Skip to main content

Quebec byelection: PQ's Pascal Paradis wins Jean-Talon

Parti Québécois (PQ) candidate Pascal Paradis won the byelection in the Quebec City area riding of Jean-Talon Monday, knocking the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) candidate to second place and growing the PQ's modest presence in the National Assembly.

Paradis is the first PQ candidate to win the seat. Before the CAQ took over, the riding was considered a Liberal fortress, with voters opting for that party every year from 1965 to 2019.

Paradis held a sizable lead shortly after polls closed. After officials counted 57 ballot boxes out of 163, he had already picked up 44 per cent of the vote. The CAQ started in a distant second, and remained there for most of the night. Despite the PQ's decisive win on Monday, they were neck-and-neck with the CAQ in the weeks leading up to the election.

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon spoke to supporters shortly before 9:30 p.m. He congradulated Paradis, now the party's fourth MNA in the National Assembly. 

He also poked fun at the CAQ, referencing it's slogan in last year's general election: "Continuons," meaning we, or let's, continue.

"I think, tonight, the message from voters here in Jean-Talon is simple: 'we can't, and we don't have to (continue).'"

Shortly after, he criticized the CAQ's calls for Quebec City to become the province's "second metropolis," after Montreal. 

"It must be the capital of our people, and the capital of our nation," said St-Pierre Plamondon. 

Supporters react to the announcement of Parti Quebecois candidate Pascal Paradis being elected in the Jean-Talon byelection, in Quebec City, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot


Quebec Premier Francois Legault spoke alongside CAQ candidate Marie-Anik Shoiry to thank her for running and to congratulate her PQ opponant. 

"I give you a huge 'thank you,'" said Legault, speaking to Shoiry. "You ran an extroardinary campaign."

"You haven’t lost," he added. "You’ve won the respect of the entire CAQ family."

It's a significant upset for the CAQ, who effectively gave up the seat when CAQ MNA Joelle Boutin quit politics in the summer, triggering the byelection.

Boutin stepped away from the seat to take on a job in the private sector.

Quebec solidaire (QS) ran Olivier Bolduc as its candidate, who finished second to Boutin in last year's general election. With 99 per cent of ballots counted, QS came in third, drawing about a fifth of ballots cast. 

The Quebec Liberals put up Elise Avard Bernier. Despite her party's long-standing, albeit lost, grip on the riding, the Liberals placed a distant fourth place.

Monday's participation rate stood at around 60 per cent, with around 25,000 total voters casting ballots. More than one-fifth of eligible voters -- 22 per cent -- voted early on Sept. 24-25.

The Coalition Avenir Quebec holds 89 seats in the 125-seat legislature, followed by the Liberals at 19, Quebec solidaire with 12. The PQ now has four MNAs, and there is one Independent member.

-- Published with files from The Canadian Press Top Stories


NEW Canada's primary care needs serious updates, study reveals

Canada is trailing behind other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries when it comes to both the number of physicians relative to the population, and its spending on primary care, according to a new analysis published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

These are the 5 headlines you should read this morning

Global Affairs Canada confirms the death of an eighth Canadian amid the Israel-Hamas war, Venezuelans approve a referendum to claim sovereignty over much of Guyana, and international students are once again set to face working hour limits.

Stay Connected