A debate on the environment in Gaspé without the CAQ or the Conservatives | Elections Quebec 2022

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A debate on the environment in Gaspé without the CAQ or the Conservatives | Élections Québec 2022

The event took place as part of a week of debates organized by Vire au vert, a coalition of 26 environmental groups and citizens in Quebec (archives).

The candidates in the riding of Gaspé, with the exception of those of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Conservative Party du Québec (PCQ), took part in a debate on the environment on Monday evening.

Only Méganne Perry Mélançon of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Michel Marin of the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) and Yv Bonnier-Viger of Québec solidaire (QS) were present at this debate organized by Solidarité Gaspésie and presented at the Gaspé campus of the Cégep de Gaspésie and the Islands.

The three candidates, photographed during the debate

< p class="e-p">The CAQ justifies the absence of its candidate. Stéphane Sainte-Croix, due to a scheduling conflict. The political formation notes that he will participate in two other debates over the next few days and that he has already taken part in a first debate in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.

The candidate of the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ), Pier-Luc Bouchard, had not answered our questions at the time of publishing these lines. According to the organizers, about 145 people were present to watch the exchanges.

The two-hour debate was conducted with politeness and courtesy. Topics discussed included climate change, transportation, mining, caribou protection, food self-sufficiency and housing.

Fatious discussions took place notably took place between the three candidates when it was a question of returning the train to Gaspésie. Liberal Michel Marin insisted on the role played by his party in the rehabilitation of the railway.

The return of rail started again with the last Liberal government. At that time, not many people believed in it. Today, we want to continue this work and speed things up because we find that the CAQ has dragged its feet a bit, he promises.

Michel Marin (PLQ) and Méganne Perry Mélançon (PQ)

You didn't bring it back, the train, replied outgoing MP Méganne Perry Mélançon.

< p class="e-p">We've been waiting for it for 10 years […], it's been a few ministers who come to promise us and commit to bringing it back quickly by giving fixed dates. I remember Marie-Eve Proulx [former Minister for Regional Economic Development], who said in 2020 that this was the priority of her government. Look at where we are today: the priority of her government has been the development of transport in major centres, she underlines.

For its part, the Solidarity Yv Bonnier-Viger also deplored the long delays in the train file and described the attitude of the outgoing government's Minister of Transport, François Bonnardel, as silly.

Québec solidaire candidate Yv Bonnier-Viger (left) and host of the debate, the professor in administration Adam Normand.

You can count on me as an MP – and if we are in power, you can be sure that it will be done quickly – for go and challenge the Minister of Transport, who is supposed to be in charge of this project and who has been really fooling around for four years. It makes no sense that it is not developing more quickly, he is indignant.

In addition, questioned by the Liberal candidate, Yv Bonnier-Viger had to defend the fact that the high-speed train promised by Québec solidaire goes to Matane and not to Gaspé.

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