Courteous but lively exchanges at the electoral debate in Rimouski | Elections Quebec 2022

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ÉCourteous but lively exchanges at the election debate in Rimouski | ÉQuebec 2022 elections

Maïté Blanchette Vézina (CAQ), Carol-Ann Kack (QS), Claude Laroche (PLQ) and Samuel Ouellet (PQ) participated in the debate at Cégep de Rimouski.

The environment, housing and the decentralization of services gave rise to lively discussions between the candidates of the riding of Rimouski during the electoral debate on Radio-Canada.

For the occasion, the Georges-Beaulieu room at the Cégep de Rimouski was packed, filled not only with students but also with citizens who had come to hear the candidates.

Caquist Maïté Blanchette Vézina, who has repeatedly recalled the commitments and work of his party over the past four years, has been the target of most attacks, particularly with regard to housing.

Candidates' responses on how to address the housing shortage in Rimouski diverged, resulting in heated exchanges.

Liberal candidate Claude Laroche blamed Maïté for Blanchette Vézina not to broach the topic of social housing. Just promising affordable housing is unacceptable, he decided.

Claude Laroche, Liberal candidate in the riding of Rimouski

She responded by brandishing the CAQ's proposal to build 11,000 social housing units across the province.

  • Maïté Blanchette Vézina, of the Coalition avenir Québec
  • Claude Laroche, from the Quebec Liberal Party
  • Carol-Ann Kack, from Quebec solidaire
  • Samuel Ouellet, from the Parti Quebecois

Carol-Ann Kack, of Quebec Solidaire (QS), added, this time on the recognition of the housing shortage by the CAQ, which was delayed, according to her. I don't know how you're going to get the government's attention on this, wondered Carol-Ann Kack.

Carol-Ann Kack, solidarity candidate in the riding of Rimouski

Ms. Blanchette Vézina returned to her proposal to set up an action group to deliver rental units in Rimouski. Not just a table to think about but a tactical group so that we quickly build the missing units, explained the caquist.

There was also talk of completing the highway 20 between Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and Rimouski.

Like their counterparts in the riding of Rivière-du-Loup–Témiscouata, there is a consensus among the candidates in Rimouski on the need to complete this project. Claude Laroche, of the PLQ, even suggests adding two lanes between Le Bic and Pointe-au-Père.

Reservations were however raised, in particular on the part of Carol-Ann Kack of QS regarding the fate of Highway 132. She reiterated the need to improve some dangerous areas.

The 132 is already safer: there are lights now, quipped Claude Laroche.

He nevertheless added that Highway 20 must be completed at all costs, even if it means building 20 kilometers at a time, without studies however.

We want a [review from] BAPE, chanted a member of the public .

Liberal Claude Laroche was criticized for the withdrawal of this project from the Quebec Infrastructure Program (PQI) by his party, mainly by PQ Samuel Ouellet.

Samuel Ouellet, PQ candidate in the riding of Rimouski

He also criticized Maïté Blanchette Vézina's party for only re-registering him in the last year of his mandate rather than in his first 100 days, as the CAQ had promised.

The solidary candidate in Rimouski found herself on the defensive when questioned about her party's proposal to tax gas-guzzling vehicles.

Maïté Blanchette Vézina called on Carol-Ann Kack to commit that Rimouski would be excluded from this tax. It is modulated by region, retorted Carol-Ann Kack, clinging to the clarification that her party made about this proposal.

Maïté Blanchette Vézina, CAQ candidate in the riding of Rimouski

Samuel Ouellet returned to Quebec Solidaire's commitment to force car dealerships to sell electric vehicles as a priority. Given the scarcity of these cars, we should perhaps avoid immediately taxing people who have no other option, suggested the PQ candidate.

This is not not everyone has the money to buy a new pick-up or a Hummer, replied the solidarity candidate.

Finally, the question of the decentralization of services in health matters has entered the debate.

PQ player Samuel Ouellet challenged Maïté Blanchette Vézina on the lack of decisions at the local level. Even after two years of the pandemic, the centralization of power is still there, all the powers are still on the desk of the Minister of Health at this time, he argued.

In any case, congratulations, you want to do more than what your party has done in the last four years, replied Liberal Claude Laroche.

Maude Rivard (center) moderates a political debate at the Cégep de Rimouski with the candidates in Rimouski, namely Maïté Blanchette Vézina (Coalition avenir Québec), Carol-Ann Kack (Québec solidaire), Samuel Ouellet (Parti Québécois) and Claude Laroche (Liberal Party of Quebec).

There were many questions from the public. environment, Highway 20 and even the candidate's conception of democracy, a question posed by a philosophy professor at the Cégep de Rimouski.

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