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Legault has not said his last word in politics

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press François Legault assured that he would be in the running in the next Quebec elections.

Quebec Prime Minister François Legault said Wednesday that he planned to stay in office until 2026 and that he could formally support a federal political party in the next Canadian elections, scheduled for 2025.

In difficulty in the polls and shaken by the departure of one of his deputies, Mr. Legault assured that he would be in the running in the next Quebec elections. “Will there be work left to do for a third term ? Yes. Yes, I will be a candidate,” he attested.

Until then, he “does not rule out” the possibility of giving his support to a federal party as he did in 2021. “There will be an analysis of all the powers, all the programs and we will decide, if there is one, who will best defend the interests of Quebecers,” he explained. Mr. Legault was speaking as part of the study of appropriations, an annual accountability exercise which takes place at the National Assembly.

Housing and immigration

His political opponents mainly questioned him about energy issues, the housing crisis and immigration. “What is the average cost of rent for a four and a half apartment in Montreal ?” asked him, for example, the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, Marc Tanguay.

Anxious to see his liberal opponent « scorer” as solidarity Manon Massé did in 2021, the Prime Minister turned to the Secretary General and Clerk of the Executive Council, Dominique Savoie. Quebec's highest civil servant pointed to a number, which the Prime Minister refused to read aloud. “I’m given a number, but I think it’s higher than that, so we’ll move on. I know you’re trying to make a Manon Massé of yourself, but it won’t work,” Mr. Legault said.

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Discussions followed, with the Liberals as well as with the solidarity MP Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, on the subject of immigration. “We currently have 560,000 temporary immigrants in Quebec,” repeated Mr. Legault, emphasizing that the program managed by Quebec (the Temporary Foreign Worker Program) welcomes 65,000 immigrants. “The problem is not with the 65,000. It’s with the remaining 495,000, which is a bomb managed by Ottawa,” he said.

Among the 560,000 temporary immigrants are 178,000 asylum seekers. “Half in Canada,” underlined Mr. Legault.

To Chief Tanguay, who asked him which temporary workers he wanted to see leave Quebec, Mr. Legault responded by saying that these asylum seekers are “not really workers.” In fact, 64% of asylum seekers in Quebec have a work permit, sometimes accompanied by a study permit. Children are also among the 36% who do not have work permits.

In total, of the 528,000 non-permanent residents present in Quebec, 43% are workers. This percentage rises to 51% if we take into account immigrants who have a study permit and a work permit.

The PLQ “uses” the crisis in agriculture to collect donations

The member for Beauce-Sud, CAQ leader Samuel Poulin, took advantage of the block of questions reserved for him on Wednesday to reveal an email sent by Liberal MP André Fortin to members of the Liberal Party of Quebec. In it, Mr. Fortin reports on the difficulties that farmers face. “Donate now to help us defend the interests of our Quebec farmers against the inaction of the CAQ government,” we read at the end of the message. Himself entangled in stories of popular financing at the start of the year, the CAQ leader, François Legault, denounced the maneuvers of the Liberals. “I would never dare say: I am going to use the crisis in agriculture to raise money for the Liberal Party of Quebec. It’s an insult, in my opinion, to farmers,” he said.

A short and notable presence for PSPP

In contrast to the Liberal and Solidarity representatives, the leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, arrived at the study of appropriations only when questioning the Prime Minister, only to get up and leave the Salon bleu at the end of its block of questions. “You’re lucky, I only have 12 minutes,” he told the Prime Minister from the outset. He then tried several times to make François Legault repeat his commitment to demand “full powers” ​​in immigration, which the main person concerned did not do. “Is the Prime Minister ready to reposition himself in favor of Yes if the third way fails ?” he then asked. Without responding, Mr. Legault read past statements by Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon about the failure of the sovereignist option, made at a time when he did not support it. The PQ, unlike the other opposition parties, only has one turn to speak during the study of the votes. At the end of his 12-minute block, the head of the training left the Blue Room. The next to speak, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, noted this. “I promise I won’t leave if I don’t like your answers,” he told Mr. Legault, provoking laughter. The solidarity then underlined having never changed its mind about the fundamental status of Quebec, unlike François Legault (former PQ), Marc Tanguay (formerly sovereignist) and Paul St-Pierre Plamondon (in the past critical of the PQ and the independence project).

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