chacun suscite son lot d’opposition.
(Le Devoir) Notre nationalisme invite tous les Québécois à bâtir un Québec plus français, plus prospère, plus juste et plus durable au sein de la fédération canadienne.
Le conseil général tenu en fin de semaine constituait un bon exemple de cette approche. À une forte majorité francophone provenant de toutes les régions du Québec s’étaient joints des Québécois issus de la communauté anglophone et de la diversité culturelle. Il y avait des jeunes et des moins jeunes, des militants de longue date et d’autres plus récents. N’en déplaise à Jean-François, le Parti libéral n’est pas en ambulance, encore moins en corbillard. Les militants réunis à Victoriaville étaient bien vivants. Lucides quant aux difficultés auxquelles la formation fait face, ces membres sont déterminés à faire ce qu’il faut pour relancer le parti et prudemment optimistes quant à l’avenir.
Notre objectif est d’être prêts à remplacer le gouvernement de la CAQ lors des prochaines élections, en 2026. À cette occasion, nous présenterons aux Québécois un projet national rassembleur, à l’opposé de la stratégie nocive privilégiée par le gouvernement actuel.

18 May
Pierre Harvey: Le défi surmontable du Parti libéral du Québec
(La Tribune) On l’a vu lors de la dernière campagne électorale: le Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ) n’a été que l’ombre de lui-même, bousculé dans ses valeurs par une chefferie qui a choisi d’embrasser toutes les causes à la mode plutôt que de présenter à l’électorat ce qui différencie vraiment le PLQ des autres partis politiques provinciaux.
Passant allégrement d’un environnementalisme gonflé à l’hydrogène à un gauchisme sans vision tentant même de rivaliser avec Québec solidaire dont les positions ont au moins le mérite d’être parfaitement définies, la haute direction du PLQ a été incapable de redresser la barre pendant la campagne électorale. Et c’est ce qui a fait en sorte que la majorité des membres, tout comme les électeurs fédéralistes francophones et anglophones, ont quitté le navire ou l’ont complètement boudé dans l’isoloir au moment du vote.
Pourtant, il me paraît encore tout à fait pensable de croire que ce parti pourrait revenir dans les bonnes grâces d’au moins 30-35 % des électeurs. Il pourrait même, avec quelques correctifs, faire élire certainement au moins 35 députés lors de la prochaine campagne électorale.

9 May
André Pratte’s Third Act: Resurrecting the Quebec Liberal Party
L. Ian MacDonald
Some have suggested Pratte himself as a potential leader. After a stint taking the party’s pulse in the wilderness, he could emerge the prohibitive front-runner, whether he likes it or not.
(Policy) As the once-mighty Quebec Liberal Party continues to sift through the entrails of the worst electoral showing in its 155-year history, it has turned to a white knight at once surprising and entirely logical.
On Monday night in the Unitarian Church hall in Westmount — Montreal’s leafy bastion of Liberal solidity both federal and provincial — a Town Hall addressed the question of how to rebuild from the rout of last October 3rd, which reduced the party of Robert Bourassa and Jean Lesage to 21 of 125 seats and 14.4 percent of the popular vote; less than half its previous low point.
The discussion was about values, specifically the party’s brand as the defender of minority rights, the minority in this province being Liberal-voting anglophones.
Pratte recently took on what is effectively the role of special rapporteur on how to resuscitate the party. In this mission he serves as co-chair, with MNA Madwa-Nika Cadet, of the Committee to Revive the Quebec Liberal Party. The “ideally before the next provincial election in 2026” goes without saying.

8 May
The QLP announces the creation of a committee on the revival of the Party
The Quebec Liberal Party announced the creation of a Reflection and Consultation Committee on the revival of the Party. The committee will travel throughout Quebec over the coming months and ultimately prepare a report on the Party’s orientations.
The mandate entrusted to the committee by the QLP’s Executive Committee is to seek to answer the following questions:
What does it mean to be a Liberal in Quebec in 2023?
Where does the Quebec Liberal Party fit into this new political chessboard?
What are the defining principles of 21st century liberalism that should be promoted and drawn from as inspiration by the Quebec Liberal?
How can we transform these principles into concrete orientations to address Quebecers’ aspirations?

