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Budgetary rigor regains favor in the eyes of the liberals

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “Rigour, rigor, I think that’s the key word” of the Liberal Party of Quebec, indicated its interim leader, Marc Tanguay, in the entrance of Château Bromont this Saturday, as part of the party’s national council. .

Marco Bélair-Cirino in Bromont

Published at 11:35 a.m. Updated at 8:59 p.m.

  • Quebec

“Rigour. Rigor. » If it is brought to power in 2026, the Quebec Liberal Party will be subject to the same “budgetary rigor” (or almost) that made the mark of Philippe Couillard's government.

The PLQ delegates intend to return to zero deficit by “present[ing] during the first year of its mandate a plan to return to budgetary balance” which “preserves the essential services provided by the government of Quebec, particularly in education and health.”

“Rigour, rigor, I think that's the key word” of the PLQ, indicated the leader interim member of the PLQ, Marc Tanguay, in the entrance to Château Bromont on Saturday.

Some 400 Liberal delegates gathered this weekend in this Estrie resort to lay the foundations of “a new economic plan for Quebec”.

“We cannot forgive François Legault for making us run a historic deficit of $11 billion and telling us: “We will have a plan in a year.” He doesn't even know [if] in four, five years, it will be in [budgetary] balance,” lamented Mr. Tanguay.

The leader of the opposition official in the National Assembly fears seeing “the extent of the “François Legault damage”” at the dawn of the next general elections, scheduled for Monday October 5, 2026.

The CAQ “waste” must stop, said Mr. Tanguay, pointing (by way of example) to the $396 million allocated in different measures to attract higher registrations, particularly in teacher training programs. .

“Liberal governments have always been responsible and rigorous” with the finances of the Quebec state, underlined Mr. Tanguay, who however rejects the “negative label » of a supporter of austerity attached to the PLQ in the years of the Couillard government (2014-2018).

The development of a “credible plan for a return to “balanced budget” by the PLQ is “entirely reasonable”, even “desirable”, said president of the PLQ, Rafael Ferraro.

A few months before the launch of the leadership race, Mr. Ferraro recalled that economic development is at the heart of the Liberal program. “The applications which have an economic profile, I am certain that they will be very well received by our activists”, he mentioned at the start of the day.

A few minutes earlier, activist Nicolas Proulx appeared, with a few dozen young people, in front of journalists in order to “support” the possible candidacy of Charles Milliard for leadership of the PLQ. The president and CEO of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec, “Charles Milliard, has the […] economic profile, but [also] the personal and professional profile to represent all Quebecers,” he said. argues.

Mr. Milliard was conspicuous by his absence on Saturday. Same thing for Karl Blackburn, president and CEO of the Conseil du patronat du Québec. And the same thing for Antoine Tardif, mayor of Victoriaville, which did not prevent liberal activists from promoting his possible candidacy in the corridors of Château Bromont.

After recalling having completed a “complete career” in the capital market, the MP for Marguerite-Bourgeoys, Frédéric Beauchemin, said he saw favorably the prospect of a leadership race in which several people “with a economic profile” would participate. “The most important thing is that we have a debate of ideas,” argued the only candidate for leadership to participate in person in the general council of the PLQ.

10th anniversary of the Couillard team's victory

Former Prime Minister Philippe Couillard traveled to Château Bromont. Liberal activists — including former heads of government Daniel Johnson and Jean Charest — will pay tribute to him Saturday afternoon, 10 years after the election of his team concerned with “real business” and his “famous economic trio of the time, Mr. [Jacques] Daoust, [Carlos] Leitão and [Martin] Coiteux”.

Even though he was ousted from power in 2018, Mr. Couillard was a “great” prime minister, according to Marc Tanguay. “Philippe Couillard, in more than one way, is a source of inspiration” for today’s Liberal team, including his “rigor in the management of public finances,” he also underlined. “History will be responsible, I think, in due time, for recognizing – and we already recognize it – the benefits of Philippe Couillard’s government. […] Once again, everything is not perfect, but we had a government which had control of public finances, which provided better services than today. »

After describing himself as a “history lover”, the president of the political commission, André Pratte, said he was “betting” on the fact that “history will remember that Philippe Couillard was one of the most successful prime ministers brave in our history because in extremely difficult economic and financial situations he had the courage to restore order to public finances, which was essential.” “A courage that is clearly lacking considerably in the current government,” he continued.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116