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Conservatives raised more than Liberals and NDP combined in second quarter of 2022

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Conservatives raised more than Liberals and NDP combined in second quarter of 2022

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives raised more money than the Liberals and NDP combined during the second quarter of this year, as the party inches closer to choosing a new leader.

The Conservatives raised over $4.4 million from about 36,000 donors between April 1 and June 30, while in the middle of a leadership race.

The governing Liberals raised nearly $2.8 million from almost 28,000 donors and New Democrats received almost $1.2 million in contributions from nearly 16,000 people.

The federal Greens raised almost $438,000 from about 5,200 Canadians while over 1,600 people donated about $248,000 to the Bloc Québécois.

The People’s Party of Canada, which does not hold any seats in Parliament, raised just under $200,000 from about 4,000 donors.

All parties, except for the Greens, received less money from donations in the second quarter than in the first three months of the year.

A year-over-year comparison shows donations are down from the second quarter of 2021, when parties were gearing up for a rumoured snap election.

That quarter, the Conservatives raised almost $5.2 million from about 35,000 donors and the Liberals raised $3.3 million from over 36,000 donors, while over 18,000 NDP supporters gave just over $1.5 million. The Greens received about $682,000 in donations from over 8,000 Canadians and the Bloc Québécois raised about $312,000 from 2,300 donors.

There are no filings for the People’s Party of Canada for the second quarter of last year.

Financial returns filed with Elections Canada also lay out contributions to the Conservative federal leadership candidates during the second quarter, which totalled over $8 million.

Front-runner Pierre Poilievre received the most contributions of the candidates running for leadership of the party.

Poilievre raised just over $4 million, while former Quebec premier Jean Charest raised almost $1.4 million for the race.

The Conservatives will announce the winner of the leadership race on Sept. 10.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 2, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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Quicksketch: A look at Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon

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MONTREAL — Here’s a look at Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, Parti Québécois Leader and leader of the third opposition party at the National Assembly.

Born: Feb. 18, 1977, in Trois-Rivières, Que.

Education: A lawyer by training, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Common Law from McGill University, an MBA from Oxford University and a certificate in International Law from the Lund University in Sweden.

Before politics: St-Pierre-Plamondon worked in law in Bolivia and Belgium before returning to practise law in Montreal and Gatineau, Que. He co-founded  Génération d’idées, a working group that fostered dialogue between young and old over issues key to the future of Quebec. He has worked as a political commentator and writer and published a pair of books: “Les orphelins politiques” (Political orphans) in 2014 and “Rebâtir le camp du Oui” (Rebuilding The Yes Camp) in 2020.

Family: Married to Alexandra Tremblay, two children and a third on the way.

Political record: Leader of PQ since Oct. 9, 2020, but has never held a seat in the legislature. Previously ran for PQ leadership in 2016, finishing fourth. Was named special adviser to the leader by former PQ leader Jean-François Lisée. PQ candidate in the riding of Prévost in the 2018 provincial election, losing to Coalition Avenir Québec cabinet minister Marguerite Blais.

Riding: Camille-Laurin (formerly known as Bourget in eastend Montreal)

Quote: “As a leader, I want to send a message by running in Montreal. It is here that our struggle to reverse the decline of French takes place. I want to send a message of hope: we will fight this legitimate struggle until the decline of French is reversed.”- St-Pierre-Plamondon announcing the riding he’d chosen.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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Quebec election: Fiona briefly throws off Quebec election campaigns

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MONTREAL — Post-tropical storm Fiona caused some disarray on the campaign trail Saturday as some parties cancelled planned events and Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault briefly suspended his campaign to manage response to the powerful gale that hit Atlantic Canada and parts of Quebec.

Legault, the incumbent premier, resumed his re-election bid on Saturday afternoon after meeting with public security officials in Quebec City and holding a briefing with reporters.

The CAQ campaign resumed with a planned meeting with Quebec City Mayor Bruno Marchand. However, a major partisan rally on Saturday night in Terrebonne, north of Montreal, was postponed, Legault said.

In Quebec, Fiona hit the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Gaspé and the province’s Lower North Shore, with the brunt of the impact expected from Saturday to Sunday morning. All party leaders expressed well wishes for Quebecers caught in the storm, which also played havoc with some of their schedules.

Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois cancelled a press conference in Montreal, but would meet with party supporters in Rimouski, Que. later in the day.

Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said she was closely monitoring the situation in the affected regions but continued with her campaign in western Quebec as planned in the Outaouais region.

