Legault and Marois to demand more federal powers
Published Friday, August 31, 2012 2:29PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 4, 2012 4:40PM EDT
CAQ leader Francois Legault said Friday that his CAQ would be willing to work with the PQ repatriate powers from Ottawa.
“We will support approaches that are consistent with the best interests of Quebec, but we say there’s a better chance of success with a CAQ government rather than a government that has only one priority, to win a referendum,” he said.
Legault's comments were made on the same day that Marois was also talking about repatriating powers from Ottawa.
PQ leader Pauline Marois appeared to have her gaze fixed across the river to Ottawa while campaigning in Gatineau, Friday.
She said that if she is elected premier, she will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper within a few weeks with a list of demands.
Her shopping list includes powers over employment insurance, culture and communication.
She said she would be polite and respectful, but firm in presenting her demands.
“I will name my cabinet and within weeks I will contact Mr. Harper,” she said at a press conference at Gatineau City Hall.
Marois also said that she would have a larger discussion with Harper about other issues but did not elaborate.
Predictions of a Marois-led PQ winning a majority of seats in the September 4 election have recently shifted, as more recent polls suggest that the PQ might instead lead a minority government.
In her comments Friday Marois urged voters not to divide the separatist vote, a reference to a poll which indicates that the Quebec Solidaire party has ticked up another percentage point to nine points in support.
Some believe that the leftist-separatist QS could win up to three seats that the PQ would dearly like to have.
“In a minority government, it will be very difficult to move at the pace I would like to in advancing our sovereignty project, because I have two federalist parties to battle,” she said.
Legault predicts CAQ majority
François Legault is predicting a wave of support at the ballot box that will propel him to the head of a majority government on September 4.
Legault made the comments at a restaurant in Quebec City where he was chatted with some diners over breakfast.
“A change has taken place since the debate and it feels like there’s a wave coming. We’ll be able to win a majority government,” he said.
Earlier at a press conference, Legault said that the Liberals would not get voted back in because they lag in francophone support.
A new CROP poll published Friday in the La Presse newspaper puts the PQ in a position to form a minority government with 32 percent, the CAQ forming the official opposition with 28 percent support while the Liberals would take third place, with their 26 percent support.The QS would win nine percent of the vote.
Legault appealed to voters of all stripes, saying that his is the party of stability.
“A Liberal government is an impossible result, they are too far behind in their support among francophones, so the CAQ can realistically form a government September 4,” he said.
Legault called Charest “unreliable,” a term Charest had used against Legault in the debates, a comment which elicited a round of chuckles form those assembled.
“Charest is not telling the truth when he says that it’s impossible for him to get elected, he’s unreliable,” said Legault..
Charest said that he expects to win seats in Montreal, an area that is expected to be divided up among Liberals and PQ.
The CAQ campaign will be hitting Saguenay Friday for the first time since the campaign began 30 days ago.
Legault also predicted that that any attempt to block his plans to abolish school boards by having the plan ruledt unconstitutional will fail.
Charest said CAQ weak in several regions
Liberal leader Jean Charest appears to have adopted a more dismissive tone towards the upstart rival CAQ, which polls suggest will eat into his support in the upcoming September 4 provincial election.
Charest’s comments Friday kept honing in on his now-familiar criticism of Legault's stated neutrality on the issue of Quebec independence.
Charest, campaigning in the La Severe, a small town about halfway up the road from Montreal to Quebec City, said that the choice is between the PQ’s vision and his own.
“The choice is very clear, there is nothing in between,” he said.
Charest also dismissed two recent media endorsements of Legault’s CAQ, one from the The Globe and Mail and the other The National Post.
Both Toronto-based dailies appeared to like Legault’s fresh approach, but Charest pointed out that those newspapers cannot vote.
Charest also said that the CAQ will not form a government because it lacks support in Eastern Townships, the Ottawa-area, Montreal Island, Abitibi and Saguenay.
-With files from The Canadian Press