As two recent polls showed Québec’s solidarity to move into second place in terms of voters’ intentions, the party’s candidate for prime minister accused François Legault’s Avenir Québec coalition of trying to discourage young people from voting in the elections of October 3.
“The CAQ fears the youth voice and is trying to demotivate the youth voice,” QS co-spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said after meeting Quebec Mayor Bruno Marchand Tuesday afternoon.
He responded to images circulating on social media of Québec solidarity flyers apparently found near sophisticated voting booths on the Université de Sherbrooke campus. Nadeau-Dubois said he has advised volunteers on his team not to campaign in or in front of buildings where advanced polls are being held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. But he said party leaders are not responsible for deterring voters from bringing such flyers into a building.
He said “spin doctors” for the CAQ are “trying to create confusion around the voting rights of younger voters. It illustrates that this party fears younger voters in Quebec.”
“For weeks, the Avenir Québec coalition has been trying to complicate things for younger voters,” Nadeau-Dubois said. “They are creating confusion about the fundamental right of students in Quebec, just like any voter, to ensure that the address on the electoral roll is their primary residence.”
Students are allowed to vote on their campus in the past two elections, instead of having to travel to an equestrian center where, for example, their parents live to vote. Earlier in this campaign, a QS flyer circulated in Sherbrooke calling on students living there to change their home addresses on the electoral roll to their Sherbrooke addresses so they can vote for candidates who are active in Sherbrooke.
On Tuesday, Nadeau-Dubois reiterated that although he had asked his team to stop distributing those leaflets, he sees nothing inappropriate in students voting for candidates in carriages where they study, if they consider those carriages their home. Elections Quebec defines “home address” as “the place you consider to be your primary residence and the address you use to exercise your civil rights, for example on your income tax return, for your driver’s license or social insurance.”
Nadeau-Dubois said he had a good meeting with Marchand and discussed the QS pledge to create a climate fund for cities, and promises related to the housing crisis and public transportation, as he had Monday with the mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante.
“Speaking with Valérie Plante and Bruno Marchand, I realize that in addition to the false divisions that certain people are trying to create, Montrealers and people in Quebec City have many common challenges, especially the housing crisis, public transportation and climate change adaptation. .
He said the wave of younger mayors elected in Quebec last year, including Marchand, has caused a shift in municipal priorities. “What we’ve seen in Quebec over the past year is the emergence of a new wave of municipal politicians who say now is the time to solve these problems.”
Nadeau-Dubois welcomed a recent Léger poll that showed his party has pushed the Parti Québécois, Conservatives and Liberals to second place in voter intentions, but said there was still a week left to campaign and he still hopes the government. The CAQ is still on track for a majority, according to that poll, with 37 percent support from voters polled, QS ranks second with 17 percent, followed by the Quebec Liberals with 16 percent. The Conservative Party of Quebec and the Parti Québécois were in fourth place with 15 percent.
Meanwhile, an Ekos Research poll released Tuesday suggested that QS is just 14 points behind the CAQ in voter intentions. That poll had the CAQ at 34.6 percent, QS at 20.6 percent, the PQ at 14.9, Liberals at 14.3 and Conservatives at 12.3.
Earlier Tuesday, Nadeau-Dubois announced a $50 million pledge to expand car-sharing services to cities across the province if his party wins the October 3 election.
“I am very proud to announce a new aspect of Quebec’s transportation revolution in solidarity: a historic car-sharing investment in Quebec,” said Nadeau-Dubois on Tuesday during a campaign stop in Jean-Talon’s Quebec City Riding.
A QS government would create a $50 million fund for municipalities to start or improve car-sharing services in their territories, he said, adding that this is about four times the $13 million the CAQ government has invested in carsharing.
Each municipality would develop its car-sharing service based on its specific needs, with different types of vehicles available in different regions. Electric or hybrid pickups and vans could be made available in areas where they’re needed, for example, Nadeau-Dubois said.
He said the number of vehicles driving on Quebec’s roads grew 64 percent in less than three decades between 1990 and 2017, while the adult population grew only 25 percent in that time.
“This is a problem. It can’t go on,” Nadeau-Dubois told reporters from the Center de glaces de Québec. “One of the solutions is car-sharing. We give people alternatives so that they either leave their cars at home a few days a week. , or not buying a second car for their family.”
Montreal has had a carsharing service, Communauto, for over 25 years. In 2019, the Quebec government bought a share of 24 percent in that service to help it grow and expand to other cities in North America. About 100,000 Quebecers are members of Communauto, which also operates in Quebec City, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, and Trois-Rivières, as well as other Canadian cities and Paris.
Nadeau-Dubois said that in cities like Montreal, where such a service already exists, the fund could be used to add vehicles to the fleet, although the short-term priority would be to help smaller municipalities where such a service is not available. consists.
Nadeau-Dubois was also asked about a Radio-Canada report related to the $6.5 billion “third link” project, citing sources who said the government had been accessing relevant data on the project for more than a year. that would help the public decide whether it is necessary . Legault has so far refused to disclose data provided by a group that has been studying the problem for four years, saying feasibility data only exists on an earlier six-lane version of the project. The CAQ government signed a $31 million contract with a consortium last spring to prepare the draft plan for a more modest four-lane tunnel project connecting downtown Lévis to downtown Quebec City, without disclosing any feasibility studies or reports.
Nadeau-Dubois called the CAQ’s third-link project “wacky” and “irrational” and insisted that Legault make public any investigations the government has commissioned on it.
“Before investing billions of dollars in such a project, the first thing to look at is: is there data, is there science, is there a study somewhere that says this is a good project that will fill a need? … That doesn’t exist when it comes to the third link. There may be a study, but Mr. Legault hides it. That is not a rational way to invest billions of public dollars. I think that project is bullshit.
“What the science shows is that if you add more highways, you end up with more traffic. So when a so-called solution exacerbates the problem you are trying to solve, it is the opposite of a pragmatic solution.”
Nadeau-Dubois called on all “progressives, indépendantistes and ecologists” in the Quebec City region to vote for QS as the only party that can “stop the folly of the third link”.
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