The economy, the « question of the ballot box », says in turn Legault

As the next televised leaders’ debate approaches, François Legault refocused his message on the economy on Tuesday, after a day when he had to apologize for his remarks and once again justify his tunnel project between Quebec and Lévis.

The CAQ leader insisted that inflation, global economic uncertainty and rising interest rates mean that the economy will be voters’ first concern when voting.

“The question of the ballot box is the economy, he decreed. Who is able to help Quebecers put money back in Quebecers’ wallets? »

Mr. Legault then listed his tax measures, including an amount of $400 to $600 for employees earning less than $100,000 and $2,000 for people aged 70 and over.

The leader of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) seemed unaware that his Liberal opponent, Dominique Anglade, launched his electoral campaign by making the economy the question of the ballot box. « I don’t know what she said, Anglade,” he retorted.

Mr. Legault remained vague about his motives for imposing this theme in turn, at this precise moment in the campaign. « I saw it coming, it’s been a long time, » he said.

Mr. Legault praised his “economic trio” made up of Eric Girard, Pierre Fitzgibbon and Sonia LeBel. According to him, no political formation has the equivalent. « I took the time to look at the 124 or 125 candidates from the other parties, » he said. It’s worrying. »

Mr. Legault then underlined that he expects to be spoiled for choice to form his next council of ministers, indicating in passing that Christian Dubé is more likely to stay at Health than Jean-François Roberge at the Education.

The CAQ leader has no activity on his agenda for Wednesday in anticipation of the Radio-Canada leaders’ debate on Thursday.


Mr. Legault began his day by apologizing for the second time in the election campaign.

After saying he was sorry for comments that linked immigration and violence two weeks ago, Mr. Legault expressed his regrets to Carol Dubé, the spouse of Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman who died after suffering racism in a hospital in Joliette, in 2020.

« I hit you and I sincerely apologize, » he said at a press conference in Orford, after an announcement in education.

During a televised debate of party leaders last Thursday, Mr. Legault said that “the problem that happened with Joyce [Echaquan] at the Joliette hospital, it is now settled”.

Faced with protests from the Atikamekw Council of Manawan (CDAM), the Atikamekw Nation Council (CNA) and Mr. Dubé, Mr. Legault admitted his clumsiness. « I’m very aware that there are still issues to be resolved, » he said. There is still racism to fight and we will continue at the CAQ to work on it. »

According to the CAQ leader, the apologies he has made since the start of the campaign are due to his direct style. « It’s a touchy subject and I’m a pretty direct guy and sometimes it can be misinterpreted, » he said.

The spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, asked Mr. Legault to make a “little effort” so as not to “hurt” anyone with his remarks by the end of the election campaign.

He took note of the apologies of the chief caquiste to Mr. Dubé. “It was the right thing to do. Good that he apologized. But what would be even better than constantly apologizing is to stop hurting people, ”he said Tuesday afternoon.

In the eyes of « GND », the Prime Minister « lacks sensitivity on the indigenous question »

Third Link Encounter

For a rare time regarding the third link project between Quebec and Lévis, Mr. Legault was in the same boat as his conservative opponent Éric Duhaime on Tuesday. Both rejected demographic analyzes showing that the region’s slow population growth does not justify Mr. Legault’s tunnel project or Mr. Duhaime’s bridge.

Mr. Legault meanwhile hinted that his government would itself reverse the demographic forecasts. « With our ambitions, there will be population growth in greater Quebec, » he argued before advancing that he wanted to make « greater Quebec, including Lévis », a « second metropolis ».

Mr. Duhaime based his argument on numerous studies produced on the subject since the 1960s.

“We’ve been talking about the bridge to the east for 70 years. The demography has changed a lot and the population of the south shore [du fleuve] increased considerably during those decades, ”said the Conservative leader on Tuesday morning.

With Marco-Bélair-Cirino and Isabelle Porter

To see in video


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