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Exhausted, Émilise Lessard-Therrien leaves her role as female spokesperson for QS

Photo: Spencer Colby Archives The Canadian Press A defeated candidate in the 2022 elections, Émilise Lessard-Therrien was elected co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire in November 2023.

Mathieu Paquette – The Canadian Press

Published at 6:15 a.m. Updated at 7:40 a.m.

  • Quebec

The female spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Émilise Lessard-Therrien, left her position, saying she was completely exhausted only a few months after taking office. She claims that the different vision she proposed encountered an “organizational blockage”.

Ms. Lessard-Therrien, who was defeated in the 2022 elections, was elected to be co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire alongside Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois at the end of November, after a race in which she beat MPs Ruba Ghazal and Christine Labrie.

In a long message published Monday morning on social networks, Ms. Lessard-Therrien explained that following her election, she tried to breathe new life into the party, by bringing new ideas.

“But I quickly realized that the train was already well underway. I wanted to go there, try to influence the framework of reflection and decision-making led or nourished by a small team of professionals woven tightly around the male spokesperson. I sometimes made it there, but I felt very alone and had difficulty finding my space there,” she wrote.

Ms. Lessard-Therrien added that she was “scolded or made to feel guilty” for speaking out, for giving opinions or following her intuition.

Elle confessed that her “natural enthusiasm quickly withered,” so she fell into “survival” mode within her party.

“Four months barely enough to exhaust me. Completely. I went on sick leave at the end of March, both knees on the ground, momentum slowed down,” she admitted.

“I have to go to the obvious: it was impossible for me to sink my own roots into the party leadership. The different vision that I proposed came up against an organizational blockage, within a party that was created to do politics differently,” she later lamented.

Ms. Lessard-Therrien had already been off work for a few weeks, but she believes that she will need more time to regain her enthusiasm. To take care of her health, she therefore leaves her position as female spokesperson.

“I know today that to find my breath, I must remain faithful to my convictions, faithful to my values, faithful to my ways of doing things and taking care of the world. Above all, I must take care of my health. And so, I will not come back,” she emphasized.

Transition period

In a press release published in reaction to the resignation of Ms. Lessard-Therrien, the president of Québec solidaire, Roxane Milot, admitted that after seven years of the duo formed by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Manon Massé, “ welcoming a new extra-parliamentary spokesperson was quite a challenge.”

“From Émilise’s election at the end of November and until her work stoppage in mid-March, we were in a period of transition. Despite the layoffs that we had to make following the general elections, the general management of the party and I worked to reorganize and increase its resources to allow Émilise to exercise her role in the best possible conditions, despite the logistical and of removal”, she mentioned.

Ms. Milot emphasized that the departure of Ms. Lessard-Therrien, who helped Québec solidaire to “reach new people throughout the territory”, is “a great loss”.

Émilise Lessard-Therrien was a solidarity MP in the riding of Rouyn-Noranda — Témiscamingue from 2018 to 2022 . She was defeated by the CAQ candidate in the most recent elections.

She made her return “through the front door” to Québec solidaire last fall by being elected with 50.3% of the votes ahead of Ruba Ghazal to succeed Manon Massé as female spokesperson.

She campaigned on the need for the party to reach out to Quebecers in the regions, with an emphasis on food sovereignty.

< p>The details of the process to choose a new female spokesperson will be announced later, Québec solidaire said.

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