Gaetan Barrette to run as Liberal candidate in La Piniere
MONTREAL -- The president of the Quebec Federation of Medical Specialists, Gaetan Barrette, will run as the Liberal candidate in the Monteregie riding of La Piniere.
Gaetan Barrette will be the Liberal candidate in the South Shore riding of La Piniere.
Calling it the best medical team in politics, Barrette announced his intention to run Monday under the leadership of Philippe Couillard, who is also a medical doctor, specializing in neurosurgery.
“A majority Liberal government, that's the remedy to this situation -- a single injection,” said Barrette.
The riding has been represented by the Liberals' Fatima Houda-Pepin since 1994.
Houda-Pepin recently parted company with the Liberals over the party's stance on the government's proposed charter of values.
She is expected to announce on Tuesday she will run as an Independent.
Barrette ran unsuccessfully for the Coalition Avenir Quebec in the 2012 election. At that time, he bad-mouthed the Liberals, but now says a threat of a referendum makes Liberals the best choice to fight it.
“I believe that Quebec needs it, you need it, we all need it,” he said.
He is stepping down as head of the group that represents specialist doctors.
Barrette once pledged a family doctor for every Quebecer within a year. Couillard said Monday it's too early to make healthcare promises.
“We will bring practical solutions to practical problems not false solutions for false problems,” he said.
Barrette rejected claims he’s an opportunist.
“Don’t tell me that I am cynical by trying to be in a position to help and serve Quebecers," he said.
Economist to run for Liberals
Meantime sources say the chief economist for the Laurentian Bank will also be running for the Liberals.
Carlos Leitao will run in the West Island riding of Robert-Baldwin, one of several Liberal strongholds that have been vacated in the past week. The riding is currently held by Pierre Marsan, who has decided not to seek re-election.
PQ wants St-Henri-Ste-Anne riding
Meanwhile, the Parti Quebecois is hoping former Montreal city councillor Veronique Fournier can win the Liberal stronghold of St-Henri-Ste-Anne, claiming voters there want to debate sovereignty.
Anglos should support the PQ if they want to be part of what she believes is coming, she said.
“As everyone in Quebec, if we're making decisions, it's a collective decision,” she said.
Quebec solidaire announces candidates
Quebec solidaire also announced a string of candidates Monday.
Rosa Pires, the founder of a group of sovereigntsts who are against the PQ's Charter of Values, will run in Verdun.
Well-known union leader Claude Genereux, who most recently ran for the leadership of the FTQ, will try to take Bourassa-Sauve for the party.
Other candidates announced Monday include a lawyer and a gym teacher.
Quebec solidaire said it's aiming to offer voters a choice of people with practical experience in the community, rather than seasoned politicians.
Likely election call Wednesday
All signs are pointing to a Quebec election call on Wednesday.
Premier Pauline Marois is widely expected to ask the Lieutenant Governor Pierre Duchesne to dissolve the National Assembly on Wednesday and issue the writs for a provincial vote on Monday, April 7.
A consortium of English-language broadcasters, including CTV, has asked Premier Marois for an election debate in English.
The premier has already said she prefers only one French debate.
The consortium is asking her to consider a second debate in English toward the end of the campaign.
With a report from The Canadian Press