Decision Quebec: A look at Coalition Avenir Québec of 2018

Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault speaks to reporters at a news conference to launch his election campaign, Thursday, August 23, 2018, in Quebec City. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) has never been elected to power, but the centre-right party is looking to court voters in its bid to form the next provincial government this fall.

In the lead-up to the election campaign, the CAQ has seen its popularity rise among voters under the leadership of François Legault.

READ MORE: New Quebec poll suggests Coalition Avenir Québec has healthy lead

The party — which has consistently placed first in the polls since January — has recently unveiled high-profile candidates and has been trying to gain ground with anglophone voters over the summer months.

Before the campaign started on August 23, incumbent premier Philippe Couillard admitted it is a tight race to beat the CAQ.

Story continues below advertisement

Here is what you need to know about the CAQ ahead of the 2018 provincial election.


The CAQ’s slogan for the 2018 election campaign is a one-word motto.

It is “Maintenant” or “Now,” referring to how the present is the time for change.

Party leader

François Legault is the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

François Legault was born in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, on the western tip of the island of Montreal, on May 26, 1957.

A former businessman, Legault founded Air Transat at the age of 29 in 1986. He served as president and CEO of the company until 1997, when he made the leap to politics.

Under the helm of Lucien Bouchard’s sovereigntist Parti Québécois, Legault officially became an MNA for the riding of Rousseau in 1998. Legault served as minister of education from 1998-2002 before taking on minister of health from 2002-2003.

Story continues below advertisement

After more than a decade in politics, Legault stepped down from his position and left Quebec politics in 2009.

His retirement didn’t last long as the former PQ cabinet minister returned two years later to form his own party, the CAQ, alongside businessman Charles Sirois in 2011.

As leader of the CAQ, Legault is re-elected in l’Assomption in 2012.

In 2014, his party picked up a total of 21 seats as the second Official Opposition in the National Assembly.

WATCH: CAQ unveils party platform for upcoming October election

Click to play video 'CAQ unveils party platform for upcoming October election' CAQ unveils party platform for upcoming October election
CAQ unveils party platform for upcoming October election – May 27, 2018