15 April
Time for soul-searching in the Quebec Liberal Party, say former ministers ahead of Charest celebration
(CTV) The Quebec Liberal Party (QLP) should “question” its position on the political spectrum, believes former Quebec finance minister Monique Jérôme-Forget.
“We live in a world of changes, and the QLP, I imagine that it will evaluate if there is a place for it on the Quebec scene,” she said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
… Monique Jérôme-Forget is not the only one who believes the QLP needs some soul-searching.
The former Minister of Canadian intergovernmental affairs, Benoît Pelletier, believes that his former political party must “rediscover its nationalist fibres.”
“I find that the QLP has a too absolutist conception of rights and freedoms. I think it will require a refocusing in the coming years,” he told The Canadian Press.
According to Pelletier, rights and freedoms must be reconciled with the collective interest.
He believes the next Liberal leader should embody this balance but recognizes the obstacles, given that the Coalition avenir Québec occupies much nationalist ground.

7 April
Robert Libman: Quebec Liberals need a leader; a familiar name emerges
Antoine Dionne Charest, son of former premier Jean Charest, has sparked some buzz about his own political future.
The Liberals are now without a permanent leader and badly wounded after their worst defeat in party history in the 2022 election. Last week, they announced that a 14-member committee co-chaired by former journalist and senator André Pratte will travel the province to canvass Liberal members about how the party should redefine its political identity. One of the committee members is Charest’s son, Antoine Dionne Charest, and this has sparked some buzz around his own political future.
Antoine Dionne Charest, a public-affairs consultant, is perfectly bilingual, articulate and has written many substantive political think-pieces. He has been involved in the party’s youth wing and policy commission. He is in his mid-30s, the same age as his father when he first ran for the PC leadership in 1993.
This wouldn’t be the first time that offspring of a well-known politician entered the political arena, inheriting some star power in the process. … And many feel that if Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre doesn’t win the next federal election, a Mulroney offspring could be waiting in the wings.
Dionne Charest told CJAD this week he does not plan to run for the Liberal leadership, but he kept the door open about his political future. He said his immediate priority as a committee member is to respond to people who have been questioning what the party stands for. And on that question, he seemed to have provided an answer back in 2018, after the first Liberal defeat to the Coalition Avenir Québec. In an open letter in La Presse, Dionne Charest expressed the need to “renovate the Liberal household” and “return to Liberal values.” He called on the party to pay particular attention to individual freedoms, its commitment to Quebec and Canada, economic development, social justice, and more.

5 April
François-Philippe Champagne is building his case to replace Justin Trudeau
The 52-year-old lawyer, who is also being wooed to run for the leadership of the struggling Quebec Liberal Party, is winning over converts one handshake at a time. And few politicians on the circuit these days can out-handshake Mr. Champagne.

3 April
Opinion: Here’s how we plan to revive the Quebec Liberal Party
One day, Quebecers will seek an alternative to the CAQ. The Liberals must be ready. And to be ready, the party must return to its values.
Madwa-Nika Cadet and André Pratte
(Montreal Gazette) Liberalism is one of the most powerful currents of thought in recent centuries, and it played a fundamental role in the history of Quebec even before the creation of Confederation in 1867. Today, the party that embodies liberal values, the Quebec Liberal Party, faces significant challenges.
We must remember that a majority of Quebecers did not support the Coalition Avenir Québec in the elections of Oct 3, 2022. Moreover, the CAQ government is not eternal. History shows that one day, perhaps closer than most observers think, Quebecers will seek an alternative. When that day comes, the Quebec Liberal Party must be ready. And to be ready, the party must return to its values. It means rereading the broad principles defined by its constitution in light of the changes that have occurred in Quebec over the past 20 years. These principles constitute a unique political offer that we propose to Quebecers.

30 March
Quebec Liberal Party will take to the road in search of itself
A 14-member committee will travel the province to canvass Liberal members about how the party should redefine its political identity.
In the wake of the worst electoral defeat in its history and a byelection loss that saw its former leader’s riding go to Québec solidaire, the Quebec Liberal Party will take to the road this summer in an effort to find itself.
A 14-member committee co-chaired by former journalist and senator André Pratte and Liberal MNA Madwa-Nika Cadet will travel the province to canvass Liberal members about how the party should redefine its political identity.
“The results of the last elections show that there are Quebecers who, for one reason or another, have decided to not consider us for their vote this time,” Pratte said. “We can’t disregard this and continue like there’s nothing wrong.”
Pratte said while the party must evolve, its fundamental values won’t change:
development of Quebec in Canada
protection of the French language while respecting rights and freedoms of Quebecers
defence of Quebec’s interests
economic development for more social justice

