References to fracking, oil, birth policies removed from CAQ website
An attendee walks past hydraulic fracking equipment at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jeff McIntosh)
The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, September 2, 2018 11:51AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 2, 2018 12:01PM EDT
Coalition Avenir Quebec leader Francois Legault is facing questions about the disappearance of references to oil, shale gas and birth rates from his party’s website.
At the start of the campaign, the CAQ website had said a section titled ‘Birth,’ in which the platform for policies to support growing families was laid out.
Among the proposed solutions were increased support for families with a second and third child, reinstatement of the assisted procreation program and a framework for adoption.
The section was taken down on Aug. 29 and when Legault announced a promise to give up to $1,216 to families after a second or third child, Legault said the policy had nothing to do with a desire to increase Quebec’s population or boost the birth rate.
A CAQ spokesperson said the modifications to the website were made to prevent the promise from being associated with a baby-bonus, adding that the family allowance would enhance existing benefits for families with two or more children.
Other parties have pointed to the removal of references to oil and shale gas extraction from the site, saying the CAQ was a “petroleum party.”
CAQ officials said the removal was part of a planned overhaul of the website.
The removal included policies regarding “responsible oil exploitation” and the possibility of “exploiting shale gas by hydraulic fracturing,” except in densely populated areas.
The policies were replaced by text using less specific terminology, such as “exploiting natural resources” without mentioning oil or shale gas, specifically.