Once a Liberal stronghold, the CAQ won three of the area’s five ridings during the 2018 election and the Liberals are at risk of losing the two they hold, according to poll-aggregating website qc125.com.

Anglade held a rally in the area on Friday and campaigned again on Saturday before heading back to Montreal at the end of the day.

“The Outaouais has been neglected in the last four years, the health and the economic results demonstrate it,” Anglade said.

With just over a week until voting day on Oct. 3, all five party leaders are scheduled to appear live on “Tout le monde en parle” on Sunday night, a popular prime time talk show on Radio-Canada.

Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon also suspended his own campaign on Friday because of flu-like symptoms. He has tested negative three times for COVID-19 using rapid tests, but said Saturday he would only return to the hustings after a PCR test confirmation.

“As a precaution, we will wait for the return of the PCR before formally resuming the campaign,” he told reporters during a scrum in Longueuil, Que. “As you can see, I’m doing better.”

Conservative Party of Quebec Leader Éric Duhaime campaigned in the Quebec City-area riding of Chauveau where he’s seeking to win a seat in the legislature.

He called on Conservative supporters to vote in large numbers to ensure the party elects members — particularly in the riding where he’s running — as two days of advanced voting begins on Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2022.

 

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

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Quebec election: PQ leader fighting to revive sovereignty debate — and his own party

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MONTREAL — The question of Quebec independence has been put on the back burner during Quebec’s election campaign, but Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is fighting to secure a place for it — and his party — after the Oct. 3 vote.

St-Pierre Plamondon, whose once-strong party has been relegated to last place in the polls, invoked the independence question during the final leaders debate on Thursday, making a direct appeal to sovereigntists who jumped ship to the Coalition Avenir Quebec in the 2018 election.

“Your project is to snuff out Quebec’s independence; mine is to restart it,” he told CAQ Leader François Legault, who had once been a cabinet minister in a PQ government but who quit to form his own federalist party.

“There are voters who trusted you in 2018 because they wanted to replace the Liberals but who support independence — I’m appealing to those people and saying, you can now vote according to your convictions,” St-Pierre Plamondon said.

Formerly a polarizing ballot issue, sovereignty has been largely left out of the conversation this election campaign, but polls show support for independence remains above 30 per cent — and higher among francophones and older voters.

Legault, who has said sovereignty isn’t a priority for the majority of Quebecers, was criticized by his rivals during Thursday’s debate for refusing to spell out how he would vote on the issue. On Friday, he told reporters he doesn’t want a referendum because it would be divisive.

Polling suggests a sizable portion of CAQ voters — more than 40 per cent — support sovereignty, making them a prime target for the PQ as the party seeks to maintain some sort of presence in the provincial legislature, said Daniel Béland, a political science professor at McGill University.

With the CAQ solidly in the lead in the polls, the race is focusing more on who voters want to see holding the government to account. Those who support sovereignty could see the PQ as a good option for a “protest vote,” even if they don’t necessarily want a referendum, he said.

St-Pierre Plamondon, who took the reins of the Parti Québécois in the fall of 2020, has promised to hold a referendum on independence in his first mandate if the party forms government.

However, “because the PQ has no chance to form government, even the idea of sovereignty is quite abstract … there won’t be another referendum anyway,” Béland said.

“So, if you like (St-Pierre Plamondon) and you like some of his ideas and you think you need a stronger nationalist voice in Quebec City, why not give them a chance even if you know they would only be in opposition?”

The issue could also resonate with some who previously voted for the Québec solidaire, which also supports sovereignty. St-Pierre Plamondon appeared to be courting that base as well by agreeing on some environmental matters with QS co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois during the two debates, Béland said.

Far from the days when it was a viable contender to form government, the PQ started the campaign with pollsters predicting it would win one seat. But St-Pierre Plamondon’s performance on the hustings and in the two debates, combined with Legault’s “lacklustre” campaign, have allowed the party to gain a bit more traction, Béland said.

More so than sovereignty, the party’s ability to capitalize on anxiety surrounding the French language has helped rally support, he said, noting the PQ was quick to jump on a recent Statistics Canada report that said the percentage of Quebec residents who predominantly speak French at home declined to 77.5 per cent in 2021 from 79 per cent in 2016.

Still, the PQ will likely return to the legislature with fewer than the seven seats it had at dissolution, and it probably won’t achieve official party status — which requires at least 12 seats or at least 20 per cent of the popular vote — unless the tide turns dramatically in the home stretch of the campaign, he said.

“It’s not great from a long-term, historical standpoint, but it’s still better than what people expected at the beginning of the campaign,” Béland said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2022.

 

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

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