14 March
A ‘strong voice for inclusion’: Anglos help deliver landslide by-election win for QS
Stronghold down. Quebec Liberals lose west Montreal riding for the first time ever
(Ricochet) The victory gives Québec solidaire an even dozen seats in the national assembly, a high water mark for the leftist (and sovereigntist) party. That’s enough to gain official party status in Quebec’s National Assembly, a victory for the party over and above the seat gained (The party had previously negotiated to receive some, but not all, of the benefits of party status).
Si la tendance se maintient, as they say, the upstart socialists may yet replace the beleaguered Liberals as Quebec’s official opposition.
Meanwhile, the by-election loss has the Quebec Liberal party once again engaged in some bleak soul searching. On Twitter, polling analyst Philippe J. Fournier speculated that the party would continue to exist, but its days of being a political force were over. It was “cooked.” Writing in the Montreal Gazette, Mulcair argued the Liberals just need better leadership. Perhaps he’s auditioning for the job?
A Pretty Big Story.
Québec Solidaire takes down a Liberal fortress
The context: Outside of the West Island-to-Westmount corridor, it’s hard to think of a bigger Liberal stronghold than Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne. Going into this week’s by election, the provincial Liberals won the district 10 consecutive times dating back to the riding’s creation in 1994. Even after getting their teeth kicked in by the CAQ last fall, the Liberal leader Dominique Anglade won the riding by a healthy margin, taking home 36 per cent of the vote to Québec Solidaire’s 27.
That all changed Monday, after Québec Solidaire candidate Guillaume Cliche-Rivard — who ran against Anglade in October — campaigned circles around his Liberal opponent. Cliche-Rivard, an immigration lawyer, zeroed in on housing affordability and immigration as two central issues to the neighbourhood. He won 44 per cent of the vote, beating the Liberals by 16 points.

13 March
André Pratte: How Quebec Liberals can strengthen their unique coalition
(The Montrealer) In the history of our beloved province, only one political party has succeeded in bringing together Quebecers of all languages and cultures, in a spirit of dialogue and mutual understanding: the Quebec Liberal Party (QLP). Today, with the tensions caused by the Legault government’s policies, the need for such a political coalition is stronger than ever. But this will require work from all communities involved.
In recent months, some Liberals have suggested that the QLP form a special committee to consult the party’s members and sympathizers about the future orientations of the party, notably regarding language issues. From what I have heard, this idea has caught on within the party, and there is a possibility that such an ad hoc committee will be set up.

14 February
Tom Mulcair: Legault is running circles around the Trudeau Liberals
In 2018, CAQ leader indicated he’d be claiming powers from Ottawa in language, culture and immigration. He has been doing just that.
Premier François Legault has dictated new rules for Quebec-Ottawa relations. It’s a sea change taking place inexorably.
In an interview with L’actualité prior to the 2018 campaign, Legault candidly stated the obvious: the two attempts to gain Quebec independence with a referendum had failed.
More ominously, Legault said he’d get “there” by claiming powers from Ottawa in three key areas: language, culture and immigration.
He has been doing just that, and both Trudeau and his justice minister, David Lametti, have appeared outmatched
This week, the CAQ government has been tightening the screws on Ottawa, requesting special status before the CRTC. The province wants it to be written into Bill C-11 that it has to be consulted on all matters of cultural interest to Quebec.
There doesn’t appear to be anyone with a coherent view of these issues in Trudeau’s entourage. Polievre’s clientelism with regard to Quebec is once again on full display. For a guy who claims to be all about freedoms, eroding the freedom to use either official language before Quebec courts should have been a problem. But apparently not.

24 January
Quebec Liberals shuffle shadow cabinet
West Island MNAs Monsef Derraji and Gregory Kelley get additional responsibilities.
Jacques-Cartier MNA Gregory Kelley is the Liberal Party’s new critic for relations with English-speaking Quebecers, in addition to his other existing roles.

Quebec Liberal Leader Marc Tanguay announced “adjustments to responsibilities” of opposition critics on Monday evening, moving the dossiers of immigration, the Montreal region and relations with anglophone Quebecers into new hands, and giving more work to two West Island MNAs.
Under the changes, Jeanne-Mance-Viger MNA Filomena Rotiroti becomes the new critic for the metropolis, while remaining the opposition’s chief whip. Her previous responsibility of immigration, francisation and integration shifts to Nelligan MNA Monsef Derraji, who also holds on to the jobs of house leader and critic for ethics, democratic institutions and the Election Act.

Quebec ordered to pay former premier Jean Charest $385,000
Charest was seeking $2 million for leaks to the media from a UPAC investigation into Liberal party fundraising.

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