MONTREAL — Quebec’s election campaign began on Sunday and Quebecers will go to the polls on Oct. 3; here’s a look at the five parties vying to form the province’s next government.
Coalition Avenir Québec
In 2018, the Coalition Avenir Québec — also known as the CAQ — took power for the first time, becoming the first party other than the Parti Québécois and the Liberals to win a Quebec election in more than 50 years.
Founded in 2011 by François Legault, a former PQ cabinet minister and airline executive, and Charles Sirois, a businessman who had supported the Liberals, the centre-right party sought to move past the debate on independence by instead promoting Quebec nationalism rather than separation from Canada.
Legault’s government has strengthened the province’s French-language law and banned certain public servants, including teachers and police officers, from wearing religious symbols on the job. It also proactively invoked the notwithstanding clause to protect both of those controversial laws from Charter challenges.
His government has also pushed for more autonomy from Ottawa, including more power over immigration.
Legault, who remained popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, is running on his record and the province’s strong economy. Recent polls have suggested he will be re-elected with a bigger majority than the one he secured in 2018.
Quebec Liberal Party
The Quebec Liberal Party has long positioned itself as the defender of federalism and champion of the economy, but since 2018, the CAQ has successfully sold itself as a safe option for federalist and economically minded voters.
Since the last election, the Liberals have struggled to connect with francophones and have alienated part of their anglophone base in Montreal.
Support for the party among Quebec’s francophone majority is at seven per cent, according to a recent Leger poll. And while the Liberals voted against Legault’s language law reform — seen by some anglophones as an attack on their community — the party’s initially ambiguous stance has created dissatisfaction among English-speakers. In reaction to the Liberals being seen as weak defenders of anglophone rights, at least two new parties have formed — Bloc Montréal and Canadian Party of Québec — that claim to represent the interests of the province’s linguistic minorities.
Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade, who worked as a management consultant before entering politics, says her party is offering a unifying alternative to Legault’s “arrogant” and “divisive” government.
Anglade, a former president of the CAQ who left Legault’s party in 2015 over its stance on immigration and identity issues, is promising tax cuts for those making less than $92,500 and a $100-billion green hydrogen plan.
While Québec solidaire does not have a traditional leader — it instead names one female and one male as “co-spokespeople” — party co-spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is the party’s candidate for premier. He became famous in the province as a leader of the 2012 student protests that led to months of demonstrations and garnered international headlines.
Nadeau-Dubois has said his party will campaign on addressing Quebec’s affordable housing shortage, helping people deal with the rising cost of living and fighting climate change.
If elected, Québec solidaire would change the province’s secularism law to allow public sector workers affected by the legislation to wear religious symbols at work — as long as their faces are uncovered.
And while the party expressed concern about the potential negative effect of the CAQ’s language-reform law on Indigenous communities, Québec solidaire supported the bill.
In 2018, Québec solidaire went from three seats in Quebec’s legislature to 10 as the left-wing party made gains outside of Montreal for the first time.
The 2018 election was only the second time since 1973 that the Parti Québécois was not elected Quebec’s government or official opposition. And while the party won 10 seats in that election, it had seven members at the start of the 2022 election campaign because over the past four years, two resigned and one was kicked out following a sexual assault allegation.
Recent polls have placed the PQ in fifth place with about nine per cent of the vote.
Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, a lawyer who studied at McGill University and has an MBA from Oxford University, says he wants to focus his campaign on Quebec sovereignty. He says the fact that Legault must ask Ottawa for more power shows the need for independence.
The Conservative Party of Quebec
Quebec’s Conservative party received less than two per cent of the vote in the 2018 election, but since nominating former Quebec City radio host Éric Duhaime as leader in April 2021, the party has been regularly polling around 14 per cent.
Duhaime has collected support from disaffected former CAQ voters upset at the party for imposing some of the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions in the country, including a curfew that lasted five months. The party has also garnered support from people opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The Quebec Conservatives, who are not affiliated with the Conservative Party of Canada, are campaigning for more privatization in the health-care system, lower taxes and smaller government. Duhaime has said he opposes Legault’s language law reform but supports the religious symbols ban.
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.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2022.
Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press
At 18, I only recently realized the importance of community engagement and politics – CBC.ca
This column is an opinion by Shayyan Husein, a Grade 12 student at Orchard Park Secondary School in Stoney Creek, Ont. It is part of a special municipal election project by CBC Hamilton, featuring voices from the community. Find all our election coverage here.
I turned 18 in April. I thought I cared about politics and being active in my community. I had been living in Hamilton for around a year by then and already felt devoted to helping out my community in any way I could.
