MP Marie-Claude Nichols will not return to the Liberal caucus

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MP Marie-Claude Nichols will not return to the Liberal caucus

Vaudreuil MP Marie-Claude Nichols during her swearing-in ceremony in October, accompanied by Liberal leader Dominique Anglade.

Expelled from the caucus of the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) last week, the deputy for Vaudreuil, Marie-Claude Nichols, will not reinstate it, despite the “outstretched hand” by leader Dominique Anglade.

Marie-Claude Nichols announced her decision in a letter addressed to members of the Liberal caucus. She will now sit as an independent MP.

“I will not be able to sit in a caucus led by a female leader in who I don't fully trust. »

— Marie-Claude Nichols, former Liberal MP

In her missive, Marie-Claude Nichols writes that this story had no place and that it is nothing less than a distraction.

I neither wish to be at the center of this distraction nor to be the lifeline of a leadership that gets lost in unexplained, thoughtless and hasty decisions, she declares.

Mrs. Nichols takes the opportunity to re-establish certain facts. She says she never threatened to quit caucus. She considers that she was excluded from the caucus in a cavalier, exaggerated and unfair way.

While a meeting with the liberal leader was on the program and supposed to remain secret, the information was flowing live. She alleges that an attempt was made to harm [her] reputation through a smear campaign.

She points out that the outstretched hand of the chef was expressed by a text message received precisely at 3:38 p.m. Sunday and that the meeting with the leader, which was to take place in person, took place virtually.

Marie-Claude Nichols admits that the last few days have been particularly difficult. I was deeply hurt and hurt by the events of the past week, she says.

Nevertheless, she says she remains liberal. No leader or officer can take away my deep liberal values ​​and my attachment to my party, she argues.

The Liberal leader issued the following statement this afternoon: “I have learned of Marie-Claude's decision not to rejoin the caucus despite the numerous steps taken last Friday to reach out to her. I take note of his decision and know that the door remains open.”

Now is the time for us to devote our energies to the issues most important to Quebecers, such as the economy, health and education, as well as at the beginning of the parliamentary session which will take place soon, she adds.

Caucus chairman Enrico Ciccone, who played a certain role in this mess, has remained silent since Thursday, refusing any request for an interview. The liberal leader, however, reaffirmed her confidence in him on Monday.

Dominique Anglade last week expelled the MP, who has sat in the National Assembly of Quebec under the PLQ banner since 2014, following the unveiling of her shadow cabinet .

A conflict over the allocation of the files and responsibilities of the 21 Liberal MPs elected on October 3 is at the origin of this decision.

The MP was excluded after refusing to take on the role of official opposition transport critic, when the issue is of paramount importance at this time.

According to information obtained by Radio-Canada, the member for Vaudreuil had an interest in the third vice-presidency of the National Assembly. However, the leader Dominique Anglade would have rather opted for the candidacy of the deputy Frantz Benjamin for this position.

Mrs. come back to caucus. It was too far on both sides […] Now we have to find a way through for the rest of things, said the Liberal leader, without however apologizing or acknowledging that she had made a mistake. .

With this departure, the PLQ now has 20 deputies in the National Assembly. The party obtained the worst electoral score in its history in the last provincial election, winning only 14% of the popular vote.

Thus, the party managed to elect 10 deputies less and collected 10 points less than in 2018, when the party recorded its worst performance ever.

In addition to Ms. Nichols, other departures have taken place in recent weeks from the Liberal ranks.

Communications director Jérémy Ghio has given up on political training, as has chief party organizer Jean-François Helms.

Former deputy Carlos Leitao, who chaired the party's campaign during the last provincial elections and who was tipped to occupy the presidency of the PLQ, chose to leave the ship and not not show up.

Dominique Anglade's leadership has been weakened since the elections, so much so that less than ten days after the election a dozen long-time PLQ activists, including several former deputies, have let it be known that she was no longer the right person to lead the formation, accusing her of almost killing the party.

However, the main interested party does not intend to leave. Asked on the program Live with Patrice Roy about his desire to remain at the head of the party, Dominique Anglade replied: It is my intention.

With information from La Presse canadienne

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