Éric Duhaime in no hurry to recruit Marie-Louise Tardif

Éric Duhaime in no hurry to recruit Marie-Louise Tardif

Éric Duhaime in no hurry to recruit Marie-Louise Tardif

Facebook page of Marie-Louise Tardif Newly independent MP Marie-Louise Tardif

Leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ), Éric Duhaime , says he has contacted “a handful” of elected CAQists to attract them to his ranks since the October election. Newly independent MP Marie-Louise Tardif is not one of them: the Conservative leader will wait until she is “cleared” of the allegations against her.

At a press conference Wednesday in Quebec City, Mr. Duhaime reacted for the first time to the media to the “temporary” withdrawal of the member for Laviolette–Saint-Maurice from the caucus of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ). Ms. Tardif, who is serving her second term as elected to the National Assembly, is the subject of an investigation by the Sûreté du Québec because she allegedly intimidated a former employee in the middle of the courtroom.

< p>“It is important, both for her and for us, that she is cleared in this story. I think that's the first step before we can have a dialogue,” Duhaime said on Wednesday when asked about his interest in bringing him to his team.

At the end of the CAQ's first term, the PCQ had succeeded in recruiting the member for Iberville, Claire Samson, after she had been excluded from the CAQ caucus because she had made a donation to Éric Duhaime's team. His presence at the National Assembly had notably enabled the Conservative leader to hold press briefings from the Parliament Building, in addition to allowing the party to express itself in the Blue Room.

However, Ms. Samson did not run in the October general election. Despite garnering nearly 531,000 votes, the Conservatives failed to elect any deputies to the National Assembly.


< p> Since then, Mr. Duhaime says he is “marauding”. On Wednesday, he agreed to have spoken with “a handful, let's say”, of MPs since his electoral defeat. “It's no secret,” he asserted.

The Conservative leader also said he had contact with “only one person” outside the CAQ. Asked about the possibility that it was an independent MP, he preferred “not to name the names [of those] to whom [he] speaks”. The elected Vaudreuil Marie-Claude Nichols is the only one to bear the title of independent with the exception of Marie-Louise Tardif.

The CAQ would not comment on Mr. Duhaime's remarks on Wednesday. She also did not want to reveal whether her deputies had to follow a protocol when they were approached by the PCQ.

Éric Duhaime has been complaining since October of not having access to the Parliament Building to make the voice of his party heard, at least in press conferences. He deplores the “undemocratic” behavior of his political opponents. “From the moment we are blocked from all access, the only option left is to attract a deputy,” he argued. “It is sure that in the medium and long term, [not having an elected official] has an impact. »

And Youri Chassin?

The PCQ press conference on Wednesday focused first and foremost on the two private mini-hospitals that the government of François Legault wants to build in Montreal and Quebec. This pilot project is led by the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Health, Youri Chassin, “someone who, philosophically speaking, is a conservative”, launched Mr. Duhaime to the parliamentary press.

< p>“Youri is someone I've known for a very long time,” he said.

MP for Saint-Jérôme, Mr. Chassin made headlines in October by not not appearing at the swearing-in ceremony of the CAQ Council of Ministers. Dismissed from the Legault cabinet for a second term in a row, he refused to rule out the possibility that he was absent due to his disappointment at not being part of it.

Mr. Does Duhaime make foot calls with Mr. Chassin? “I never had discussions with [him],” the Conservative leader said Wednesday.