1664824469 Legault wants more women elected to bring everyone together –

Legault wants more women elected to “bring everyone together” –

(Sherbrooke) A CAQ government would create more unity if more women were elected, suggests François Legault, who nominated his women’s team on the last day of his campaign.

Updated yesterday at 5:18pm.


Tommy Chouinard

Tommy Chouinard La Press

When a Léger poll published in Quebecor’s media on Sunday gave him 38% of voting intentions, about the same percentage as in the 2018 election, the CAQ leader claimed he expected a closer race. “I thought it would get worse than what you’re seeing today,” he said. He was quick to add that he “takes nothing for granted” and urged voters to turn out in droves on Monday.

The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) brought together 44 of its 69 candidates to welcome François Legault to Sherbrooke, one of the day’s three stops in Estrie.

My ambition is to make history with the largest number of women elected to the National Assembly.

François Legault, Head of CAQ

In 2018, 53 women won a seat, representing 42.4% of the 125 deputies in the National Assembly. More women, “that will change the style in the National Assembly,” said Mr. Legault.

The Caquiste boss gave the floor to three candidates who later accompanied him to a press conference: Caroline St-Hilaire (Sherbrooke), Martine Biron (Chutes-de-la-Chaudière) and Sonia LeBel (Champlain).

“We must be represented in large numbers in the National Assembly, but also at the decision-making table, Mr. Legault,” stressed Caroline St-Hilaire. François Legault reiterated his commitment to create a Council of Ministers composed of 40% to 60% women, “the famous zone of parity”. 55% of the 125 CAQ candidates are women.

The leader of the Caquiste has spoken out about the impact a larger number of women elected to his government would have if he returned to power. Based on his personal experience and against wanting to “generalize,” he argued that “women are often more unifying” and that his “challenge” was precisely “to bring everyone together” when immigration and the defense of French are hot topics.

“I think we need to unite in Quebec. I repeat, that was my primary goal in founding the CAQ: take the best Liberals, the best PQ members, the best Sovereignists, the best Federalists and put them on the same team. There we talked a lot about immigration, about how we protect the French. Well, we have the challenge of bringing everyone together,” he replied when asked how the presence of more women would change his party’s image.

“I said what I had to say”

He didn’t want to reiterate his comments that it would be “suicidal” for the nation of Quebec to take in more than 50,000 immigrants a year. His opponents accused him of schism.

“I said what I had to say about it and it’s not always easy to talk about how we defend French. But for me it’s important,” he said.

For Caroline St-Hilaire, “we have to speak positively about it”, immigration is “a collective challenge”. Was this done during the campaign? “All in all yes. Some days yes, some days no. But I’m not immune to speaking negatively about it myself at times,” the contestant said in Sherbrooke, later adding, “Perhaps negative isn’t the right term. We need to remember, she says, that when we talk about immigration thresholds, we’re talking about ‘individuals’ and not just ‘numbers’. The former mayor of Longueuil and former elected member of the bloc, who was not long ago a panelist on the LCN program La joute, is trying to evict outgoing MP Christine Labrie from Québec Solidaire.

In the morning, CAQ candidate at Montreal’s Maurice-Richard, Audrey Murray, admitted voters questioned her about Jean Boulet’s immigrant-related failings. But she believes that “the overall feeling on site is very positive”.

Legault wants more women elected to bring everyone together –


Audrey Murray, CAQ candidate at Maurice-Richard

People ask questions about immigration and I am able, knowing Mr Boulet well, to put this in perspective and talk about what we have been doing over the last few years, having been involved in public immigration policy myself. Mr Boulet has done a lot for immigration. My colleague apologized. People ask me about it, but at this point people are listening and they’ve heard that he apologized.

Audrey Murray, CAQ candidate at Maurice-Richard

For the past four years, she has chaired the Labor Market Partners Commission – an organization that brings together representatives from employers, workers and government, among others. She is trying to wrest Maurice-Richard from the Liberals, who only had a majority of 530 votes in 2018. She said her main opponent, according to observers, was Quebec Solidaire’s Haroun Bouazzi, deputy vice president of the development bank.

Drive to Estri

François Legault went to Orford, where he said he was not worried about the fate of his candidate, incumbent Gilles Bélanger, who is running against former Magog mayor, the Liberal Vicki-May Hamm. Mr. Bélanger had won a majority of 4,569 votes in this riding, which had long been a Liberal stronghold.

1664824464 800 Legault wants more women elected to bring everyone together –


François Legault, chairman of the Coalition avenir Québec, at the Magog public market on Sunday

During a tour of Magog’s public market – a rare exercise of its kind during the election campaign – François Legault told citizens he expected “tough” fighting in Laporte and Verdun, two liberal castles.

He ended his campaign in Saint-François with a visit to an orchard in Compton. Québec Solidaire is on the offensive in this race, where Dr. Mélissa Généreux, former Director of Public Health in Estrie and Professor at Sherbrooke University School of Medicine. The outgoing MP, caquistin Geneviève Hébert, won in 2018 with a comfortable majority of 4,450 votes.