Quebec election: Liberal leader defends party organization as candidate drops out

MONTRAL — Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said Sunday she was still in the province’s electoral race to win, despite questions about her party’s organization and claims from other leaders that the election became a two-way race that left her o

MONTRAL — Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said Sunday she is still in the province’s electoral race to win, despite questions about her party’s organization and claims from other leaders that the election became a two-way race that left her on the sidelines.

The registration of a Liberal candidate was refused by Elections Quebec, while another withdrew from the race on Saturday evening.

The party was also dogged for much of the campaign by questions about math errors in its number platform.

“We had some challenges, but all the parties had them too, so now we are continuing the election campaign, we have proposals to make to Quebecers,” Anglade told reporters in Shawinigan, Que., on Sunday.

Anglade said she still has two weeks to convince Quebeckers of her message, adding that she is particularly looking forward to the second leaders’ debate on Thursday.

The Liberal Party will challenge the election regulator’s decision to deny Harley Lounsbury’s candidacy in the riding of Matane-Matapédia, she said, but won’t go into detail about why her paperwork was denied.

Regarding the candidacy of Malek Arab, Anglade only says that he withdrew from the race for personal reasons but another candidate has already been found to replace him in the riding of Joliette.

On Saturday, Québec solidaire spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois described the election as increasingly a two-way race between his centre-left party and the incumbent coalition Avenir Québec.

A Léger poll released last week showed the Liberals in second place, at 18%, behind Quebec solidaire at one percentage point and the Conservative Party of Quebec at 15%.

“It’s not up to our opponents to define who will be chosen by Quebecers,” said Anglade. “I think for a young politician, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois does a lot of old politics.”

The leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec, Éric Duhaime, told reporters that although it is a two-way race between Québec solidaire and the CAQ in certain areas of downtown Montreal, it is not not the case in other parts of the province.

“I think it’s time for Mr. Nadeau-Dubois to get out of Montreal and look at what’s happening in Quebec,” he said during an electoral stop in Nicolet, Quebec, adding that in several regions of the province, it is a two-race between his party and the CAQ.

Speaking to reporters in Saguenay, Que., Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, whose party has consistently placed fifth, said the election remains a five-way race.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 18, 2022.

— with files from Stéphane Rolland.

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

Aubrey L. Morgan