Legault corrects the shot after controversial remarks on immigration

CAQ leader François Legault denied having made a connection between immigration and violence on Wednesday, after sparking controversy with remarks denounced by his opponents as a « slippage » and a « dangerous amalgam ».

Mr. Legault tried to correct the situation, at the end of the day, by making a statement on social networks where he assures that “immigration is a wealth for Quebec”.

“Integration will always be a challenge for a French-speaking nation in North America,” he wrote on his Twitter feed. I didn’t want to associate immigration with violence. I’m sorry if my comments caused confusion. My desire is to unite. »

Earlier, the CAQ leader had made the connection between the challenge posed by the integration of immigrants and the risks that weigh on Quebec values ​​such as pacifism and respect.

Mr. Legault was in Victoriaville on Wednesday when he explained why he believes that the federal government’s immigration targets pose integration problems.

The Coalition avenir Québec proposes to maintain the number of new arrivals at 50,000 people per year, which would have the effect of reducing the demographic weight of Québec within Canada.

Asked about the integration challenges to which he refers to justify this decision, the CAQ leader stressed the importance of preserving Quebec values.

« Quebecers are peaceful, they don’t like chicanery, they don’t like extremists, » he said. They don’t like violence. We have to make sure we keep it as it is. »

Mr. Legault also mentioned that respect and secularism are part of Quebec values.

« We still have values ​​in our society, » he said. There has been a lot of talk about secularism in recent years. It is one of the values. The respect [aussi]. There is a way of life with us, we want to keep it. »

Dangerous amalgam

This statement immediately made Liberal leader Dominique Anglade jump, who accused her CAQ opponent of dividing Quebecers.

« It’s an extremely dangerous mix, » she said. […] If you make the link between violence and immigration I don’t think that sends a very good message. »

During a press briefing in Laval, Mme Anglade rejected the link made by Mr. Legault.

« I completely agree that Quebecers are pacifists, that they don’t like chicanery, but to make a link with that and immigration, I don’t see any link between the two, » she said. said.

Mme Anglade recalled the contribution of his family, an immigrant, to Quebec society.

« Immigration to Quebec is an asset, » she said. My father was a co-founder of UQAM, my mother became a teacher. I think they integrated. We spoke Creole at home and they made sure that we contributed to the advancement of Quebec. »

The spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, felt that Mr. Legault had exceeded a limit with his remarks.

« I listened to François Legault and I think it’s a slip-up, » he said in Sherbrooke.

According to Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, such a rapprochement makes Mr. Legault unworthy of the office of prime minister.

“François Legault and I often disagree,” he said. He has some faults but he has a quality, he says what he thinks. And today he made a connection between immigrants and violence. I therefore conclude that he thinks there is a link between immigrants and violence. »

The leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Paul St-Pierre Plamondon did not want to comment on the « fairly superficial words » of the CAQ leader on Wednesday. » [Ça ne correspond] not to structuring public policies », he contented himself with saying.

Riddled with questions, « PSPP » did not say whether, on the merits, he agreed with Mr. Legault. On Monday, the PQ leader pledged to lower immigration thresholds from 50,000 newcomers per year to 35,000.

With Francois Carabin

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