François Legault, the premier and leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), isn't shy when it comes to sharing his political views.

In fact, when his party burst onto the scene in 2011, many saw it as a way to diverge from Quebec's age-old bipartisan federalist-sovereigntist fight.

The 65-year-old has served as leader of the CAQ since its induction and was voted Quebec's premier during the 2018 election when his party experienced a landslide victory.

Prior to making his mark in the political world, Legault utilized his business degree from HEC Montreal when he co-founded Air Transat in 1986.

He remained the airline's president and CEO until 1997 when he set his sights on politics.

Legault was first elected as an MNA in 1998 under the Parti Québécois (PQ) banner.

He went on to serve as minister of education and as minister of health and social services before leaving the PQ in 2009.

The answers below have been translated from French.

CTV News: What is your top issue during this election and why?

François Legault: It is clear that the question Quebecers will have to ask themselves between now and Oct. 3 is: who has the best team to continue governing in these uncertain times?

I am surrounded by a great team -- the most competent team in the history of Quebec to face the many challenges of our time: inflation, the health-care system, the fight against climate change, public security and so on.

CTV News: What do you think you could have done better in your last mandate?

Legault: I've said it many times before: we should have increased the salaries of orderlies faster and sooner.

That said, we did take the bull by the horns and trained 10,000 orderlies during the pandemic, which helped us better manage the health care system afterwards.

CTV News: You say, "let's continue," but with difficulties in education, health, labour and more, which areas are you planning to invest the most time and money in and why?

Legault: Our priorities are clear: the economy, health, education, the environment and Quebec pride. These are the priorities of Quebecers.

Obviously, the cost of living will be a central issue in this campaign. I was told about it this summer during my tours.

For us at the CAQ, the impact on Quebecers' wallets has always been a priority.

I remember in 2012, 2014 and 2018 being the only leader to talk about this and promising to lower the tax burden on Quebecers.

I'm glad to see the other parties finally getting on board with this debate.

CTV News: Given the backlash against Bill 21 and Bill 96, would you have done anything differently and why/why not?

Legault: Quebec chose a secular state. This is a legitimate choice that must be respected.

Quebecers agree that the state should be secular and a certain neutrality should be required by those who represent it.

The National Assembly adopted Bill 21 in a democratic manner. It is a balanced, moderate and reasonable law. It is supported by a large majority of Quebecers.

Moreover, the French language is the foundation of Quebec's identity; it is what unites us and defines us as a nation.

We must better protect our language, and we are determined to halt its decline.

CTV News: Do you regret your comments about multiculturalism, and do you worry about it possibly affecting how people of colour or minorities view your party?

Legault: Quebecers are a very welcoming people, but they also want to preserve their social cohesion, their francophone identity, their values and their culture.

For many Quebecers, it is crucial to integrate immigrants well. At 50,000 immigrants per year, Quebec receives more immigrants than the United States or France.

We have put everything in place to help our immigrants learn French, and we will continue to do so.

Quebecers are welcoming, tolerant people who are very open to the world. We saw this recently with the reception of Ukrainian refugees.

However, there is still racism and discrimination in Quebec. The most important thing is to work together to fight it.

We have created an action group on racism, which has presented a plan with 25 concrete measures.

Some of these measures are already in place, and we plan to implement them all.

For example, the Department of Public Security is reviewing police interventions and practices so that racial profiling will finally stop.

CTV News: If you get a majority in this election, do you plan to lead in the same way or differently?

Legault: At the Coalition Avenir Québec, we will continue to act, especially regarding immigration because defending our language is a constant battle.

CTV News: Do you plan to encourage gender parity in your party? How do you expect to retain female politicians, especially regarding issues of work-life balance, sexual harassment etc.?

Legault: Since 2018, our political party has been one of the most distinguished in its efforts to give women their rightful place in politics. Our party still presents parity, with 69 women candidates out of 125.

Our 2018 cabinet was also one of parity, which allowed for a tremendous amount of progress on issues related to the status of women, positioning Quebec as a world leader in the fight against sexual assault and domestic violence.

When women take assume positions of power, they are in control of their image.

CTV News: With polls saying you will sweep the province, are you worried about the other parties at all?

Legault: I have enough experience to know that things can change quickly. I take nothing for granted, as keeping the trust of Quebecers is never a given.

I expect things to get tighter during this election campaign, and I will fight to be re-elected.

CTV News: What made you interested in running for office? Is it what you expected it to be?

Legault: I feel very fortunate to have been premier of Quebec for four years.

It was not an easy four years. The pandemic took a lot of energy.

We went through this crisis together, and we all worked hard to protect the most vulnerable, especially our seniors.

It's simple: I want to continue serving Quebecers as premier.

CTV News: What is one positive thing you experienced during the pandemic?

Legault: Despite the pandemic, we have shown that, with courage, we can change things in our health-care system.

We trained 10,000 health-care workers in just three months. We held one of the best vaccination campaigns in the world.

We signed a new agreement that gave nearly 300,000 more Quebecers access to a family medical group.

Of course, there is still work to be done, but we have the best person to deliver the goods: Christian Dubé.

CTV News: What's your favourite thing about being on the campaign trail?

Legault: Meeting Quebecers. This summer, I met a lot of people across the province.

I listened to mothers and fathers who told me about their grocery bills.

I've talked to middle-class workers who depend on their cars for work.

I met with a lot of seniors who don't have a lot of income and who are struggling to get by.

I believe our electoral platform is in line with the concerns of Quebecers.

CTV News: In one sentence or two, why should people vote for your party?

Legault: I invite Quebecers to vote for the Coalition Avenir Québec on Oct. 3 because we have not been able to make all the changes we wanted during our first mandate.

Despite the pandemic, we have delivered on our electoral promises, and with the extraordinary team I have assembled, we still have so much to accomplish.

We are eager to continue.

This profile is part of a series spotlighting Quebec's five main party leaders. The Parti Québécois (PQ) has chosen not to participate. Responses have been edited for clarity and concision.