Charest downplays debates, promises Laval more metro parking
Published Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:17PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 18, 2012 6:37PM EDT
A mellow Jean Charest dominated the campaign attention Saturday, as his opponents stayed off the hustings to prepare for Sunday evening’s leaders’ debate.
Charest, while promising new metro parking spaces for Laval, downplayed the importance of the debates, noting that he had previously,“won debates and then lost the election and also lost debates and then won the election.”
The Liberal premier will be pitted against the relatively-inexperienced CAQ leader Francois Legault, but Charest refused to admit that his experience gave him an advantage over the upstart, noting that Legault had participated in years of debates in the National Assembly.
He said that he expected to be the target of "ferocious attacks."
Charest made the comments at a press conference Laval-des-Rapides where he promised to build 11,500 new parking spots for to allow commuters to hop on the metro to downtown Montreal.
The $63 million investment would increase by total of such parking spots by 30 percent. He said he would also pour in $21 million for another 1,500 spots outside the Montmorency station.
Laval des Rapides is a swing riding currently held by Liberal Alain Paquet, who is facing a strong challenge from PQ candidate Leo Bureau-Blouin and CAQ candidate Maud Cohen.
After the event, Charest put his campaigning on hold to prepare for the debate.
The debate is slated for Sunday evening, while TVA is hosting another three one-on-one debates later. No English language debates are planned.
-With a file from The Canadian Press