Leaders promise dental cleaning, parental leave, and more
Pauline Marois is making an appeal for 'fatigued federalists' to vote for the Parti Quebecois.
On the campaign trail in her riding of Charlevoix, the PQ leader said that the Sept. 4 vote is not a referendum on sovereignty, but a referendum on a "corrupt government."
She also said that a PQ government would not spring a referendum on the population by surprise, but would hold debates first.
However Marois said that she would prefer to "hold a referendum as soon as possible."
Parti Quebecois strategy laid out by MNA Bernard Drainville before the writ was dropped calls for a PQ government to create a series of crises with the federal government in order to spur separatist sentiment before calling a referendum.
Charest offer dental coverage
Meanwhile, Premier Jean Charest said that if re-elected, his government will expand dental coverage for teenagers.
The newly-proposed Liberal plan would make Quebec's health care department, RAMQ, responsible for covering dental care for children up to 16 years old.
Children and teenagers would be covered for one free dental examination per year and fillings.
The current cutoff is age 10.
Charest said the proposal would cost $58 million per year.
Further, Charest said he wants to post waiting times for specialists online, and spend $47 million on community-based care for patients with chronic diseases.
"It's very expensive to hospitalize patients," said Health Minister Yves Bolduc. "Its $300 to $400 per day, so it's much less expensive to keep them at home."
Dr. Mark Roper, director of the MUHC Division of Primary Care said more can be done.
"It doesn't solve a main problem that 30 per cent of your population doesn't have a family doctor, and to know you have diabetes, you need to see one," he said.
Charest said he's fixing his predecessors' mistakes, and that by 2013, Quebec will have 300 family doctor groups.
The Liberal leader also took time to speak to anglophones Wednesday, telling them it makes no sense to support the upstart Coalition Avenir Quebec.
"You get a political party who is going to be determined in dismantling the schoolboards that are so important to the anglophone community, so that's a pretty dismal result for anyone who cares about the future of the anglophone community. It doesn't sound like a very good idea to me," he said.
Legault visits his mother
In Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Coalition Avenir Quebec leader Francois Legault invited reporters into his home and introduced them to his 84-year-old mother.
Over coffee and cookies Legault revealed that he lived at home until he was 30 years old.
He also said that parents needed more time off to deal with their children, and vowed a CAQ government would give parents with children five years old and under an additional five days of paid parental leave each year.
Legault said the measure would cost companies $350 million per year, and would require modifying workplace health and safety laws.
He said this would bring the private sector into line with public employees.
While the morning anouncement targeted middle-class families, Legault also made it clear he's trying to reach out to another demographic -- anglophones.
"I want to tell them one thing: sovereignty is off the table for Francois Legault and for the Coalition. That's very clear," he said.
When asked about how he would vote in a referendum if the PQ were elected, Legault was straightforward.
"No. I think that right now, it's about time that we work on something else," he said.
With files from The Canadian Press