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Conservative leader asks CAQ MNAs to join his party after third link 'betrayal'

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Conservative Party of Quebec (CPQ) leader Eric Duhaime wrote an open letter to members of the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), asking them to join his party after Francois Legault's government backtracked on the third link tunnel.

"Faced with the betrayal of François Legault on the 3rd link, the CAQ MNAs from Quebec now have only two options: submit to the party line or honour the confidence of their voters," he wrote in a letter to the 14 MNAs in the ruling party who represent the Quebec City and Levis region.

"I extend my hand and invite you to speak with me... Let's evaluate together if there is a way to mitigate the current democratic distortion, to make the national assembly more representative of Quebec's reality, more respectful of citizens' choices, especially in our region."

The third link tunnel between Levis and Quebec City was a major campaign promise, with Sorel-Tracy MNA Eric Caire going as far as saying he would leave his seat if the tunnel wasn't built.

The CAQ said the tunnel would be public transit only if it's built.

A petition signed by over 5,200 people is calling for Caire's resignation.

Caire, Education Minister Bernard Drainville, International Relations Minister Martine Biron, the premier, and other CAQ members lined up to apologize to voters in the region for the change in plans. Drainville choked back tears as he apologized.

Duhaime is looking to capitalize on the about-face.

"The decision they make over the next few days will probably be the most important of their lives and will shape how they are judged," he wrote. "I sincerely hope they choose to stand up and stand with their fellow citizens, rather than standing behind Mr. Legault."

Duhaime lost the Quebec City borough riding of Chauveau seat to CAQ MNA Sylvain Levesque. 

"It's not the promise of a third link that was broken," Duhaime wrote on Facebook. "it's the bond of trust towards CAQ!"

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