Mess-ups and blunders: 12 highlights from the campaign | Elections Quebec 2022

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Small mishaps and big blunders: a look back at 12 highlights of the campaign | Élections Québec 2022

The Quebec electoral marathon has created several twists, some unexpected, others inevitable.

François Legault, leader of the Coalition avenir Québec

Expectations for the level of excitement over the election campaign were low when the incumbent prime minister visited the lieutenant governor, kicking things off. This electoral marathon nevertheless gave rise to several twists and turns, some unexpected, others inevitable. Here are some highlights of the campaign that is coming to an end… that some may wish to forget.

As soon as the election campaign started, it took a dramatic turn.< /p>

Threatened with death by a man arrested by the police and then released, the outgoing Liberal MP for Saint-Laurent, Marwah Rizqy, denounced the tense social climate and the lack of security surrounding elected officials and the candidates, in addition to urging the National Assembly of Quebec to set up a panic button system.

I cannot risk my life or that of the child I am carrying, exclaimed the candidate, who was then eight months pregnant. Following his exit – and the burglary of his Marquette colleague Enrico Ciccone's polling station – all party leaders appealed for calm.

A Detour From a press briefing on September 7 in Victoriaville, the leader of the Coalition avenir Québec was rather talkative on the immigration file. Maybe a little too much.

Speaking about the challenges of integrating immigrants in the context where the federal government plans to increase the thresholds to 450,000 newcomers, François Legault drew a dubious link between violence and immigration : Quebecers are peaceful, they don't like squabbling, they don't like extremists, they don't like violence, so we have to make sure we keep it as it is now.

The same evening, on his Twitter account, he assured that he had not wanted to associate immigration with violence and said he was sorry if [his] remarks had caused confusion.< /p>

The election campaign was turned upside down by the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8.

François Legault suspended his campaign once again to put on his clothes as outgoing Prime Minister, at the same time asking for the flags of Quebec public buildings to be lowered to half mast, which the leader of the Parti Quebecois opposed.

The next day, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon finally admitted having “had too spontaneous a reaction”. I picked the wrong time, he admitted, saying he didn't want to debate the monarchy in such circumstances.

The independence leader nevertheless declared that he would not be sworn in to the new king, Charles III, when he was sworn in to the National Assembly, if elected on October 3. Nevertheless, he could not explain how he would go about avoiding this compulsory exercise.

Unpaid school and municipal taxes, small claims lawsuit for trailing plumbing bills… The Conservative leader wasted precious campaign days having to explain the reasons behind the thousands of dollars in unpaid accounts and bills.

However, the exposure of these financial blunders did not prevent Éric Duhaime from bringing together nearly 3,000 people in the lobby of the Videotron Center a few days later, which resulted in the largest militant rally of the campaign. /p>

The Liberal Party of Quebec prides itself on being that of the economy. However, on September 14, La Presse+ uncovered a $16.3 billion hole in the Liberals' fiscal framework.

Calculating Québec's public debt is quite complex. Probably we did it too quickly, then explained the campaign chairman, former finance minister Carlos Leitão, who promised to put a corrected version of the framework online. financial, which was done.

But the party had to redo its homework, this time due to the overestimation of certain revenues. Hopefully the third version of the financial framework will be the right one.

François Legault was hounded throughout the election campaign about his twin-tube project between downtown Quebec and Lévis. All his opponents – the curator Éric Duhaime first – demanded that he reveal the results of the studies on the third link.

After hammering that they needed to be updated due to the pandemic, François Legault ended up admitting that none existed on the feasibility of a four-lane tunnel linking downtown Quebec and Lévis.

Then, in another twist, Radio-Canada revealed that not only did exhaustive data exist on the feasibility of such a tunnel, but that they had been forwarded to the Ministry of Transport and the Prime Minister's Office in 2021.

The outgoing Prime Minister ended up insinuating that the decision to build a third link was in fact political, without regard to the data and the conclusions of the experts, which obviously startled his opponents.

The problem that happened at the Joliette hospital with Mrs. Joyce is now resolved.

Two years after the death of Joyce Echaquan, under the racist insults of ;nurses, the leader of the Coalition avenir Québec and outgoing Prime Minister launched this assertion in full debate on TVA. Enough to startle the husband of the deceased, his whole family, their lawyer and the Atikamekw chiefs.

A few days later, François Legault apologized to Carol Dubé, Ms. Echaquan's widower. , the CAQ leader praised the merits of his economic “dream team“, with Eric Girard in finance, Sonia LeBel in Treasury Board and Pierre Fitzgibbon in economics.

François Legault went further by implying that no one could be healthier than Christian Dubé, virtually guaranteeing him the cabinet post. The journalists however caught up with him at the bend, asking him if Jean-François Roberge could benefit from such guarantees for education. Look, nobody has a job guaranteed at the CAQ, he finally said.

The devastation caused by post-tropical storm Fiona led the CAQ and PQ leaders to the Magdalen Islands, to see the damage, support the victims, but also their candidate! If François Legault was able to invoke his role as outgoing Prime Minister to suspend his election campaign for a few hours and explain his visit to the archipelago, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon had to justify his, accused by some of politicizing the drama.< /p>

It must be said that the riding of Îles-de-la-Madeleine has been the scene of a tight fight between the CAQ and the PQ since the start of the campaign. The outgoing PQ member, Joël Arseneau, is neck and neck with Jonathan Lapierre, mayor of the Municipality for nine years, who is trying his luck on the provincial scene with the CAQ.

Québec solidaire was fighting hard to win the riding of Camille-Laurin (formerly Bourget) from caquiste Richard Campeau. Efforts that were, however, destroyed by the solidarity candidate herself, caught in the act when she replaced a PQ leaflet with one of hers in the mailbox of a voter.

Marie-Eve Rancourt thus withdrew from the race, leaving it to the PQ leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, candidate in Camille-Laurin, to dislodge Mr. Campeau. An error in judgment that has become a blessing for the PQ, which thus sees the chances of having its leader elected jump.

Before the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, François Legault said: As long as we have not stopped the decline of French, I think that, for the Quebec nation which wants to protect the language, it would be a bit suicidal to increase [the immigration threshold].

It was enough to make the opponents of the CAQ jump.

But the CAQ did not stop there, as it provided more ammunition to its detractors through the mouth of the outgoing immigration minister himself, Jean Boulet, whose erroneous statements about immigrants , pronounced a few days earlier in a regional debate, resurfaced the same day.

François Legault was indignant at the statements of Jean Boulet, declaring him unfit to become Minister of Immigration. Critics saw it as an attempt by the chief caquiste to make people forget his own blunders.

On day 33 of the campaign, the leader of the CAQ went to the riding of Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue, in Abitibi, to lend a hand to his candidate Daniel Bernard, who is trying to dislodge the outgoing MP, the solidarity Émilise Lessard-Therrien.

The fight is fiery… but not as much as the tone of the outgoing Prime Minister when he answered questions from the Prime Minister host of the local radio show Des matins en or on the arsenic broadcasts of the Horne Foundry. The tension was palpable in the studio when David Chabot contradicted François Legault.

The CAQ leader's irritated attitude has had his opponents – and many analysts – saying it's time for the campaign to end!

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