Can a new candidate change the CAQ’s image with women and minorities?

Click to play video: 'CAQ hoping new candidate will help attract women, minorities'
CAQ hoping new candidate will help attract women, minorities
WATCH ABOVE: The Coaliton Avenir Quebec (CAQ) is holding a pre-election convention over the weekend where it hopes to put an end to preconceived notions about the party. Global's Raquel Flecther reports – May 26, 2018

The Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) hopes to stamp out stereotypes about their party at their pre-election convention this weekend in Levis.

Their political opponents say leader François Legault has not truly abandoned his separatist roots and that his party is anti-immigration and anti-diversity. The party says all of this is untrue — and they hope to prove it to voters.

READ MORE: CAQ could form minority government, but still lacks anglophone support

A new website launched by the opposing Liberals calls out the CAQ’s proposed values test for new immigrants by aiming to put Legault through “a credibility test.” On the site, ministers Sébastien Proulx, Carlos Leitao and Dominique Anglade attack several CAQ policies.

From the other side, the Parti Québécois (PQ) accuses Legault, once a PQ minister, of still being a separatist. However, Legault said he’s not worried that voters will be deterred by the negative campaigns of political parties.

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“It’s clear for Quebecers. It’s clear for everybody except Lisée and Couillard. And I know why — because Lisée and Couillard are used to having a campaign where the only ballot question is about the sovereignty of Quebec, so right now they are a bit in a kind of panic,” he said.

He added, “Our plan is within Canada, plain and simple. That’s it.”

READ MORE: Where do Quebec’s political parties stand on immigration?

For months, the CAQ has been ahead in the polls, but they trail behind in support from women and members of cultural minorities.

That might change with the nomination of one of their newest candidates who says she might attract more women and minorities to the CAQ, as well as the political arena.

“It’s just like in management. If you see managers that look like you, you feel like going into management and you’re really enthusiastic,” said CAQ candidate for the Bertrand riding, Nadine Girault.

Girault, who has her own management consulting business, is of Haitian heritage. She said, “Already I’ve gotten all kinds of comments from (some) groups, saying, ‘Finally we have someone! We have someone!'”

READ MORE: Quebec’s political status quo challenged as 6-month countdown to elections begin

Girault is good friends with Liberal economy minister Dominique Anglade, but said she was turned off the Liberal Party when they didn’t adopt the Bouchard-Taylor recommendations after the Quebec City mosque shooting.

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She said she wants to attack the cynicism and partisanship that exists at the National Assembly.

“I think there’s a lot to be done in Quebec, on the political side, if you really take the best out of people,” Girault said, explaining why she is happy and excited to be taking the plunge into politics.

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