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Legault should take inspiration from Charest in his relationship with Ottawa, proclaims the PLQ

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The interim leader of the PLQ, Marc Tanguay, praised the achievements of former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Charest, recalling that it was under his initiative that the Council of the Federation was created in 2003.

Thomas Laberge – The Canadian Press in Quebec

February 25, 2024

  • Quebec

While Quebec is demanding a billion from the federal government to cover expenses related to asylum seekers, the interim Liberal leader, Marc Tanguay, brings Jean Charest back into the public debate and affirms that François Legault would have every interest in “draw inspiration” from it in its relations with Ottawa.

Marc Tanguay praised the achievements of the former Liberal Prime Minister, recalling that it was under his initiative that the Council of the Federation was created in 2003. This forum brings together the premiers of the provinces and territories and allows them to make common demands against the federal government.

“This Canadian diplomacy has made it possible to develop a common front. To give a position of strength to Quebec and the provinces against Ottawa and to obtain, in 2004, an agreement on health where Quebec obtained what it wanted, that is to say 4.3 billion dollars, indexed at 6% [for the next 10 years],” explained Marc Tanguay.

“François Legault asked for 6 billion [for health] for Quebec and he only got one,” added the interim Liberal leader.

The CAQ Prime Minister is participating in the Council of the Federation although he was absent from the last meeting in Halifax last November.

“He sees the federal government as a threat”

Marc Tanguay attributes François Legault's “repeated failures” to the fact that he does not really believe in the Canadian federation. “He sees the federal government as a threat, including its judges, and he does not build relationships with the other federal partners like Jean Charest did. […] I will never miss an opportunity to ask François Legault to take inspiration from Jean Charest,” he said.

Earlier this week, four ministers from the Quebec government called on Ottawa to slow down the arrival of asylum seekers and ensure that they are better distributed across the country. The CAQ government claims that the costs associated with welcoming asylum seekers now exceed $1 billion and continues to demand reimbursement from the federal government.

Also read

  • Quebec identity is “threatened” by the influx of asylum seekers, says Quebec
  • Asylum seekers threaten the French language, according to François Legault
  • The Legault government is accused of creating an “anxious climate”
  • Editorial | The crescendo of laments over asylum seekers

On Thursday, federal Minister Pablo Rodriguez did not close the door to negotiating additional amounts for asylum seekers with Quebec, but he criticized the Legault government for lacking sensitivity in this matter.

“Why always be at loggerheads with the federal government ? Why not try to envision a win-win relationship with the federal government ? It’s as if the federal government can’t win when Quebec wins,” argued Marc Tanguay.

A next Liberal leader inspired by Charest ?

Although he allows himself to give advice to his political opponent about who he should take inspiration from, Marc Tanguay did not want to do the same for the one who will replace him at the head of the Quebec Liberal Party in 2025.

“It will be obvious to me that the candidates will be inspired by the good moves and successes of the Liberal prime ministers who preceded us,” he simply said.

Jean Charest was Prime Minister of Quebec from 2003 to 2012. His reign ended abruptly in the wake of the major Maple Spring mobilization which ended in the victory of the Parti Québécois. The Charest government was also marred by allegations of corruption, although no charges were brought against the former premier. He attempted to take over as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, but was soundly defeated by Pierre Poilievre in 2022.

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