Voters in La Pinière have chosen the Liberals’ Gaétan Barrette over longtime MNA Fatima Houda-Pépin, in what could be a rejection of her stance on the proposed Charter of Values, which got her kicked out of the Liberal party.
Barrette won 58.4 per cent of the vote in early results. Houda-Pépin, who ran as an independent candidate, won 23.4 per cent.
The Morocco-born Houda-Pépin left the provincial Liberal party in January, after making clear her support for the PQ’s proposed secular values charter, which would impose restrictions on the wearing of religious garments in the public sector. Her position put her at odds with Liberal Party leader Philippe Couillard, who wanted all party members against it.
Barrette had run previously, unsuccessfully, in Terrebonne for the CAQ. He left his former party and joined the Liberals in March.
The riding of La Pinière has voted Liberal in every election since its creation in 1989. Houda-Pépin has held the riding herself for nearly 20 years. In the end, her personal popularity was not enough to overcome party loyalty.