For example, I worked for Elections Ontario, helping at a local polling station. I assisted residents of Hamilton to vote without any complications and running the voting location smoothly was our main goal.
This past spring I also helped start Orchard Park Secondary School’s first Muslim Student Association. I scheduled school events such as where we sold Kulfis (ice cream treats) to students and made sure we always had an available room to hold our Friday prayers. It was all part of building a safe and inspiring community for Muslim students.
Yet, despite my activism, on June 2, I didn’t vote in the provincial election — the first time I would have been eligible to do so.
Why? It felt like I didn’t have the time. I felt it was not THAT important. As I happened to be working at a different polling station than what was assigned for me to vote at, I felt like I did not have the time to commute to my assigned location and vote. More importantly, I felt like missing my vote once would not matter much, so I allowed myself to miss it.
Just a few months later, I feel differently. This time, in the municipal election, I will vote.
Why community engagement — and voting — is important
Building our Muslim Student Association from the ground up made me realize the true impact of feedback from the community and how much community voices can influence those in charge.
I’ve learned through my work organizing the association’s first Eid event, which saw 60 students come together at Waterdown District High School, that you can make a change by simply dropping a suggestion or by voicing your concern.
As our Eid event consisted only of Muslims, many asked if they could invite their non-Muslim friends, which raised a great suggestion that could be implemented. In the future, we can bring other students from different religions to experience how we, as Muslims, celebrate our holy event. Not only will they learn more about what we do, but they can also enjoy what there is to offer, such as cultural food, different games and the atmosphere of our community.
Many students also wanted the event to be held at Orchard Park, as many students who attended the event were from here. This way, transportation would not be a blockage for the majority of those who came and for those who wished to attend.
If it were not for community engagement and feedback, we would not have thought of these ideas to implement and make our future events better for the community that enjoys them.
Realizing how important this engagement and feedback was also made me realize that my feedback to my own community is important.
That is why I am voting in this election.
What matters to me
The issue that matters to me the most in this election is the young voices of Hamilton not being heard. I realize some of my peers don’t feel the same way, even though I think their voices matter, too.
During a recent school day in Orchard Park, as my friends wandered through the halls rushing for lunch, I went out to discuss with five of my peers who are or will be eligible to vote in the upcoming years about their views on voting and elections.
Four of them expressed their disinterest in politics and said they are opting to “vote for who their parents or relatives are voting for” in the future. The other friend was still unsure of whether to vote or not.
By not caring about our community and who will end up running it, we are not allowing ourselves to fully distinguish between different political candidates, what they bring to the table and what they plan to bring for the future.
Encouraging my fellow classmates and friends that are eligible to vote is an action that I have slowly started to do, as there is no harm in voting. Allowing the youth to have a voice within our community is powerful, and it is what I stand for when I look to vote in the upcoming municipal election.
I encourage all voters, new or experienced, to use voting as a tool to empower our voices for what we think is most important to us for our city. Hard-working candidates are relying on our feedback for the betterment of our community, so our duty as part of the community is to give our honest feedback. That way, they can continue doing what they strive for — and our priorities will be heard.
Our feedback can come in different ways, such as emails, word of mouth, messages on social media or even with a simple vote. I want to use my vote as a way to allow my voice to help create action within the community.
Not only will I vote for my own voice, but for the empowerment of other young voters as well. After all, how do we plan for our city to change for the next generation if we — the young voters — are not giving our honest feedback?
For more of CBC Hamilton’s municipal election coverage:
COMMENTARY: The ‘freedom convoy’ will keep driving our politics – Global News
The so-called “freedom convoy” that blocked Parliament Hill and several Canada-U.S. border crossings may have dispersed earlier this year, but it won’t be leaving our political conversation anytime soon. At least, not if opponents of the federal Conservative Party and their new leader, Pierre Poilievre, have anything to say about it.
The most recent polling Ipsos conducted for Global News shows why.
The party most interested in reminding Canadians about ties between the convoy and Pierre Poilievre will be the Liberal Party. Why? The Liberals are in a very difficult spot. They currently trail the Conservatives in the national popular vote by five points. The Conservatives also lead the Liberals in all regions of the country west of Quebec, with a stunning seven-point lead in seat-rich Ontario. With these numbers, if an election were held tomorrow, the Conservatives would easily win a plurality of seats.
It gets worse for the Liberals.
