Philippe Couillard, Liberals unveil economic team
Published Thursday, March 6, 2014 10:30AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:22PM EST
The Liberals unveiled the team that will be tasked with helping to devise a plan to jumpstart the Quebec economy, if they are elected.
Carlos Leitao, Martin Coiteux and Jacques Daoust will lead the Liberals’ economic strategy, Liberal leader Philippe Couillard announced Thursday in Montreal.
At the news conference, the candidates described a climate of “morosity” and “stagnation” under the PQ government.
Couillard pledged to create 250,000 jobs in five years, repeating a campaign promise used by Jean Charest during the 2012 elections.
He said he would achieve that goal by restoring investments the Quebec Infrastructure Plan in his first 100 days in office.
He also pledged to introduce a tax credit for home renovations, present a budget that would give Quebec the stability sought by investors and revive the “Plan Nord”, among other plans.
Couillard said he believes having a federalist party in office has a calming effect on potential investors.
“When a Liberal government comes into office, it tells the world, it tells Quebec, ‘Let’s grow the economy,’” he said.
The team poised to help Couillard achieve those goals is made up of men who specialize in economics and policy.
Leitao was a chief strategist and chief economist with Laurentian Bank Securities.
His biography on their website, which has since been taken down, says Leitao started his career with The Royal Bank, where he honed his expertise in monetary and fiscal policy, relationships with the financial markets, and perhaps most importantly, his “skills as a communicator who can clarify complex issues and subjects.”
Leitao is running in the West Island riding of Robert Baldwin, left vacant by Pierre Marsan who stepped down last week.
Prior to joining the Liberals, Coiteux was a professor at the HEC business school and an economist at the Bank of Canada.
During his time there, he lectured on subjects such as macroeconomics, international economics and international management, among others.
Among his recent research interests listed on the HEC wesite: the competitiveness of the Canadian and Quebec economies. He authored a Feb. 2012 report on the income gap between Quebecers and their counterparts in the rest of Canada.
Coiteux is the candidate in the West Island riding of Nelligan, left vacant by Yolande James who stepped down to spend more time with her young son.
And Daoust is the former head of Investissement Quebec, tasked with contributing to Quebec’s economic development.
Daoust was named to the post in 2006, and was fired by Pauline Marois last June.
Before taking up the post, he held high-profile positions at Laurentian Bank and National Bank.
Daoust will represent Henri-Francois Gautrin’s former riding of Verdun.
Though the CAQ also unveiled their economic strategy Thursday, Couillard didn’t want to comment on their economic plan, saying he hadn’t had the chance to review it.
-- with files from The Canadian Press