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Philippe Couillard attacks demagogues and populists

Photo: Patrice Bergeron The Canadian Press Philippe Couillard at Château Bromont, Saturday, on the occasion of a celebration of the tenth anniversary of his accession to the post of Prime Minister of Quebec.

Marco Bélair-Cirino in Bromont

Posted at 8:46 p.m. Updated at 9:05 p.m.

  • Quebec

Former Prime Minister Philippe Couillard invites Liberals — and Quebecers — to fight against “demagogues” and “populists” who brandish “scarecrows,” “false fatalities” and “false choices,” among other things, to increase their popularity.

“The freedom […] of others […] is like other people's money, it is very easy to spend. We are responsible for it because we are the majority in Quebec,” he argued in front of half a thousand liberal activists gathered in Bromont on Saturday. “We liberals are fighting against populism and demagoguery. It's not over. […] For some, it is always tempting to add scarecrows, false fatalities, false choices” like “Quebec or Canada”, he added in front of a screen on which the slogan of the electoral campaign Liberal Party of 2014 — “Together, we take care of real business” — appeared.

Personally, Mr. Couillard is still convinced that “being Quebecois is our way of being Canadian.”

Mr. Couillard said he was proud to see the PLQ — which he led from 2013 to 2018 — always defend the “rights of all” without forgetting their “freedom of thought and religion.”

“Who else talks about freedom ?” he asked, while scanning the audience of liberal activists gathered in a conference room at the Château Bromont to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his accession to the post of Prime Minister of Quebec.

He also took pride in having led a government concerned “with justice, of Canadian belonging, economic development and sound management of public finances. “Yes, sound management of public finances! » he exclaimed.

Mr. Couillard later recounted, in a press scrum, that “there was a lot of agitation after the 2018 election about so-called austerity” carried out by his government. “It was very damaging to the party and it was not correct,” he insisted to the journalists gathered in front of him. “Yes, there is a restraint on spending for a short time, but with huge benefit [later]”

Mr. Couillard was careful not to say whether the voters, in his eyes, treated him unfairly by taking away power and entrusting it to the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, François Legault, in 2018. “I will not comment there- on it because in politics, you know gratitude and justice, they are quite elusive concepts”, he simply replied.

The former Prime Minister (2014-2018) and former Minister of Health and Social Services (2003-2008), found himself in the spotlight for the first time since his departure from the National Assembly, in the wake of the PLQ's electoral defeat on October 1, 2018.

Former Liberal leaders, MPs and advisors as well as former Ontario premiers Kathleen Wynne, Alberta's Rachel Notley and British Columbia's Christy Clark, and even former French President François Hollande took advantage of the 10th anniversary of the PLQ election to pay tribute, in person or by video, to Philippe Couillard.

The president of the PLQ, Rafael Ferraro, recalled the decisive victory of Philippe Couillard's team, over that of the Parti Québécois and its projects of “Charter of values” and “separation of Quebec, fist in the air” . “Mr. Couillard, you were a great prime minister! » launched Mr. Ferraro.

Former Quebec Prime Minister Jean Charest highlighted the recovery of public finances carried out during the governance of Philippe Couillard. He predicted that no other head of government will leave power while leaving a surplus of some $8 billion in the coffers of the Quebec state as Mr. Couillard did in the fall of 2018.< /p>

Former Treasury Board President Martin Coiteux — who slashed spending without wavering from April 2014 to January 2016 — thanked Mr. Couillard for inheriting “a Quebec that doubted itself” for the leaving, four and a half years later, “confident in himself”. “You had the courage to restore Quebec to its economic and financial health without which the ambitions of Quebecers could not be achieved,” he declared via screens.

The member for Bourassa-Sauvé, Madwa-Nika Cadet, highlighted the “sense of the State” of Mr. Couillard, who led the Quebec government with “the next generations” and not “the next elections” in mind. “. “Quebecers miss you, Mr. Couillard,” she said, drawing applause in the room.

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