Québec solidaire wants to “improve” its taxes

Québec solidaire (QS) wants to be more “listening” to Quebecers, but does not rule out proposing new “improved” taxes, despite its difficulties in selling them during the election campaign.

< p>The party took advantage of its national council on Saturday to take stock of the 2022 general election. The conclusion is clear: QS has not been able to progress, in particular because it has failed to explain and communicate its new taxes and levies.

In the campaign, the left party had proposed, among other things, a wealth tax and a tax on gasoline vehicles of “on average 15%” of the purchase price. Described as an “orange tax” and constantly attacked by the leader of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), François Legault, the latter was “more difficult to plead in more rural territories, despite the modulation by region and the exemptions for large families and work”, underlines the report presented Saturday to the solidarity delegates gathered in Montreal.

“This proposal needs to be improved. She was complex. It allowed some of our opponents to attack us,” agreed co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois in a press scrum at the entrance to the National Council.

The elected official wants to see the “party, its deputies, its activists, its activists [put] in listening mode”, especially with voters in the regions, who did not support QS enough for his taste in October. Does that mean abandoning surcharges and additional taxes? Not at all, said “GND”.

“Québec solidaire will always fight for a better distribution of wealth in Quebec”, hammered the deputy for Gouin. Moreover, although at times unpopular, surtaxes still have the potential to work with the average voter, he says.

“I think people in Quebec want it to be fair. I think they are ready to make an effort, but they expect the biggest polluters to do so too. This justice in the climate transition is essential,” said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

The “precious” tax

The national councils are an opportunity for the delegates to discuss the general orientations of the party. At times, they allow party regulars to resurface. On Saturday, former QS co-spokesperson Amir Khadir allowed himself a visit to the solidarity rally.

Asked about the usefulness of taxing and taxing Quebecers, the former member for Mercier said he was in complete agreement with his successor Nadeau-Dubois. “There is no one more proud, more obsessed [than me] with the idea that taxation is one of the most important and valuable discoveries of mankind. […] If we take the time to properly explain all the conditions surrounding these measures, many people will be very interested, even in the regions,” he said.

Also present on Saturday, longtime solidarity activist François Saillant, who has run for the party on several occasions, raised doubts about the campaign team's strategy. “I totally agreed with the content of these measures, but when, in an election campaign, you campaign positively and you say: 'we're going to tax'… Maybe it's not the right one something to say,” he said.

Reaching out to the regions

In a speech to delegates on Saturday, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois pleaded for the party to become “in 2026 an even better version of [it]self, a version that will be even more connected”.

< p>“It is up to us to have the courage to step out of our comfort zone, to think outside the box, to get out of the echo chambers, to go see them, to talk to them. […] That's good because the next elections are in four years. We can take that time to work on our project, to come back to Quebecers with a project that brings us together, then that looks even more like them,” he said.

S he won two new ridings in Montreal, QS also won the riding of Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue in October. It is the CAQ that now occupies this seat.

In fact, the solidarity team has 34 rural constituencies where it lost more than a percentage point in the last elections. This “fracture” with the regions will be the subject of debate this weekend: a proposal has been put on the agenda for the co-spokespersons to tour Quebec and meet voters outside the areas. urban.

In the press scrum on Friday, Manon Massé agreed that QS needed to simplify its message. “Does that mean that we are going to let go of the substance of what Québec solidaire is? Me, I think not. I don't think we're going to do a slogan campaign,” she said.

The solidarity rally continues Saturday and Sunday in Montreal.