Elections Quebec 2022 | Link between immigration and values: Legault admits he lacked caution

Caquiste leader François Legault admitted Thursday that he lacked caution in making the link between immigration and Quebec values, the day after a statement that sowed controversy.

During a press briefing, Mr. Legault returned to his remarks the day before, which plunged his campaign into embarrassment.

« I’m not perfect, » he conceded. All the states in the world have a challenge of integration with the values ​​of the country or the state which receives. Now, we must not name which values ​​because that could create an amalgam. Indeed I should not have named values. »

On Wednesday, Mr. Legault had justified his party’s decision to maintain the number of immigrants received at 50,000 people by highlighting the challenges of integration that could compromise Quebec values.

He notably mentioned pacifism and secularism, adding that Quebecers do not like violence or extremism. These words were denounced by his opponents who saw in them a skid and a dangerous amalgam.

Delicate subject

Thursday, Mr. Legault said he should have limited his remarks to the challenges posed by the integration of immigrants with regard to the French language.

« I answered questions about values ​​when it’s a sensitive subject that I should avoid, » he said. But when we talk about language, I think it’s a fundamental question for the future of the Quebec nation. »

From the start of his press briefing, Mr. Legault immediately addressed the controversy raised by his remarks, which forced him to retract at the end of the day on Wednesday.

« I never wanted to associate immigration and violence, » he said. Now, what I meant is that all states in the world have a challenge to integrate newcomers to their values ​​and their language. But in Quebec, it’s a particular challenge because of the language situation in North America, that’s all I wanted to say. »

Anglade rejects the apology

Liberal leader Dominique Anglade on Thursday rejected an apology from Mr. Legault, whom she accused of perpetuating prejudice. She referred to the words of the CAQ leader, in the spring, when he demanded new powers in immigration to prevent Quebec from being the next Louisiana.

« I don’t believe them because he himself spoke to us about the Louisiana question and the immigration issues, that it was a problem, that we have to be careful, » he said. she says. It is he who maintains that, and there, what we see is the true face of François Legault. »

Putting forward the values ​​of inclusion and openness of the Liberal Party of Quebec, Ms. Anglade maintained that Mr. Legault made the link between immigration and violence.

“François Legault delivered the bottom of his thought, she argued. The other, the one who is not like us, he can be dangerous. That continues to fuel prejudice. We don’t need that in Quebec. »

After having made the economy the question of the ballot box, Ms. Anglade affirmed that the ballot will also be on the questions of division or inclusion.

“We have values ​​of inclusion, we have values ​​of real modern economic development,” she said.

Public apologies

Even if François Legault corrected the situation on Wednesday on the social network Twitter by saying that he had not « wanted to associate immigration with violence », the spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, believes that he must « s ‘publicly apologize’. The chief caquist must “answer the questions”, added the solidarity chief.

These are « statements that feed prejudice and deteriorate the social climate », he underlined, on the sidelines of an announcement in housing. Mr. Nadeau-Dubois called on the head of the CAQ to consider immigrants as “human beings in the flesh” and not as numbers and statistics.

For his part, PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon wanted to place himself above the fray.

“As a whole, it was likely inappropriate language,” he said. But he apologized. So I take note of it. I invite everyone to lead a campaign that is focused on the future but has the potential to unite. »

With Florence Morin-Martel

To see in video


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