Solidarity Quebec Congress | The finish line of a “three-way race”

(Gatineau) The largest delegation from Québec solidaire since its founding 18 years ago is meeting in Gatineau this weekend to designate the one who will succeed Manon Massé as co-spokesperson. While the party is stagnating in the polls, this choice risks being decisive for the future.

What there is to know

Delegates will choose on Sunday who, Christine Labrie, Ruba Ghazal or Émilise Lessard-Therrien, will succeed Manon Massé as co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire.

Nearly 600 delegates gathered in Gatineau, the largest convention since the founding of the party.

This choice will be decisive for the strategy that the party intends to adopt to break its ceiling in voting intentions.

The party will also debate a resolution to temporarily allow “only women and non-binary people” to appear at an investiture meeting while the caucus regains a gender balance.

“That was the debate of the race. What do we need to do to continue to grow, to take power and make changes? After that, which of the three versions the members will choose to prioritize, that’s what we will know on Sunday,” said the party’s parliamentary leader, Alexandre Leduc, at a press briefing late Friday afternoon.

And this congress is taking place while a recent survey shows that the Coalition Avenir Québec is in free fall in voting intentions, but that Québec solidaire continues to stand still and that only the Parti Québécois, now first, benefits.

This reality absolutely does not dampen the morale of the activists, according to Mr. Leduc. “I don’t feel depressed. It raises questions. […] We always continue to question ourselves. But I don’t feel depressed here,” he said.

Close race

MPs Ruba Ghazal, Christine Labrie and former MP Émilise Lessard-Therrien will have one last chance to make their case this Saturday morning during a debate, then delegates will vote on Sunday. And this vote will be close, according to the three candidates.


The candidates for the position of female co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Christine Labrie, Émilise Lessard-Therrien and Ruba Ghazal, during a debate in Trois-Rivières, on October 29

“It’s really a three-way race. It’s difficult in the end to know what the result is,” said Ruba Ghazal. In the press scrum, the member for Mercier recalled that she proposed talking more about language, culture and sovereignty to “counter the nationalist discourse of the CAQ” and its “false pride”. She also attacks the “right-wing identity discourse closed in on itself, which says that immigration threatens French”, which is held by “the PQ and the CAQ”, and wants to attract the vote of people from immigration.

Sherbrooke MP Christine Labrie argues for her part that Québec solidaire must show that it is ready to govern. She said during the race that the party needed to lose its “cloud-shoveling” image.

The Parti Québécois has already governed in the past. It may represent an easier safe haven for voters who are disappointed with the CAQ. We have this demonstration to make at Québec Solidaire that we are ready to govern. This is particularly what I put forward in the campaign.

Christine Labrie, candidate for the position of female co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

For her part, the former member for Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue Émilise Lessard-Therrien is banking on the regions. “Our main challenge is the issue of capping. We will have to look for new territories. QS is very strong in large centers, in cities, there is a prospect of significant growth in rural areas, in the regions of Quebec. Our challenge is to ensure that all of Quebec recognizes itself in our political project at Québec solidaire,” she said.

Vote of confidence

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois will also have to be re-elected to his position as co-spokesperson. He has no opponents, but delegates will be able to vote for “the chair”, which constitutes a vote of confidence. In his last election, he obtained 94% support. But this time, former MP Catherine Dorion threw a wrench into the pond by publishing a book in which she criticized his leadership. However, he has the support of members of the caucus.


Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

Québec solidaire will also discuss political proposals aimed at containing the cost of living, including the idea of ​​capping the profits of supermarket chains, since the price of food has increased by 18% in two years, and that of providing meals to school for all primary and secondary students.

Activists will also vote on a resolution that would give the party congress the power to allow “only women and non-binary people” to submit their candidacy for nominations during the next by-elections “with the aim of increasing the diversity and achieve parity within the caucus. This ban on men from being candidates would be “temporary, until the statutes are revised,” if the resolution is adopted.

This resolution follows the failure of the nomination in the riding of Jean-Talon in Quebec. The party, which wanted to move towards parity among elected officials, had supported Christine Gilbert, but the members of the constituency instead chose Olivier Bolduc. It was ultimately the Parti Québécois which stole the constituency from the CAQ, relegating Québec solidaire far behind.

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