Duhaime says he feels even more legitimized after meeting Legault
Leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec, Éric Duhaime
Premier François Legault legitimized the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) by agreeing to meet with it for more than an hour, according to party leader Éric Duhaime.
It is clear that the PCQ has a special status, continued Mr. Duhaime in an interview on Tuesday afternoon. He met me for an hour and a half; he wouldn't do that with the Culinary party, he said.
Mr. Legault is holding a series of meetings this week with the leaders of the opposition parties in order to discuss with them. He took pains to include Mr. Duhaime, who did not elect any deputy to the National Assembly.
Besides, the doors of Parliament have remained completely closed to the PCQ since the October 3 election, which saw François Legault's Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) win a supermajority.
Mr. Duhaime still claims an office in the Assembly and permission to hold press briefings there.
Although he does not expect to suddenly gain access to the Assembly, Mr. Duhaime sees Tuesday's meeting as a strong gesture of recognition on the part of the Prime Minister.
“We are all alone who have no chosen one and we were invited, why? Because we represent 530,000 Quebecers.
— Éric Duhaime, leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec
Mr. Legault laughed when I told him that. […] He could just nod. […] He could not tell me that we did not have a special status. He invited me, Mr. Duhaime pointed out. The exercise, cordial, constructive, could also be repeated periodically, according to him.
The Conservative leader says he discussed several subjects with Mr. Legault, from the need to diversify our sources of energy to the private health sector, through tax cuts and the third Quebec-Lévis link.
He reminded him, for example, that the Conservatives are in favor of the exploitation of hydrocarbons and private health, but that they oppose ;idea of dipping into the Generations Fund to finance tax cuts.
Mr. Legault would have been attentive. The day before, the parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire (QS), Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, had also welcomed the attention of the head of government.
There are two or three things that I think made him think, I saw it in his non-verbal report, Éric Duhaime reported on Tuesday, adding that he would judge Mr. Legault on the results.
The former radio host intends to continue his work within the PCQ, even if he admits having discussed with the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), Pierre Poilievre, a friend, just before the Holidays.
Mr. Poilievre is currently touring Quebec in an attempt to increase his party's popularity. He would also try to recruit big names within the CAQ for the next elections, according to what political analyst Chantal Hébert reported earlier this week. Mr. Poilievre denied this information, calling it false.
In an interview, Mr. Duhaime dismissed the possibility of joining the CCP. My energies, I intend to devote them to the PCQ, he said.