Photo: Karoline Boucher The Canadian Press PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon spoke in a brasserie in Alma on Wednesday, on the sidelines of his party's pre-sessional caucus.
Thomas Laberge – The Canadian Press in Thetford Mines
PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon does not want to debate alone with solidarity leader Guillaume Cliche-Rivard on the question of immigration.
“If a television network invites the five leaders to explain their position on immigration and to debate it, Paul would be happy to be there,” indicated in writing the communications director of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Louis Lyonnais.
“Paul received a similar request from Éric Duhaime who wanted to debate one-on-one a month ago. With four deputies, our leader is not at the service of the other opposition parties who want to assert themselves. His interlocutor is François Legault,” he adds.
After arguing online over the issue of immigration earlier this week, Guillaume Cliche-Rivard invited PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon to a television debate on Wednesday.
“We can continue to debate through texts, but I believe that Quebecers deserve to be spoken about in person. The leader of the Parti Québécois often repeats that it is healthy to debate and exchange. This is why I invite him today to formally debate immigration in a televised debate,” the solidarity MP indicated in a press release.
Earlier this week, the two men engaged in a numbers war on social media over immigration, while accusing each other of polarizing the debate.
- War of numbers between the PQ and QS on the theme of immigration
- The increase in temporary immigration on everyone’s lips in Quebec
- Drainville warns Trudeau against a “break” in education caused by immigration
In his press release, Guillaume Cliche-Rivard deplores that the PQ leader did not answer one of his questions: “Who are we excluding if we want to drastically reduce immigration in Quebec ? Foreign students who contribute to making Quebec an important center of education and research ? Agricultural workers who work to feed Quebec ? Beneficiary attendants in our health network ? Workers who assemble wind turbine blades in Gaspé ? »
Last week, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said his party would reassess its permanent immigration thresholds, currently set at 35,000 new arrivals per year, arguing that the situation had changed significantly since the last election. Québec solidaire instead proposes permanent immigration thresholds between 60,000 and 80,000 per year.
The Parti Québécois and Québec solidaire also have opposing visions on the issue of temporary immigrants. While QS affirms that their increase in Quebec is linked in particular to the shortage of workers, the PQ maintains instead that, according to economists, “the effect of immigration on the labor shortage is zero”.
There are currently more than half a million temporary immigrants in Quebec.