Next federal election | The Bloc wants to grab Liberal seats in Estrie

(Ottawa) The Bloc Québécois will be working hard this week in the hope of sending a strong signal to Estrie, a region where the party wants to make gains at the expense of the Liberals in the next general election.

“Yes, we have our sights set on Estrie,” admits Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet in an interview with The Canadian Press.

And the Bloc will not do things by halves. Not only will he hold his pre-sessional caucus in Sherbrooke, but he also organized a symposium on energy in Bromont and no less than thirty meetings of MPs with civil society here and there.

The Bloc is neck and neck with the Liberals in voting intentions in several coveted ridings in the region. And they know it very well.

« Brome-Missisquoi, Sherbrooke [et] Compton-Stanstead are obviously places where we will go and question people more often, ”says Mr. Blanchet.

As well immediately send distinguished greetings respectively to Liberal MPs Pascale St-Onge, Élisabeth Brière and Marie-Claude Bibeau.

All of this “starts from a disappointment”: that the distribution of seats in Quebec remained the same during the last general elections in 2021. “We had hopes for Estrie, loose Mr. Blanchet. We must have gone about it incorrectly. »

He notes that the approach will be “a bit different” this time around. The Bloc members will deal extensively with the “Estrienne and Sherbrooke identity” which is “entrepreneurial and economic”.

And Yves-François Blanchet is not shy in an interview to praise “this innovation, this proximity to international axes in terms of development” of the region. This is “properly remarkable,” he said. As for “high technology between Bromont and Sherbrooke”, it is “recognized” and constitutes “a cutting-edge sector to work on”.

“Conservative thugs”

One week before the start of the parliamentary term, the progress of the Conservatives in national voting intentions does not worry the Bloc members too much, assures Yves-François Blanchet.

“A Conservative comeback positions us to win Liberal seats, then a Liberal comeback positions us to win Conservative seats because we, our voting intentions are either flat or up,” he said.

According to the most recent sounding by Abacus Data, Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives would win 40% of the vote. They are followed by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals at 26% and Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats at 19%.

In Quebec, the Bloc leads in voting intentions. This same poll gave them 30%, the Liberals 28%, the Conservatives 25% and the New Democrats 12%. But a few days earlier, the gap was more significant when the Léger firm placed the Bloc at 26%, the Liberals at 30%, the Conservatives at 18% and the New Democrats at 10%.

In recent days, Pierre Poilievre has increased attacks against the Liberals, but also against the Bloc Québécois. In particular, he has repeatedly described carbon pricing as a “Blanchet-Trudeau tax”.

“Justin Trudeau and the Bloc who punish your work, take your money, tax your food, and double the price of your accommodation,” the Conservative leader had launched in front of his activists gathered in congress in Quebec.

This change in tone had already not gone unnoticed by Yves-François Blanchet when he conducted the interview a few days earlier. He already said he expected “extremely tense” relations this fall with “conservative thugs” with whom “it’s a clear break”.

Mr. Blanchet criticizes them for not behaving in a “noble” way by producing “negative advertisements based on lies”.

With respect to carbon pricing, for example, “they [les conservateurs] extirpate what suits them to associate me with Trudeau who, currently, obviously, is not at the best of his popularity.

“Obviously, with this nonsense, we get disgusted on social networks,” he sighs.

In any case, Mr. Blanchet says he does not believe that Pierre Poilievre will form a majority government.

In fact, it would be “very, very bad” for Quebec for any party to hold a majority of the seats in the House of Commons, according to him. And conversely, a minority government would be a scenario in which the Bloc has a greater balance of power to “impose its will on important issues for Quebec”.

“I don’t see Quebecers being subjected to conservative values, oil values, anti-abortion values, conservative conspiratorial values. I think they have no desire to be subject to a Trudeau government that many people are completely fed up with. »

It will be a busy political week as the Liberals will also hold their pre-sessional caucus in London, Ontario. Next Monday, elected officials will return to the House for the resumption of parliamentary work.

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