Quebec looks to Sept. 4 election
Premier Jean Charest asks Lt. Governor to dissolve the National Assembly
(updated at 4:20 p.m.)
Shortly before 11 a.m. on August 1, Quebec Premier Jean Charest set off to meet with Pierre Duchesne, Lt. Governor of Quebec, to ask him to dissolve the National Assembly — the first step in the election call process.
The campaign officially starts after his government issues an order to Quebec’s Chief Electoral Officer.
As for the election, that will take place Sept. 4: Quebec Elections Act says the election must be held on the fifth Monday after the election order has been issued.
After visiting the Lt. Governor, Charest and his wife headed to the Quebec City’s Jean Lesage airport where he unveiled his campaign bus with a “Pour le Québec” [For Quebec] slogan and spoke to reporters.
“I’m standing before you right now because I feel in my heart like I’ve never felt before in any campaign that this is something that is worth fighting,” Charest said. “This is a battle worth waging on the future of Quebec.”
A Léger marketing poll released August 1 indicates a tight race between the four major parties, with 33 per cent of Quebec voters ready to elect a Parti Québécois government and 31 per cent willing to re-elect the Liberals and Charest to a fourth term. The poll shows 21 per cent plan to vote for the centre-right Coalition Avenir Québec and seven per cent for the nationalist Québec Solidaire party.
Speaking in advance of the formal election call, PQ leader Pauline Marois told reporters August 1 that Quebec sovereignty should not be the key issue in the election: “We’re not voting for or against a referendum, we’re voting for or against a future government.”
Meanwhile, CAQ leader François Legault challenged Charest and the other party leaders to participate in two “town hall”-type meetings where voters could grilled the leaders about their party platforms.
In the Ungava riding, which includes Nunavik, the four major parties have already lined up their candidates:
• Luc Ferland, PQ, the incumbent MNA;
• Gérald Lemoyne for the Liberals;
• Stéphane Robichaud, CAQ; and,
• Sylvain Couture, QS.
Other candidates are still likely to come forward.
Bruno Auclair, formerly of Puvirnituq, told Nunatsiaq News he plans to run for Quebec’s Green Party, le Parti Vert.