(Montreal) Quebec Conservative Party (PCQ) leader Éric Duhaime passed through an affluent Hampstead neighborhood on Thursday to introduce his new nominee, a former liberal activist who believes the PCQ is best suited to the Interests of the English-speaking community.
Updated yesterday at 5:05pm.
Stéphane Blais The Canadian Press
Bonnie Feigenbaum is a staunch opponent of Bill 96, which prioritizes funding for Dawson College expansion.
She will be the candidate riding D’Arcy-McGee for the October 3rd election.
This predominantly English-speaking Liberal stronghold includes parts of Outremont, Westmount, Côte-Saint-Luc and Hampstead, a city surrounded by Montreal.
The 53-year-old, who teaches marketing at McGill University and Concordia University, was a city councilor from 2005 to 2015 and was until recently a member of the D’Arcy McGee Liberal Association.
“The first thing we have to do is do everything in our power to repeal Law 96,” said in a news conference the woman who resigned from her position in the D’Arcy-McGee Liberal Association because of the “terrible Performance of Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) leader Dominique Anglade” in defending the English-speaking community on the Bill 96 matter.
In particular, this law provides for the franchising of all companies with at least 25 employees.
“For me, Dominique Anglade’s Liberals’ initial support for Bill 96 was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Bonnie Feigenbaum.
Its leader, Éric Duhaime, opposes Bill 96, but when asked if he would make repealing that bill a priority, as mentioned by his candidate, he gave a nuanced answer.
“When I read Bill 96 and read that 38 articles of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were subtracted from the bill, my reading of the bill stopped there,” the PCQ chair said.
Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies, told The Canadian Press that part of the English-speaking community is angry with the Liberal Party “because they feel they haven’t beaten Bill 96 enough,” but he doubts it Theme is really important for the PCQ.
“Has Bonnie Feigenbaum chosen a path that advances her Bill 96 goals? I am not at all sure about that because Mr Duhaime has a bigger agenda and that is not a priority for Mr Duhaime, that is not Mr Duhaime’s raison d’être, it is a party that is more related to the pandemic and the health measures were against the rights and freedoms of the person after him”.
He added that “Mr. Duhaime gives the impression that he wants to give his candidates a free vote, a free vote, but I don’t see how you can govern that way”.
Dawson College: a priority for Anglophones
The Legault government recently chose to favor an expansion of the French-speaking CEGEPs, rather than allocating some 200 million to expand Montreal’s Dawson College, a key educational institution for the English-speaking community.
Funding for the expansion of Dawson College is also “a priority” for the new PCQ nominee.
When asked whether a Conservative government would fund the expansion of Dawson College, Éric Duhaime avoided taking a firm position.
“Educational funding should not be based on language criteria,” the head of the PCQ answered in essence, adding that “the polarization of this issue is very unhealthy for Quebec.”
A split vote
Former Liberal activist Bonnie Feigenbaum intends to persuade Liberal supporters in her riding that the PCQ is the best option for Anglophones.
“Bourassa has failed us, Charest has failed us, Anglade has failed us, we cannot trust the Liberals, they promise us one thing but when they are in power they tell us, sorry, we must other people take care of that,” she said in English.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Daniel Béland, political scientist and director of the Institute for Canadian Studies at McGill University, recalled that a recent poll conducted by Léger shows that non-Francophone support for the PLQ has fallen below the 50% threshold is. and that the Quebec Conservative Party took the opportunity to climb that electorate to 22% of intent.
The disillusionment of some Anglophones towards the PLQ, “Éric Duhaime understood it”, underlined Daniel Béland.
“The question is, will he be able to recruit other high-profile candidates? Because yes, the candidate in D’arcy-Mcgee is still someone who has political experience and who is well known in her community. In addition, the fact that she was a member of the Liberal Party in horseback riding sends a powerful message. Can he also do that in other anglophone ridings? We will see… ”
The director of the Institute of Canadian Studies at McGill University pointed out that Anglophones “disillusioned with liberals” could also find refuge in the Bloc Montreal, a party founded by Baralama Holness, and in the Canadian Party of Quebec, two parties in favor of a bilingual Québec and Bill 96 strongly oppose.