There could be more anglophone candidates in the next election. So far, 18 members of Quebec’s National Assembly, including three cabinet ministers have announced they are not running again, leaving the door open for new candidates to take their place.
Longtime Liberal MNA Kathleen Weil will officially announce her nomination as the candidate in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in June, putting an end to the rumours circulating for months that the Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers Minister was secretly ready to call it quits.
“I have found it extremely fulfilling and that’s why I’m running again,” Weil said Wednesday.
Weil is the second anglophone to confirm she’s running again after D’Arcy McGee MNA, David Birnbaum, but she’s hoping others will join them at the National Assembly.
Reports say the Liberals in the Westmount-Saint-Louis riding are actively recruiting an anglophone candidate, even if current MNA and National Assembly speaker Jacques Chagnon hasn’t officially said he’s retiring.
“This is what they’ve expressed,” Weil said, adding that she is not involved in the candidate recruitment process. “I won’t interfere in that, but generally speaking, there are a lot of very bilingual anglophones.”
She said anglophone candidates should also consider running in other ridings — even outside of Montreal.
“Obviously, if they are in a majority anglo riding, it’s more helpful to them, but to have more candidates that speak English, would be great,” she said.
So far, 12 Liberal MNAs have said they are not running again. Of the three West Island ministers, Carlos Leitao is in while Martin Coiteux, public security and Montreal region minister, last week announced he was out.
After nearly 25 years in politics, Jacques Cartier MNA, Geoffrey Kelley, says he’s still in reflection.
Who should the party get to replace those not coming back?
“A good candidate,” Kelley said before laughing. “No, no, because it’s important that candidates at any time reflect the diversity of the population of Quebec.”
The Parti Quebecois has officially nominated anglophone candidate Jennifer Drouin in Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques while the CAQ has nominated anglophone candidate, Christopher Skeete, in Laval.