Quebec election 2022: Q&A with Quebec Liberal Party Leader Dominique Anglade
Compared to her political adversaries, Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) Leader Dominique Anglade stands out: she is a woman and a person of colour.
The 48-year-old is notably the first woman leader of the PLQ, the first Black woman to head a provincial party in Quebec and the first person of Haitian descent to exercise a ministerial function in Canada.
Anglade's entrance to politics started in 2012 when she ran with the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) in the riding of Fabre, losing to the Liberal candidate.
A few years later, in 2015, she crossed the floor to the PLQ, citing conflict with the CAQ's position on ethnic identity and immigration, and was successfully elected in a byelection in Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne.
Anglade was named party leader in 2020, following the departure of former premier Philippe Couillard.
CTV News: What is your top issue during this election and why?
Dominique Anglade: Our economy. We need to help families make ends meet and fight the effects of inflation and the rising cost of living.
With our "Pocketbook Plan," we will put an additional $5,000 a year (on average) in the pockets of Quebec families.
CTV News: Do you think you could have been a stronger, more confident opposition?
Anglade: Every day, we stood up to defend every Quebecer's rights. We voted against Bill 96 and Bill 21.
Day after day, we challenged the CAQ on the subjects that matter: health care, education, the rising cost of living and the effects of the labour shortage.
We have worked tirelessly to provide real solutions to these real issues, and I am very proud of the work we have done.
Now, we are focused on winning the next election.
CTV News: What issues, over the last mandate, are you most concerned about?
Anglade: The current government has completely ignored the labour shortage, which is appalling.
It is the biggest economic challenge we are facing, and the consequences of the labour shortage can be seen everywhere in our society: the service industry, the manufacturing sector and perhaps most acutely, in our public services such as health care and education.
The labour shortage puts tremendous pressure on the shoulders of overworked employees, who are doing their absolute best in very difficult conditions.
This is why we have proposed numerous policies to alleviate the effects of the labour shortage, such as tax exemptions to help experienced workers stay in the job market, as well as measures to utilize immigration potential further.
CTV News: As the only female person of colour party leader, do you see yourself being perceived differently from your male counterparts?
Anglade: I've worked hard all my life to break glass ceilings, and I will continue to do so.
I know Quebecers will judge me based on the ideas and solutions I bring to the table and conclude that these policies are the best way forward.
CTV News: How do you expect to hold onto the anglophone vote?
Anglade: We are focused on the real issues people are concerned about.
We will put more money in Quebecers' pockets and tackle the labour shortage.
We are the only political party that is truly committed to working with all Quebecers, and we want to find common ground to address the problems that Quebecers are facing.
We are also the only party that voted against Bills 96 and 21.
CTV News: Do you feel you've done enough this last mandate to warrant being elected? What are your thoughts on how the previous government led?
Anglade: Quebecers will be the ultimate judge of that, but personally, yes.
I believe that as a political party, and with myself as a leader, we have poured all our energy into raising awareness about the issues affecting Quebecers in their daily lives.
We have worked incredibly hard to bring real solutions to those issues.
Regarding the previous government, despite its shortcomings and mistakes in managing the pandemic, I believe they showed real resilience in the face of hardship.
CTV News: Do you regret your Bill 96 proposal, given the backlash from the English community?
Anglade: We've said it time and time again, Bill 96 is a flawed bill.
We want to repeal the notwithstanding clause, clauses limiting access to health and social services, provisions that allow searches without a warrant, provisions imposing administrative burdens on businesses, the six-month deadline imposed on newcomers to learn French, the freeze on English CEGEP enrolment and give all students back the right to make their own choices about their post-secondary education.
We would reinstate the urgently needed expansion of Dawson College, restore judicial independence, give the magistrature back the right to appoint judges according to their needs and exempt Indigenous Peoples from Bill 96.
CTV News: Do you plan to remain party leader no matter the results?
Anglade: All my attention is focused on winning this election.
CTV News: What made you interested in running for office? Is it what you expected it to be?
Anglade: My desire to be an agent of change comes from the example set by my parents, who fought for their convictions.
Having the opportunity to help our fellow citizens every day, having the ability to affect their lives positively, in big or sometimes small ways, is a feeling like no other.
CTV News: What is one positive thing you experienced during the pandemic?
Anglade: The ability of Quebecers of all stripes and from all walks of life to come together to face great challenges.
There is so much hope to be found in the millions of stories of care and solidarity for one another that we have seen during the pandemic.
CTV News: What's your favourite thing about being on the campaign trail?
Anglade: The ability to go out and meet Quebecers from all regions to discuss their hopes, their dreams and their everyday struggles is something that gives me tremendous energy.
CTV News: In one sentence or two, why should people vote for your party?
Anglade: We are proposing real solutions to the real issues Quebecers face every day.
We have no time nor energy to waste on debates that have the sole aim of dividing us and pitting Quebecers against each other.
We want to unite all Quebecers around the same table because we believe the way forward is together.
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.