PQ leader Lisee visits Dawson to woo young voters
Published Friday, February 10, 2017 2:03PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 11, 2017 12:11PM EST
Parti Quebecois leader Jean-Francois Lisee paid a visit to Dawson College on Friday as part of an effort to woo young voters.
The English-language speech touched on topics ranging from Lisee’s promise to not hold a referendum until the party wins a second consecutive mandate to the possible decriminalization of marijuana.
While the speech, which was peppered with jokes, did garner a few laughs, at least one policy proposal came off as a dud to the crowd. Lisee proposed a compulsory French exam for any student wishing to graduate from an English-language CEGEP or university.
"If you are setting up this kind of exit exam in French for those who are graduating from English colleges, you are just setting up a double standard," said Richard Filion, Dawson College's director general.
The visit comes the same week that a report surfaced which showed dire trends in the party’s membership. The document, authored by former leadership candidate Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, painted the PQ as an aging club, where only 14 per cent of the membership is under the age of 40.
Lisee told the packed auditorium that the party is changing.
“Rediscover us. Rediscover, or discover for some of you, the Parti Quebecois,” he said. “It’s not your grandfather’s Parti Quebecois. Some of you are too young to remember the Oldsmobile ad, which was ‘It’s not your grandfather’s Oldsmobile,’ so we always have to adapt.”
Not all the students supported the ideas floated by the PQ leader.
"The first thing he said is that parti quebecois is no longer our grandparent's party, it's a new one, new generation, but every time we ask a question he always comes back to Rene Levesque or 1974," said student Melissa Sestanis.