September 22, 2014 6:12 pm
Updated: September 22, 2014 7:58 pm

Lévis by-election seen as “test” for Liberal government

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QUEBEC CITY – Voters in Lévis, on the south-shore of Quebec City, are getting their first chance to pass judgement on the new Liberal government. Lévis has been without an MNA since August, when CAQ star Christian Dubé left his seat to accept a senior post at Caisse de dépôt. Lévis city councillor Janet Jones is now hoping to win that seat for the Liberals.

Global News caught up with her campaigning at a grocery store on Route Président-Kennedy.

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“People are telling me please, please ask Mr. Couillard not to back off,” she said. “There are certain programs we just cannot afford anymore. It’s not always just cuts, it’s a new way of looking at things, a new way of doing things.”

At the heart of this by-election: the Liberals’ rumoured intention to cut in programs, such as parental leave and homework services.

The candidate running for the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), François Paradis, is a former high-profile TVA anchor. He believes Premier Philippe Couillard is breaking his promise not to raise taxes and tariffs. School taxes in Lévis, for example, have gone up 17.7 per cent.

“We have an exceptional opportunity to send the Liberals a message,” he said. “Our objective is to say no to tax increases, no to tariff increases because we can no longer pay them.”

Voters Global News interviewed at a Lévis shopping mall agreed with Paradis.

“The Liberals have to do a dirty job and people don’t like it,” said André Arcand.

“The CAQ plays an important role in the lives of families,” added Alain Lessard.

But Jones said she’s a fighter. A Liberal victory would confirm her party is on the right path, and would bring the total number of Liberals at the National Assembly to 71.

“I know what the people of Lévis want. I’ve been with them, accompanying them for 20-some odd years,” she said.

The Parti Québécois hasn’t had an MNA elected in Lévis in over a decade.

Voters go to the polls on October 20.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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