Francois Legault unveils Coalition for the Future
Published Monday, February 21, 2011 12:29PM EST
After months of speculation former PQ cabinet minister Francois Legault has finally launched his Coalition for the Future of Quebec.
Legault and his partner Charles Sirois officially presented the manifesto for what they are calling a political group Monday morning in Quebec City.
Despite the fact Legault has become one of the most popular political figures in the province ever since his announcement that Quebec should have a new right-of-center party, the pair say they are not yet willing to make the jump to officially becoming a political party.
A Leger Marketing poll conducted on Feb. 19 and 20 indicated that if Legault was leading a political party, 30 percent of voters would choose him, compared to 24 percent who would vote Liberal, and 24 percent who would choose the Parti Quebecois.
With a provincial election years away, Legault and Sirois seem content to slowly build support, and say later this year they will tour the province to hear what the public has to say.
One thing is certain, Legault and Sirois, a former pequiste and a former Liberal, say Quebec has to bury the sovereignty debate.
"We have to forget about what happened in the past and look in the future," said Legault. "We are trying to help Quebec and we are coming from different political families, so there's no reason to start a battle."
Priorities are education, economy
The Coalition says Quebec needs to focus on its economy, managing health care, and dealing with the high drop out rate in high schools.
Legault is proposing higher salaries for teachers, but at the same time wants them to be evaluated in order to weed out bad educators.
He is also saying universities need more funding, which should come both from an increase in tuition and more government spending.
However, while Legault feels Bill 101 should be enforced, he thinks expanding it to restrict access to English Cegeps - as Parti Quebecois Language Critic Pierre Curzi recently proposed - would be a bad idea.
Legault also says that taxes are high enough, and a government should do more to cut spending rather than adding user fees.