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<p class=Former PQ MP for the Gaspé constituency, Gaétan Lelièvre (Archive photo)

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  • Marguerite Morin (View profile)Marguerite Morin
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    Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

    Ex-MP for Gaspé and former Minister for Regions, Gaétan Lelièvre is positive about the position taken by Prime Minister François Legault regarding the potential loss of a riding in Gaspésie.

    Mr. Legault believes that the region must retain its two constituencies.

    The Commission de la representation electoral du Québec proposes to merge the constituencies of Gaspé and Bonaventure and to include Haute-Gaspésie in the Matane-Matapédia constituency.

    The Prime Minister believes that the size of the Gaspé territory justifies an exceptional status. I think that when there are large territories like Gaspésie, having two deputies is not too much, he said Friday on the show Bon pied, bonneheure< em>.

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    Prime Minister François Legault was in Gaspésie on Friday. (Archive photo)

    Several elected officials from Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Bas-Saint-Laurent oppose to the proposal for a new electoral map.

    Gaétan Lelièvre wonders, however, what impact Mr. Legault's statement could have in this debate.

    He recalls that the Prime Minister cannot, theoretically, influence the decision of the Director General of Elections (DGE) or of the Commission of the Electoral Representation of Quebec, of independent and autonomous entities.

    When these people, who are humans, hear the Prime Minister take a position on an issue, it is certain that That must appeal to them, he presumes.

    But normally, the DGE has absolute power and does not, I would say, have to respect the directions, decisions or reflections raised by the Prime Minister of Quebec.

    A quote from Gaétan Lelièvre, former member of Gaspé

    The Electoral Representation Commission is made up of the Director General of Elections, who chairs it, and two commissioners appointed by the National Assembly from among persons who are qualified voters.

    Source : Élections Québec

    The government owns a trump card, according to Mr. Lelièvre, which could allow him to intervene.

    The current government has a strong majority with 89 deputies and it can easily modify the parameters of the [electoral] law if it is truly convinced of the importance of maintaining the two constituencies of Gaspé and Bonaventure and also of the importance of offer a certain fairness and true representativeness to the regions, he argues.

    The great weakness of the Electoral Act, according to Mr. Lelièvre, is the electoral quotient, that is to say the formula which is used to determine the average population of a constituency.

    There is a lot of emphasis on an average of 51,000 voters per constituency, but that's a stupid and nasty number. We should apply criteria much more than a simple figure which does not have at all the same scope [in the regions as in urban centers], he insists.

    The Election Act must be amended and modernized.

    A quote from Gaétan Lelièvre, former MP for the Gaspé constituency

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    The Commission on the Electoral Representation of Quebec proposes to combine the constituencies of Gaspé and Bonaventure and to include Haute-Gaspésie in the constituency of Matane-Matapédia, which would lose part of the MRC of La Mitis. (File photo)

    Gaétan Lelièvre recalls that the National Assembly adopted a motion against the merger of Bonaventure and Gaspé in the new electoral map in October.

    Theoretically, with this simple vote, we are, at the level of all political parties in the National Assembly, in favor of maintaining the two constituencies. The "momentum" is excellent for the Prime Minister and his government, argues Mr. Lelièvre.

    With information from Denis Leduc

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