Quebec solidaire in search of balance before its operation to conquer the regions

At the dawn of its tour of the regions, Québec solidaire (QS) is proposing the creation of a regional counter-power to counterbalance Christian Dubé’s health reform. And although the party says it wants to listen to voters outside Montreal, it says in the same breath that it does not want to misrepresent itself.

“Our goal is to protect the regions as much as possible from the effects of the Dubé reform,” said the parliamentary leader of QS, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, in an interview with The Canadian Press before the holding of the national council of his party which will be held this weekend in Saint-Hyacinthe.

To do this, the solidarity deputy responsible for the file, Vincent Marissal, wants to convince the Minister of Health to modify his bill so that it includes the creation of monitoring committees. Their function would be to be a counter-power against the centralizing inclinations of Christian Dubé, according to QS.

These committees would have no real powers; Vincent Marissal sees them rather as communication hubs that would be connected with Santé Québec – the structure that the Minister of Health wants to create with his bill.

“If the environment is mobilized with the living forces in a democratic institution like a monitoring committee, and they send all possible and imaginable signals, it will be quite difficult to circumvent them,” he adds.

QS knows that it must win over the regions if it wishes to widen its electoral base in the next elections. The results of the last election were disappointing for Québec solidaire, particularly in the regions. Their campaign was notably weighed down by their proposal to tax polluting vehicles. It is also during its national council that the political formation will launch its regional tour.

But while the left party already has a solution ready to offer the regions in terms of health, the party also claims to be in listening mode.

“The regional tour is not an opportunity for QS to promote its proposals. The goal is to listen to people. […] The 12 deputies will present themselves with a lot of humility to listen to people and try to reflect with them,” assures Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.


While the latest Léger survey commissioned by The Journal of Quebec shows that it is the two parties with more identity-based nationalist positions – the Coalition avenir Québec (37%) and the Parti Québécois (23%) – that are ahead in voting intentions, QS (16%) is betting that can convince the regions with his version of nationalism.

“We have the impression, when we see 90 deputies, that all of Quebec is in the CAQ, but it is a distortion that is caused by our voting system. The majority of Quebecers did not vote for the CAQ in the last elections,” said the supportive parliamentary leader. François Legault’s party obtained 41% of the votes in the last ballot.

“For us, nationalism is also the defense of the territory. And we currently have a territory that is coveted by mining speculators who are in the process of getting their hands on Quebec territory, ”he adds.

Remember that QS is opposed to Law 21 on the secularism of the State. “There are many Quebecers in all regions who are proud to be Quebecers, but who are against Bill 21,” said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

Also, although it supported Bill 96 on the reform of the Charter of the French language, the left-wing party pledged to modify it if it took power. This support has also provoked anger among part of its militant base.

During the previous election campaign, QS also proposed to raise the permanent immigration thresholds between 60,000 and 80,000.

“The entire history of Quebec is the story of a nation that grew rich and grew from the contributions of people from elsewhere. That’s our nationalism at QS. I think there is room for this vision in Quebec,” says Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

The solidarity parliamentary leader also ensures that all subjects will be discussed during their tour of the regions and that everyone can be heard.

And although he affirms that QS is not a “static object”, he adds in the same breath that he wants to prepare his party for the next election “without distorting itself and without giving up [ses] core values.

“I am convinced of one thing, after this tour, QS will have changed,” said Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

The parliamentary leader is also delighted that the tour of the regions comes at a time when the party is in a race to replace Manon Massé as spokesperson, because it will allow ideas to be stirred. The three candidates in the race have also spoken on the question of independence.

Ruba Ghazal wants to place it at the heart of his political action. Émilise Lessard-Therrien wants to focus on sovereignties, that of the regions, cities and Indigenous nations. Finally, Christine Labrie does not wish to make it a priority and rather sees independence as a means of carrying out her party’s project.

According to Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, independence as promoted by QS can resonate in the regions. “I think that our independence project is synonymous with more power for the regions. There is consensus on this at QS, ”he assures.

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