Françoise David's sister Hélène to run for Liberals
Françoise David and her sister Hélène insist there will be no sibling rivarly in a possible election this fall.
Hélène David, the sister of the Quebec solidaire co-spokesperson, has announced her intention to run for the Quebec Liberal party in the Outremont riding.
Liberal leader Philippe Couillard made the announcement at a news conference Sunday morning, thanking David for choosing to leave a “relative comfort for the intensity of political life.”
Hélène David explained that it was a natural decision for her to jump into the political arena, which has long been an interest for her as she comes from a long line of politicians.
She said that civic engagement is part of the ‘David DNA’; she is the daughter, granddaughter great-granddaughter and sister of politicians and senators.
David said she felt that was time to commit because she’s concerned about the economic and social situation in Quebec, and that she’s concerned about the future of her children and the next generation in general.
"What is going on in Quebec is very alarming, I think," she said, insisting that despite different politics, she and her sister support each other, using the analogy of the Olympic medallists the Dufour-Lapointe sisters to explain.
"Françoise and I will be at the top of the hill. We will go and we will skate or ski or anything an we will both be on the podium at the end, and we kiss each other and we will have fun," she said.
Among other roles, Hélène David has served as assistant deputy minister responsible for higher education under Jean Charest, and professor and vice-chancellor at Université de Montréal.She is currently the vice-rector of international relations, the Francophonie and institutional partnerships at the university and holds a PhD in psychology.
Both David sisters were born and raised in Outremont. Françoise David was elected for the first time in 2012 as the MNA for the Gouin riding in Rosemont-Petit-Patrie.
The Montreal riding of Outremont, which consists of Outremont and parts of Mile-End, Cote-des-Neiges and Ville-Marie, has been a Liberal stronghold since 1966, a year after it was first created.
It is currently held by Couillard, who was voted in with a by-election in December. He intends to run in his home riding of Roberval in a future election, which is speculated to be called shortly. Prior to that, the Outremont seat was held by former finance minister Raymond Bachand. Bachand held the position from 2005 until he resigned in August.
Meantime, the Parti Quebecois was making an election-style announcement Sunday, pledging $3 million into researching Quebec's identity.
Couillard said that is an indication of the PQ's long-term goals.
"Let's make no mistake here. Another pq government means another referendum in Quebec. So we say, yes to the economy and no to a referendum," said the Liberal leader.
Political analyst and former Liberal MNA Robert Libman said Couillard's campaign focus on the economy is a must.
"If the election campaign foucuses primarily on identiy politics then the PQ will win this election. If he is able to shift the focus from the media and the population towards the economy, the Liberals have a good chance of actually winning the election," he said.
Couillard, however, said he is concerned the CAQ will split the federalist vote.
"A vote for the CAQ is a vote for the PQ, therefore also a vote for the referendum," he said.
With files from La Presse Canadienne