Debate 1: Hot exchanges and group shots against François Legault | Elections Quebec 2022

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First debate: heated exchanges and group shots against François Legault | Élections Quebec 2022

Francois Legault, in a press scrum after TVA's “Face-à-Face”

“Your mics are off!” “Said Pierre Bruneau several times, resigned to the tenacity of certain leaders to launch the reply to the adversaries. TVA's Face-à-Face on Thursday evening still managed to avoid cacophony, despite heated debates on the environment, immigration, the pandemic and taxes .

Unsurprisingly, it was outgoing Prime Minister François Legault who was the main target of attacks for most of the evening. The bursts came from left and right, sometimes leaving him little space to shoot his own arrows.

The theme of the environment was the first to be tackled during the debate. However, it gave rise to heated exchanges throughout the evening.

Besides Québec solidaire (QS) and the Parti Québécois (PQ), which exchanged congratulations for their good plans which have several similarities, the leaders generally did not hesitate to attack the situation. environment, terrain on which some present diametrically opposed visions.

On the one hand, CAQ chief François Legault questioned the feasibility of the solidarity plan – which aims for a 55% reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) compared to 1990 by 2030 -, including worrying about the lack of electricity and workers to make it happen. On the other, solidarity Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois accused Mr. Legault of lacking ambition with his target of 37.5%.

To curator Éric Duhaime , the liberal Dominique Anglade criticized the desire to relaunch the LNG Quebec hydrocarbon exploitation project to support the province's energy transition. It's clear, for you, the environment is not important, she told him. It's not 1950.

But it was François Legault's promise to build a third link between Quebec and Lévis that earned him grouped fire from all his opponents, including Éric Duhaime, the only other leader to support the construction of a such a highway link.

The Conservative leader urged his CAQ rival to make the famous studies on the project public, as he had already done several times for several weeks.

For his part, the leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ) accused Mr. Legault of stubbornly wanting to build this third link that everyone knows will never happen. The CAQ is focusing on a tunnel project based on the polls of the day, said Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

As for Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, he believes that he It is rather pointless to embark on individual sacrifices if collective efforts are not made to make the ecological transition.

“We can all drink our Seven Up with a cardboard straw, if Mr. Legault makes the third link, it will cancel all people's efforts. »

— Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

The solidarity leader cheerfully attacked his opponents, in particular Dominique Anglade whom he repeatedly accused of having been a bad opposition to the National Assembly because of his speech too similar to that of Mr. Legault. You yourself are a former caquiste, everything is in everything, he launched to her.

However, he himself was the target of attacks from all sides concerning the various taxes that his party wishes to introduce, including that on the most polluting gasoline vehicles, but especially those on assets and estates of more than one million dollars.

François Legault denounced the “orange taxes” several times in the evening. But the toughest exchanges took place between the Conservative leader and Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

“It's which is amazing with Québec solidaire: every time there is a problem, there is a tax. By the way, their campaign looks like this. This is a new fee per day. It's a kind of striptease, taxes. »

— Éric Duhaime, leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec

At some point, it's because there are people who have to pay for it, it's x27;that's the problem, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, added Mr. Duhaime.

Faced with the attack, the united leader invited his conservative rival to present himself as Governor of Texas. You will really be in your place.

Le chef caquiste has also been overtaken by a subject that has been on his mind for several days now, that of immigration. Last week, François Legault had to clarify comments on newcomers, integration and violence, denying having wanted to make a link between the three.

Again this evening, he had to explain his thinking, at the request of his opponents, but also of the host, who did not hesitate to refer to this statement in the preamble of certain questions.

First, let's make one thing clear. Quebec and Quebecers are among the most welcoming in the world. Secondly, immigration, for me, and I'm sure for everyone here, is an asset, he assured.

But the Liberal leader is x27; is shown to be very unconvinced by this umpteenth outing. I was very surprised to hear Mr. Legault's comments this evening. It was you who said that immigration was a threat, reiterated Dominique Anglade.

“Every time you talk about immigration, you do it in a negative way. ”

— Dominique Anglade, leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec

It took this first debate for the theme of the pandemic to make its strong entry into the campaign. François Legault and Éric Duhaime were the first to confront each other on the subject, exchanges which brought out the contrasts between the two men.

The attacks were quick. Mr. Duhaime accused the outgoing Prime Minister of having infantilized Quebecers by imposing overly strict sanitary measures.

We put in measures, not for fun, if x27;is defended François Legault. I didn't come into politics to shut down businesses and put on masks, he said, adding that his government did this to save lives.

He then accused his opponent of making speeches against health measures to win votes.

“While everyone rowed in the same direction you pulled in the rowboat! »

— François Legault, leader of the Coalition avenir Québec

Éric Duhaime was quick to react, reversing the irresponsible label that the CAQ leader wanted to attach to him. What is irresponsible is to have managed a crisis in an unscientific way, he replied. He also accused François Legault of having been the first minister of containment and the worst confiner on the continent.

Still under the theme of health, the place of the private sector occupied many discussions. François Legault made it known that only his party and that of Éric Duhaime are open to reviewing the formula to, in his opinion, improve patient services, and that the three other parties are resistant to it for ideological reasons.

If it worked, private health, we would know, retorted Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. There has never been so much privacy in the system, and the system has never worked worse.

Lack of teachers, shortage of premises, schools crumbling, failing ventilation system: the education system has taken a beating in recent years. However, the question occupied the exchanges for less than 10 minutes.

Both Ms. Anglade and Mr. Nadeau-Dubois affirmed that education should be a priority, but that the shortage of labor at all levels of the school network was hampering efforts on the ground.

François Legault denied having remained idly by. It is one of my great pride, he said, to have increased teachers' salaries by 15%. The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) once again promises major investments for the renovation of schools in the province.

On this aspect, the leader of the PQ accused him of dragging your feet. In four years, the number of dilapidated schools in Quebec has gone from 50% to 59%. How do you expect students to be motivated and not drop out if the place where they study is completely depressing? asked Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

The delays are attributable to a shortage of construction workers, retorted Mr. Legault, an argument that came up time and time again in the mouth of the CAQ leader, often without regard to the subject of the exchanges.

Post-secondary education was practically left out of the debate, except for an exchange between the co-spokesperson of Québec solidaire and the leader of the Parti québécois on the question of academic freedom.

“If I feel offended by something said here tonight, are we going to stop arguing?

—Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois

The two men agreed that ideas, all ideas, deserved to be discussed in the classroom. The PQ leader, for his part, found it completely unacceptable to refrain from naming the titles of the books so as not to offend certain students on university campuses.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon then challenged his united opponent to name the title of the famous work by Pierre Vallières which includes the word in N, and which has been the source of many debates in the last year.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois complied. Later in a press briefing, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois said he did not understand his opponent's strategy, and felt that Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon made it a personal crusade.

He said he chose to utter the title so as not to deflect the debate on the issue of systemic racism, even though it is, according to him, a word that he does not should not be used lightly.

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