Day 35: September 26, 2018

A few days before the end of the campaign, the party leaders revealed fewer campaign promises and instead met with voters across Quebec. The former leader of the Bloc Québécois, Gilles Duceppe, accused the co-spokesperson of Québec Solidaire, Manon Massé of being a part-time sovereignist, of proposing a political program created for a parallel universe and of having as little mastery of French as of English.

If re-elected, Philippe Couillard would invite the university community to a vast consultation on the financial compensation of internships tied to college and university training. He also indicated that he wants to improve the French level of new teachers by allowing only one re-test for the mandatory French test in case of failure on the first attempt. Mr. Couillard reiterated his confidence in the outgoing MNA of Chomedey, Guy Ouelette, who, according to the media, transmitted documents to the CAQ regarding the businessman Luigi Coretti and the senior official close to the QLP, Pietro Perrino. The general director of elections advised the candidate in Jean-Lesage, Gertrude Boudon, that she contravened the voting act by using the birthday of voters in her riding to wish them a happy birthday.

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Jean-François Lisée intends to propose that French and Belgian students who attend universities in the regions pay the same tuition fees as Quebecers. The deputy leader Véronique Hivon reiterated that the PQ would create an instance dedicated to crimes involving sexual violence and would modify the law on the compensation of victims of criminal acts. Mr. Lisée implied that Ms. Hivon was not in agreement with his remarks against Manon Massé during the last party leader debate. He had to explain why he swore when speaking of Luc Blanchette, outgoing minister and candidate of the QLP in Rouyn-Noranda. Finally, Mr. Lisée held a caucus at the end of the day with all PQ candidates to explain his strategy and align the troops for the end of the campaign.

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François Legault defended the land grabbing activities of the company Pangea, led by Charles Sirois, following remarks by Philippe Couillard. Mr. Sirois co-led, along with Mr. Legault, the Coalition pour l’avenir du Québec, the predecessor of the CAQ. The CAQ leader apologized to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the remarks made by his wife, Isabelle Brais, during an assembly organized in Westmount in mid-August. According to the media, Ms. Brais stated the following regarding Mr. Trudeau: “His father was brilliant, but he is not.” Mr. Legault declared that a CAQ government would not keep Pietro Perrino, currently employed at the Société québécoise du cannabis, as a senior official. Cleared by the ethics commissioner, Éric Caire declared, regarding the Québec City bridge: “I swear to you that if a strong CAQ team is elected in Quebec City, the federal Liberals will hear from us on every podium.”

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Surrounded by roughly thirty candidates, Manon Massé said she was the target of all the parties, a sign that “the tide is turning.” In response to Jean-François Lisée, she declared: “Mr. Lisée, remember: you criticize us now for exactly the same thing that the Parti Québecois was criticized for before, the Parti Québecois of Mr. Lévesque (René). I take it as a compliment.” She also responded to Gilles Duceppe’s remarks, saying she was proud of the “ordinary” way she expresses herself, and that ordinary people have the right to be involved in democracy.

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