Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Voters are dissatisfied, note certain deputies, who do not hide their own discontent well.

Discontent intensifies at the CAQ caucus

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The government of François Legault has lost 10 points since September, according to the polling firm Pallas. (Archive photo)

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The unease was palpable on Wednesday upon the arrival of elected officials from the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) at the National Assembly, while the government is struggling to justify the subsidy offered to the Los Angeles Kings and that ;a new poll suggests a slide of François Legault's troops in favor of the Parti Québécois (PQ).

Briefly excluded from the caucus earlier this year, the member for Laviolette–Saint-Maurice, Marie-Louise Tardif, notably admitted that she felt a certain discontent regarding the latest decisions relating to files which are not in [her] riding.

There is dissatisfaction, she admitted, while specifying that she was not discouraged at all, despite the 10-point drop in the CAQ noted by the firm Pallas Data in a survey distributed by L'Actualité.

Slightly more cautious, the CAQ member for Saint-Jérôme, Youri Chassin, for his part acquiesced when journalists asked him if his voters disagreed with the subsidy granted to the Los Angeles Kings, a rich hockey team that will come play two preparatory matches in Quebec in 2024.

My voters are probably telling you the same thing they are telling me, he told them answered. They don't have two opinions.

< p class="StyledImageCaptionLegend-sc-57496c44-2 sbxsP">The subsidy to the Los Angeles Kings has difficulty passing through public opinion, note Marie-Louis Tardif and Youri Chassin.

These comments follow those of the member for Lac-Saint-Jean, Éric Girard (not to be confused with the Minister of Finance, who shares the same surname), and the member for Beauce-Nord, Luc Provençal, who both launched Tuesday that the payment of millions of dollars of public money to the Kings was not in their “values”.

They succeed also to the comments of Minister Geneviève Guilbault and those of MP Yannick Gagnon, who publicly questioned thetimingof the announcement of the subsidy, while Quebec is negotiating these days with the public sector and Minister Girard declared that its room for maneuver was “tight”.

The survey released by L'Actualitéon Wednesday suggests that government MPs may be right to be concerned.

The survey carried out last week indicates that at the Quebec level, the PQ would have been ahead of the CAQ in voting intentions (30% against 24%), ahead of Québec solidaire (16%), the Liberal Party (16%) and the Conservative Party (11%).1

These results are particularly interesting, as Pallas' previous poll Data, produced at the end of September, indicated that the CAQ was still in the lead with 34% of voting intentions, compared to 19% for the PQ and 15% for the three other parties.

I am aware that Quebecers are angry with me and I will do my best to regain their trust, simply declared Prime Minister Legault on his way to the Salon bleu to participate in question period on Wednesday.

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The day promised to be difficult for the CAQ. An opposition motion denouncing the subsidy to the Kings was to be debated in the National Assembly. Everything should culminate with a vote by parliamentarians on Thursday.

At a press briefing, PQ MP Pascal Bérubé called the Lac-Saint-Jean MPs and Beauce-Nord to vote with their values, even extending its invitation to other CAQ elected officials from their respective regions.

Mr. Bérubé also said he was encouraged by the Pallas-L'Actualité survey.

< p class="Text-sc-2357a233-1 imohSo">I like to think that we play well, and that people who are able to compare and say: "Them others, they are better than others. Then, you know what? I looked at CAQ MPs yesterday, and they are starting to think that too.

A quote from Pascal Bérubé, PQ MP for Matane-Matapédia

Between Thursday's vote, the elected representatives of the CAQ will meet in the part of their party's statutory caucus on Wednesday evening. The meeting, as is always the case, should be an opportunity to discuss angry subjects.

1 = Some 1178 randomly selected voters were surveyed on November 17 and 18; the margin of error is plus or minus 3%, 19 times out of 20.

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