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Quebec Liberals hold convention in Laval amidst protest

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WATCH ABOVE: Quebec Liberal Party members gathered in Laval Saturday for the party's general council. Issues discussed included school board elections and sexual violence. Not on the agenda, healthcare and corruption. Gloria Henriquez reports – Nov 12, 2016

The Quebec Liberal Party held its general council in Laval on Saturday amidst a protest against health-care cuts and austerity measures.

“Barrette barres-toi, Couillard dehors,” they chanted.

Protesters outside the hotel where the Liberal council took place were denouncing recent reforms which they say are “threatening the quality of public services.”

“They’re destroying our public system of health and social services and we say that it’s enough,” union leader Dominique Daigneault said.

READ MORE: Quebec to end health accessory fees; doctors and clinics to absorb costs

Inside the Liberal council, 38 topics were up for discussion, among them school board elections and sexual violence but health care was nowhere on the list.

“Health care is still a priority for our government and there is no doubt that it will be a priority for the next election,” Health Minister Gaetan Barrette specified.

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“We are working very hard to improve things out and frankly, we are improving things out as we speak.”

Corruption was another issue left out of the conversation.

A recent poll however, conducted by Leger Marketing and ordered by the Coalition Avenir Québec proves it’s a top of mind issue for Quebecers.

READ MORE: Charbonneau whistleblower alleges UPAC didn’t investigate Quebec Liberals

The poll indicates most Quebecers think there is a big corruption issue within the provincial government.

“I don’t think we should mix what happened before with our current government,” Carlos Leitao, Quebec’s Minister of Finance, said.

“I think we are absolutely in touch with the people,” Barrette countered. “I can tell everyone that today in this era there is absolutely no corruption whatsoever in the Liberal party.”

However, a recent report done by the former Liberal Party commission’s president Jerome Turcotte suggests the party is out of touch with its people, pointing at divisions within the party and a decline in support amongst its militants.

It could be why Couillard’s speech at the convention was calling on strengthening support for the party and unity.

But we will only know for sure if that message comes through, when Quebecers hit the polls again in 2018.

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