Justin Trudeau trails Pierre Poilievre as preferred prime minister by about the same amount as the Liberal Party trails the Conservative Party on vote. Most worrying for the prime minister is how high his negatives are. Canadians who strongly disapprove of Trudeau outnumber those who strongly approve of him by a ratio of four-to-one. These negatives are also well ahead of those of Poilievre, who remains largely unknown to a significant number of Canadians.
Trudeau’s relationship with Canadians has gone through the full cycle of Ds: darling, to disappointment, to dislike. This situation will be difficult to reverse, even for a gifted politician like Trudeau.
Further on leadership, two data points jump out of the polling on how Canadians view Trudeau and Poilievre. Trudeau leads Poilievre by 16 points on which federal leader is most likely to “be in over his head.” This is astounding given that Trudeau has been prime minister for seven years and Canadians barely know Poilievre.
As worrying for the Liberals is that Poilievre and Trudeau are separated by only two points on which leader is most likely to have a hidden agenda. In the past, this issue has proven to be an Achilles Heel for the Conservatives. Not so much for the new Conservative leader.
If the Liberals can’t count on their governing record or the strength of their leader to provide them with an advantage going into the next election, then what about their strengths on policy? Unfortunately, there isn’t much for them to work with here either.
We asked Canadians about which issues they are most focused on for the next election. The top five that came back are: health care, the economy, housing, inflation/interest rates, and taxes. Unfortunately for the Liberals, the Conservatives lead on all these issues with the exception of health care, where there is a three-way tie. Even on the sixth issue, climate, a signature issue for the Liberals, the Liberals are tied with the NDP. In other words, the policy door is closed for the Liberals too.
If the Liberals can’t count on their record, their leader, or a specific policy issue to defeat the Conservatives in the next election then how will they win a fourth mandate? This is where the convoy comes back in. The poll shows Poilievre’s support of the protesters is a potential vulnerability available for the Liberals to exploit. The Liberals are too good at running effective, disciplined, and ruthless election campaigns to miss it.
Conservatives hold 5-point lead on Liberals among Canada’s decided voters after Poilievre elected leader: poll
Ipsos asked Canadians the following question: “As you know, Pierre Poilievre, the new leader of the Conservative Party, expressed his support for the freedom convoy protests that occurred in Ottawa and at border crossings last year. Are you more or less likely to vote for the Conservative Party because of his stance on this issue?”
Seventeen per cent of Canadians told us they would be more likely to vote for the Conservatives because of Poilievre’s support for the truckers. Conversely, 41 per cent said they would be less likely to vote for the Conservatives due to Poilievre’s position. Most importantly though, 41 per cent said Poilievre’s stance on the truckers would have no impact on their future vote.
If the numbers on the convoy continue as they are, then this issue won’t have much influence on the outcome of the next election. That’s because 58 per cent of Canadians either support Poilievre’s position or say it won’t factor into their vote.
The Liberals will not allow this much fence sitting to continue without challenge. They will push voters to pick a side. If the fence sitters split in the same ratio (roughly 2:1 to unfavourable) as those who have already made up their minds, then the Liberals will have something to work with. That’s why they will go all in on making the truck convoy and various adjacent issues the focus of their campaign. Otherwise, they can only wait for Poilievre to make a serious error or for some crisis to change their prospects. Nearly a decade in power has left the Liberals little else to work with.
Darrell Bricker is CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs.
Quebec election: Party leaders begin final weekend of the campaign
MONTREAL — As the Quebec election campaign enters its final weekend the main party leaders are fanning out across the province.
Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault is to have breakfast with supporters in Chibougamau and then travel around 600 kilometres south to Mont-Laurier in the province’s Laurentians, where he will meet with supporters in the evening.
Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade will be campaigning in three ridings where her party is polling in third place.
Today, she’s headed to the Gaspé Peninsula and will also visit the Îles-de-la-Madeleine — which her party lost by 15 votes in 2018. A trip to Kuujjuaq, the largest village in Quebec’s northern Nunavik region, is scheduled for tomorrow.
Québec solidaire spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois will be in Montreal and plans to campaign in three ridings that were won by the Liberals in the last election, including Anglade’s riding of St-Henri—Ste-Anne.
Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is to make several stops today from Quebec City to Longueuil, while on Sunday his campaign will fly to multiple parts of the province.
Conservative Leader Éric Duhaime plans to start the day going door to door in Quebec City before heading to a rally in Pointe-Claire, a largely English-speaking Montreal suburb.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2022.
The Canadian Press
At 18, I only recently realized the importance of community engagement and politics – CBC.ca
COMMENTARY: The ‘freedom convoy’ will keep driving our politics – Global News
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