The financial system, immigration and the French language occupy a outstanding place within the first debate of the leaders of the Quebec election marketing campaign, characterised by vigorous, typically cacophonous exchanges.
The TVA community’s face-to-face mannequin divides the controversy into mini-debates the place one chief faces off in opposition to one other. The speedy exchanges gave rise to scathing replies.
Coalition Avenir Québec chief François Legault has defended a number of features of his tenure as prime minister, together with the French-language revamped regulation referred to as Invoice 96, his authorities’s dealing with of the pandemic and whether or not he had achieved sufficient to handle a worsening labor scarcity.
Three of the 5 events voted in favor of Invoice 96, with the Liberals and the Parti Québécois rejecting it for opposing causes.
It has grow to be a marketing campaign difficulty since, with Quebec Solidaire spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois saying he would amend it and Parti Québécois chief Paul St-Pierre Plamondon saying it is not adequate. far. The chief of the Conservative Social gathering of Quebec, Éric Duhaime, stated he would abandon it and draft a brand new regulation.
In the course of the debate, Liberal Chief Dominique Anglade was criticized for her earlier positions in favor of the invoice.
Duhaime speaks in English to Anglade about Invoice 96, regardless of the controversy going down in French.
“You could have betrayed English-speaking Quebecers, in reality, on this invoice,” Duhaime stated. Anglade countered that Duhaime was saying one factor to Anglophone voters and one other to Francophones.
Duhaime denied this and stated he wished to place himself as a center-right various to the Liberals for English-speaking Quebecers and that after October 3, Quebec would enter a brand new political actuality, one the place sovereignty is at stake. night time gentle.
“The 2 outdated events – the ‘Sure’ group and the ‘No’ group – are under 10%. We’re getting into a brand new paradigm and I believe Anglophones need to be a part of this new political actuality” , stated Duhaime.
Whereas the matters of debate ran the gamut, the guiding line appeared to be immigration—usually raised in discussions about French language safety and labor shortages.
Nadeau-Dubois challenged Duhaime after the Conservative chief stated his occasion would favor immigrants with “Western values”.
“You might be implying that there are immigrants who’re in opposition to these values,” stated Nadeau-Dubois, who added that Quebec solidaire wished to “regionalize” immigration within the province and higher fund French programs for newcomers. arrivals.
Nadeau-Dubois and Anglade accused Legault of being unfavorable at any time when he talked about immigration. Whereas most events, excluding the PQ, favor welcoming extra everlasting immigrants to the province, the CAQ says it will restrict the variety of newcomers to 50,000 per yr. yr.
Legault repeated what he stated in an apology he issued final week, after making feedback throughout a stoppage marketing campaign citing “extremism” and “violence” as a cause to restrict immigration to Quebec.
“Immigration is a wealth for Quebec. I am pleased with it,” he stated, echoing his tweet of apology following the feedback. “However how do you cease the decline of French? That does not fear you?”
Leaders title controversial guide
A query about tutorial freedom posed by moderator Pierre Bruneau rapidly become a debate about whether or not it’s acceptable to say the French N-word within the public sphere.
Plamondon argued that the chance of offending folks shouldn’t hamper democratic debate.
“What sort of society can we stay in if we will not title sure books?” stated the chief of the PQ. This summer season, CBC/Radio-Canada apologized following a criticism concerning the repeated use of the N-word on a Radio-Canada program in 2020.
The host and a columnist have been referring to a petition calling for the dismissal of a Concordia College professor who cited the title of a well-known guide by Pierre Vallières that features the phrase N.
“It is not about banning phrases. It is regular for societies to alter,” stated Nadeau-Dubois.
“However can we title [those books]?” asks Bruneau.
Plamondon preceded by saying the title of the guide, together with the N-word, arguing that it was concerning the historical past of Quebecers – and prompting Nadeau-Dubois to say in order nicely.
Later within the debate, the leaders have been requested to debate systemic racism, an idea that Legault and the CAQ have refused to say exists in Quebec society.
Anglade, who’s the primary black girl to steer a significant political occasion within the province, referred to as her tenure “a failure for indigenous communities”, referring to what occurred to Joyce Echaquan.
“Phrases have that means. Individuals who expertise systemic racism, who’re arrested extra usually, it impacts their lives,” she stated, noting that Legault didn’t undertake Joyce’s Precept, a sequence of measures written by native leaders after Echaquan’s loss of life.
Labor scarcity, financial system and taxes
One other tough trade between Anglade and Legault centered on the labor scarcity.
The Liberal chief stated Legault had discovered no answer to the scarcity throughout his 4 years as prime minister. She stated her daughter had 4 totally different lecturers final yr as a result of employees, together with educators and nurses, have been so drained.
Legault stated wages elevated throughout his tenure. “The employees are comfortable, the employees are comfortable,” he stated, including that Quebec had narrowed the wealth hole with Ontario.
“The issue right this moment is that we do not have bus drivers, we do not have lecturers, we do not have nurses. We’re lacking folks in all sectors of the financial system in Quebec and this has an impression on all areas of the province. , and also you imply that is excellent news.” Anglade stated.
Taxes have been one other sizzling matter in economics. Legault and Duhaime took intention at QS’s proposed 15% tax on extremely polluting automobiles, resembling SUVs, calling it “the orange tax”.
Duhaime stated QS has a tax “at any time when there’s an issue. It is like a tax striptease.”
Nadeau-Dubois was fast to reply, accusing Duhaime of being “on one other planet” within the face of the fact of environmental points. “It’s best to run for Governor of Texas,” he stated.
Liberal chief Dominique Anglade additionally accused Duhaime of contempt for the atmosphere together with his proposal for a platform to use Quebec’s hydrocarbons.
“You need to take us again to the Nineteen Fifties,” she stated, after which Duhaime accused Anglade of being a demagogue.
Even though a lot of Legault’s tenure came about in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare hasn’t figured prominently within the debate.
One of the memorable moments was when Duhaime stated Legault had been too strict together with his authorities’s COVID measures.
“You have been the worst confiner on the continent,” Duhaime stated. The Legault authorities has decreed a curfew twice since 2020.
Legault accused Duhaime of utilizing the pandemic for partisan functions and stated he was the one occasion chief to take action.
“To win votes, you did not need to assist measures, when everybody was rowing in the identical course,” stated the pinnacle of the CAQ. “You shot the underside of the boat.”
1st debate for 4 out of 5 leaders
The controversy was the primary contest as occasion chief for 4 of the 5 contestants. As a starter, Legault was the one one with expertise – and a goal on his again.
“The opposite 4 leaders attacked me rather a lot, that is regular,” Legault informed reporters afterwards. “I anticipated that.”
Legault informed reporters he thought the controversy was vital as a result of it confirmed Quebec solidaire’s platform was unrealistic, particularly when it got here to lowering greenhouse gasoline emissions.
Québec solidaire had 10 members when the election was referred to as.
Nadeau-Dubois stated he “wished it to be clear that the choice to the CAQ is Québec solidaire”.
Liberal chief Anglade stated she “speaks from the guts, to clarify that there’s one other approach, not simply the one supplied by François Legault, one which unites as a substitute of dividing.”
Duhaime stated he “succeeded in presenting the concepts of the Conservative Social gathering, for many who have no idea us”.
Plamondon, chief of the Parti Québécois for 2 years, stated he was pleased with what he dropped at the controversy. “It is what I believe, the concepts which might be near my coronary heart.”
A second debate in French, on Radio-Canada, will happen on September 22. Not like 2018, there will probably be no debate in english this election marketing campaign.