Francois Legault invites “Quebec nationalists” to “beware” of the Liberal Party of Canada (PLC) and asks the conservative leader, Erin O’Toole, to guarantee Quebeckers the $ 6 billion provided for in the daycare agreement with Ottawa.
“I find it very disturbing to see three parties – the PLC, the New Democratic Party and the Green Party – who not only are not open to giving more autonomy to Quebec, but want to centralize and appropriate powers which are clearly the responsibilities of the provinces ”, declared the Prime Minister at the entrance of the caucus of the Quebec Future Coalition Thursday morning. “Three parties want to give us less autonomy, I find that dangerous,” he said.
While refusing to support the Bloc Quebecois and the Conservative Party, the Prime Minister maintained that Mr. O’Toole’s “approach” was “good for the Quebec nation”. However, he invited the conservative leader to “explain” his desire to abolish $ 6 billion child care deal unveiled ahead of election campaign by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
More harm to the Bloc than to the Liberals
It is, to say the least, unusual for a prime minister to speak out so directly in a federal campaign, noted political communication expert Mireille Lalancette on Thursday from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR). The only recent example that came to mind was that of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who had bluntly supported Justin trudeau in 2015.
If it is also risky to measure the impact of such remarks on the vote, one thing is certain, according to the researcher: it is the Bloc Québécois that they harm the most. “People who don’t like Trudeau could have voted Bloc, and there, we encourage them to vote Conservative. It will cause the Bloc to lose some gains, that’s for sure. “
“There are many undecided people who appreciated the management of the pandemic by François Legault”, continues Mme Lalancette. “They could say to themselves ‘if Legault says so…’ and go ahead with that approach. “
Asked to react on Thursday, while he was preparing for the debate in English, the Bloc leader, Yves-Francois Blanchet, stressed that he had not yet heard the words of Mr. Legault, but still allowed himself to comment.
“The principle of a minority government, which Canadians can choose as they please, suits me very well. The fact is that Quebec’s interest is certainly to have the balance of power, as it is traditionally called. “And to add that” to be hostile to the idea of a strong delegation from the Bloc, it is like saying to Quebeckers “we want to pass one to you quickly”. “
Meanwhile, on social networks, the candidates of the Conservative Party relayed one after the other the exit of Mr. Legault. Chef Erin O’Toole’s Twitter account cited in particular the excerpt in which the Quebec premier described the “conservative approach” as “good” for the province.
As for the Liberals, they may not forget this statement anytime soon, observes Josianne Hébert, of the public relations firm HK Strategies. ” Yes [Justin Trudeau] is re-elected on September 20, this statement by Mr. Legault will undoubtedly have an impact on their relations. “One thing is certain,” because of its level of popularity, what François Legault says resonates “, she argues.
While the CAQ’s pre-sessional caucus continued in Quebec, several elected representatives of the Crusader party at the entrance to the room refused to comment on their voting intentions in the federal elections. “I won’t answer that! »Laughed the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé.
But the liberal opposition did not fail to react. “By wishing for the election of a conservative government, François Legault agrees to tear up the $ 6 billion agreement and abandons the parents, the children and the entire network of childcare services in Quebec,” immediately replied the head of the Quebec Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade. She later blamed the prime minister to adopt “an approach that is quite paternalistic”. “We don’t have to tell Quebeckers how to vote,” she said. In his opinion, the CAQ leader “forfeits” by giving his support to the Conservatives. “What I want to see is that we are fighting to ensure that these 6 billion go to Quebec families, as is planned,” she said.
In front of journalists, Mr. Legault also recalled that he wanted to recover powers by immigration in terms of family reunification so that French is taken into account in the choice of candidates. “Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Singh are not open to transferring these powers. “
He also criticizes Justin Trudeau for having already affirmed that he did not rule out federal participation in legal actions against the State Secularism Act. “There is a great consensus in the Quebec nation: we want to ban religious symbols for people in authority. Mr. Trudeau does not respect that, and I find that worrying. “
The Prime Minister was also dissatisfied with the Liberals’ commitments with regard to health transfers.
If Mr. O’Toole speaks of an “insufficient” increase in transfers of 6%, Mr. Trudeau “does not propose an increase,” he said. “It offers targeted programs. It interferes in the jurisdictions of the provinces, then that, well, that scares me. Because Mr. Trudeau has an approach where he wants to interfere with health, he does not want to give us powers in immigration, he does not rule out opposing Bill 21. That is very worrying for everyone. nationalists. “
Prime Minister Legault also mentioned that, unlike other candidates for the post of federal prime minister, Mr. O’Toole “agrees” to fund 40% of the third link. “It’s a significant amount. Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Singh disagree with that. “
In its financial framework, the Conservative Party of Canada states his intention to withdraw $ 26.7 billion of the $ 29.8 planned for the LPC’s pan-Canadian child care system. Erin O’Toole’s party proposes instead to add $ 900 million in tax credits for child care in 2021-2022; this amount would then decrease from year to year, reaching 120 million in 2025-2026.