Jacques Boissinot Archives The Canadian Press “It's a testimony that I have often heard: people who said they liked us in the opposition [… ], but still hesitate to give us a chance,” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said on Sunday.
Despite criticism from activists for its stance on Amira Elghawaby and the oath to the king on Sunday, Québec solidaire (QS) calls its weekend national council a “success”. Concluded without “heartbreaks”, it will serve as a basis for bridging the gap between the party and the regions, according to co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
“I was reading some columnists, some analysts who, at the end of last week, were telling us: 'beware, this will be the scene of great heartbreak.' I was reading those comments with a smirk and what I see is that it didn't happen, “said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois at the end of the annual activist rally on Sunday in Montreal. .
The statutes of Québec solidaire stipulate that after each general election, the executive must draw up a report on the campaign. Presented to delegates and journalists on Saturday, it was then discussed behind closed doors.
A key finding emerged: the party is slow to establish itself outside of Montreal. He even loses feathers in a host of regional ridings. In its tally, QS finds that, of the 47 constituencies where it lost at least one percentage point between 2018 and 2022, 34 were said to be “rural”. He also let the riding of Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue slip through his fingers, a “humiliating” defeat in the eyes of Émilise Lessard-Therrien, who previously held that seat.
To avoid the mistakes that prevented it from making progress in the October ballot, the party decided to hit the roads of Quebec. Delegates gathered over the weekend endorsed a proposal to mount a “mobilization and consultation tour” outside the cities. The goal: to go and see voters in the regions to understand what puts them off at Québec solidaire.
“It's a testimony that I have often heard: people who told us that they liked us in opposition […], but still hesitated to give us a chance”, launched Mr. Nadeau-Dubois during a press scrum on Sunday. “The objective of this tour, one of the objectives, is to go and meet these people and say to them, 'what could we do better?' »
In a press briefing on Saturday, the solidarity co-spokesperson had assured that the party was not starting this tour “to go and do 'steppettes'” in the region. Gouin's elected official agrees that some of the measures proposed during the campaign may have missed their target outside major urban centers. In particular, he undertakes to “improve” the tax on the purchase of gasoline vehicles, which François Legault had dubbed “orange taxes”.
“The famous exception for farmers [in the tax proposal on large fortunes], from a communication point of view, it was not optimal. The complexity of these proposals [taxes and levies] was open to all sorts of attacks,” agreed “GND” on Sunday.
“There may also be absences in our program. I think that in the regions, there are a lot of people who want to hear about the decentralization of the Quebec state, of its services, particularly in terms of health. […] Have we talked about it enough? Not sure,” he added.
True to form, the Québec solidaire delegates did not leave the national council without having debated. On Saturday, they decided after several exchanges to allow the executive to “impose female candidates”.
Interrogated on Sunday by an activist who said that QS had “tried to please everyone” and “ended up not pleasing anyone” in demanding the departure of the federal councilor for the fight against Islamophobia, Amira Elghawaby, the co-spokesperson Manon Massé justified the actions of her party: “The remarks that she [ Ms. Elghawaby] held on, we didn't agree with that,” she said.
Another delegate, Raphaël Simard, went to the microphone on Sunday to denounce that the party is be reduced “to being in the shadow of the Parti Québécois” by agreeing to swear allegiance to King Charles III even if he wanted to abolish it. The oath was made optional this fall, which allowed PQ MPs to sit without taking it.
QS activists will meet again in the National Council in May to revise the party's statutes. A congress, where a vote on the co-spokespersons will take place, is also planned for this fall.