(Montreal) After disappointing results in the last election, Québec Solidaire is looking to pull out all the stops to win the by-election in Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne, an equestrian farm that has been vacant since Dominique Anglade resigned, and swell its ranks by one MNA .
Posted 10:52am Updated 11:08am
“One more thing, it’s always fun,” Quebec Solidaire co-spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said Monday with a grin. “But above all, it’s not just anyone: Guillaume Cliche-Rivard is a young lawyer that Quebecers will get to know. That’s the kind of voice we need in the National Assembly.”
Quebec solidaire, which holds its pre-meeting caucus in Montreal on Monday, is the first party to field a candidate in Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne. The Legault government needs to kick off the Montreal by-election sometime in March. As in the fall, the left formation relies on the lawyer Guillaume Cliche-Rivard.
A first partisan event took place on Sunday in Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne. On Monday, the candidate also appeared alongside the co-speakers to loud applause from caucus members.
“Guillaume Cliche-Rivard has never stopped working since October 3rd. We are still there, I was there last Friday,” said Mr Nadeau-Dubois. “We are impatiently awaiting the start of this election by François Legault. We are ready […] whether he triggers it tomorrow or in three weeks. We’re already on the ground […] we’re pumped, we’re motivated,” he said.
The addition of an MP to the ranks of Québec solidaire – which would bring the number of MPs to 12 – would give a boost to the formation, which has had little media visibility since the fall. It could also mitigate the criticism reaped after last season’s disappointing results, when Quebec Solidaire added just two new seats and also lost Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois also self-critically confided in an interview with La Presse last week that he wanted to avoid a “ceiling”.
In the autumn, former Liberal leader Dominique Anglade won with 36% of the vote – against 28% for QS and 18% for CAQ. Solidarity nonetheless delighted Verdun, the neighboring Liberal constituency, with the election of Alejandra Zaga Mendez.
According to Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Mr Cliche-Rivard could be “a strong voice for inclusion” in the National Assembly. “François Legault, when he talks about Quebec, it is not true that everyone feels represented,” added the speaker, echoing François Legault’s controversial statements on immigration during the election campaign.
Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, who has lived at the Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne stables for seven years, is a lawyer and has been defending the rights of immigrants with precarious status for ten years.
“Not our only priority”
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois stressed that the Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne by-election is “not the only priority” for Québec solidaire as parliamentary work resumes in Quebec next week. Above all, solidarity troops want to make the cost of living their main battlefield. The training priorities will also be discussed in the caucus on Monday.
Mr Nadeau-Dubois reiterated that the post-election introspection work is an “ongoing” process and will be tackled on 11 and 12 February when party members meet in a National Council to take stock of the last election campaign.