On the defensive last week, François Legault went on the attack during a leaders’ debate without a bang on Radio-Canada on Thursday. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was the target of his main criticisms, while Éric Duhaime suffered his wrath for his opposition to sanitary measures.
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The spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, was questioned from the outset about his tax for polluting vehicles. A Dodge Grand Caravan would be subject to a surcharge of $7,000, argued host Patrice Roy.
Jumping into the fray, François Legault accused him of living “in wonderland” with his plan to reduce GHGs by 55% by 2030. All evening, his strongest attacks were aimed at the solidarity leader .
The latter replied by accusing the outgoing Prime Minister of “misinforming” Quebecers when he criticizes his proposals. “Stop bringing out the Halloween decorations,” he repeatedly retorted.
The spotlight then turned to the studies that François Legault refuses to make public in support of his project for a third link between Quebec and Lévis. An update is in progress, he pleads. The CAQ leader, however, was unable to say “who is doing the study and how much does it cost? “, as the leader of the PCQ, Éric Duhaime, asked him.
In a press conference, afterwards, Mr. Legault clarified that the project office, accompanied by consultants, is carrying out the work.
The outgoing Prime Minister also undertook, during the section on the environment, not to allow the creation of mines to extract the minerals necessary for electric batteries in areas where the population opposes them. “When there is no social license, there will be no exploitation,” he promised.
Fight against inflation
Topic of the hour, the fight against inflation has earned criticism from the outgoing Prime Minister, who has again been the object of heavy fire. The tax cuts promised by Mr. Legault and Dominique Anglade are “a one-way ticket to austerity”, launched PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.
Éric Duhaime also denounced the desire of the caquiste to reduce payments to the Generations Fund, which is equivalent to “buying the next election by mortgaging the next generation”.
Two visions of health
The crisis in the health system has for its part made it possible to highlight the ideological gap between the parties.
The Conservative leader proposes to allow patients to be monitored privately, while being covered by the health insurance card. “A monopoly doesn’t work,” said Éric Duhaime about the current system. QS, he said, offers “healthy socialism”.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who relies on a 100% public system, rather argued that private health care has been amply tested “If it worked, we would know,” he hammered.
Sparks on the Pandemic
For a rare time during the evening, the tone rose on the set when François Legault accused Éric Duhaime of having been an “agitator” and of having “benefited from the suffering” during the pandemic. “How many more elders were you willing to sacrifice? “, he launched.
“You have been irresponsible with the children of Quebec, Mr. Legault. Never forget that, ”retorted the Conservative leader.
After the exchange, the scowling face of the CAQ leader left little doubt about the anger that inhabited him. The Conservative leader “disqualified” himself during the pandemic, said Mr. Legault during the press briefing following the debate.
Last Chance Debate
François Legault, however, appeared in a better mood during this final debate before the elections, he who had seemed irritated on many occasions last Thursday. The outgoing Prime Minister had also dropped the glasses he wore the last time.
Dominique Anglade, she seemed generally ignored by Mr. Legault. But the Liberal leader scored points during a segment on education, where she criticized the outgoing Prime Minister for penalizing women by failing to give a place for every child in CPEs.
The evening ended with a battle over sovereignty. Only the PLQ opposes independence, claimed Dominique Anglade. “We don’t want a referendum,” assured Mr. Legault. To which the PQ leader replied that Mr. Legault is trying to extinguish the flame of sovereignty.
On the other hand, the CAQ leader did not say whether he would vote “yes” or “no” in a possible referendum.
Law 21 on the Wearing of Religious Symbols for State Officials in Positions of Authority
“It is a law that is not unanimous in Quebec, there are people who have been hurt by this law and we are going to keep what is good in Bill 21, ( …) but we will make sure that if a woman wants to work in a school, she can do it, even if she wears a headscarf” – Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois
“Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, you gave in to the radicals of your party because you said the exact opposite the last time” – François Legault
About the 3rd link
Éric Duhaime: Mr. Legault, who is doing the study and how much does this study you are talking about cost?
François Legault: there is a study that is currently being done…
Éric Duhaime: Answer my question. Who is doing the study?
François Legault: I don’t know exactly… how much
About QS’s ambitious GHG reduction targets and amber taxes
(surcharge on polluting cars, factory closures and increased debt)
François Legault: I feel like it’s a bit like magic, it’s a bit like being in Wonderland Mr. Nadeau-Dubois
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois You should put away the Halloween decorations, a little bit. Stop scaring people
About the need or not to build new dams
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois: Mr. Legault, people have a choice. Either they believe Mr. Third Link or they believe the experts. I think they will choose to believe the experts.
François Legault: Your business is magic!