Skip to main content

Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade resigns


Dominique Anglade is stepping down after a tumultuous few years as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party (QLP).

As of Dec. 1, she will resign as both party leader and as MNA for the Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne riding.

The announcement was made Monday morning at a Montreal hotel.

"I have informed the party president of my resignation as the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party," Anglade told reporters, calling her years in office one of the most "privileged times in her life."

While announcing her departure, she pointed to the importance of equality and inclusion in politics and in Quebec at large.

"For me, being a Liberal means believing in a society that respects the rights and freedoms of everyone," she said in English.

Anglade, 48, has been under pressure to resign after her party elected only 21 MNAs in the Oct. 3 election, even though it serves as the official opposition. The QLP came fourth in the popular vote.

Party tensions came to a head in late October when Marie-Claude Nichols -- one of the QLP's longest-serving members -- was booted from caucus by Anglade over a disagreement about shadow cabinet positions.

The move was heavily criticized by high-profile MNAs, many of whom were on shaky grounds with Anglade to begin with.

At the time, political analysts said Nichols' expulsion would be the nail in the coffin for Anglade's leadership.

LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: Dominique Anglade's resigns: What's next?


Known today as an outspoken critic of Premier Francois Legault -- and as someone unafraid to butt heads in the National Assembly -- Anglade began her political career as his ally.

Ten years ago, Anglade was president of Legault's Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ). She ran as the CAQ candidate for Quebec's Fabre region but lost to the QLP's Gilles Ouimet in 2012.

But Anglade left the party in 2013, citing ideological differences.

After a two-year stint as president of investment promotion agency Montreal International, Anglade made a surprise pivot to the Liberal party. In 2015, she was elected QLP member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne in a by-election.

She served as economy, science and innovation minister between 2016 and 2018, when the Liberals last sat at the Quebec government's helm.

Two years later, in 2020, Anglade took on the role of party leader after Alexandre Cusson dropped out of the race.

Of Haitian descent, she is the QLP's first-ever female leader and the first person of colour to head a Quebec provincial party.


Despite their differences, Quebec Premier Francois Legault sent his well wishes to Anglade, commending her for her "commitment and dedication to Quebec."

"It takes courage to get into politics. It takes determination to be in politics. It takes humility to quit. Thank you Dominique!" he wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

Parti Quebecois (PQ) and Quebec solidaire (QS) leaders also addressed Anglade's departure on social media.

"Regardless of our differences of opinion, she will have demonstrated resilience and a complete commitment to politics and to her party," PQ Paul St-Pierre Plamondon wrote.

"I will remember her feminist commitment and her sincere concern for mental health. Good luck for the future, I'm sure her next challenge will be worthy of her talent," said QS spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante had a message for Anglade as well.

"Through her work and her involvement, she showed women that it was possible to aspire to the highest political office. Thank you." 

Quebec Conservative leader Eric Duhaime wasted no time getting political about her departure, comparing his party’s votes to hers.

"The Liberals should consider themselves lucky to still have 20 MNAs, when they got almost the same number of votes as the Conservative Party of Quebec," he said, adding, "I wish Dominique well in the future. She is leaving politics in style."

According to the final tally be elections Quebec, the Liberals received 591,077 votes, while the Conservatives received 530,786. The PCQ currently has no MNAs in the National Assembly. 


With Anglade gone, the QLP is faced with a familiar question: what's next?

According to political analyst and former Quebec Liberal MNA David Heurtel, it's time for the party to take a serious look at "the way it does politics."

"Right now, it's a divided party. It's been, for a long time now, a party of different cliques. And so, not only does it need to come together as one coherent political group, but it also [...] needs to evolve from the sovereigntist, federalist dialectic that defined the Liberal party for so many years," Heurtel told CTV News.

As far as who will replace Anglade, Heurtel said there are a few clear options -- as well as a few long shots.

"The most obvious ones within the caucus: Andre Fortin, Marwah Rizqy. For sure, they're seriously considering a run," he said. "If you're looking at it outside the caucus, Pierre Moreau, former cabinet minister, he could be thinking about a run for the leadership."

But a few other names are floating around, Heurtel added -- but they're far less likely to run, he notes.

His list of long shots includes current federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, Hydro-Quebec CEO Sophie Brochu, and federal Quebec City MP Joel Lightbound. Top Stories

Stay Connected