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Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade reflects on 2020

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WATCH: Dominique Anglade, the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, looks back on the year that was 2020 in an interview with Global’s Raquel Fletcher – Dec 29, 2020

Dominique Anglade was acclaimed leader of the Quebec Liberal Party in May when her only opponent dropped out of the race. From there, she had the unprecedented task of holding the government accountable during the middle of a pandemic as the leader of the official Opposition.

She reflected on her 2020 when she spoke to Global News’ Raquel Fletcher.

Raquel Fletcher: What a year to take on the leadership of the official opposition. What was that like for you?

Dominique Anglade: We were planning to finish the leadership race in September, October and the other person decided to basically give up the leadership race and within two hours, I became the new leader, so no major event, nothing — you’re in charge and you’re going to be asking questions to the premier.

Read more: Dominique Anglade named Quebec Liberal leader, becomes first Black woman to head a party in province

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RF: There were many times throughout this fall session where the premier insinuated that you were being too aggressive. How would you evaluate your own tone in question period and your own approach?

DA: Well, one thing I would say is that I never had to apologize for any comments I made during question period, which is not the case for François Legault. I was not even aggressive. I was asking tough questions. This is the role of the opposition, as well is to ask tough questions… and the questions we were asking were also questions that people on the ground were asking themselves.

RF: Let’s talk about the reality in CHSLDs.

DA: Honestly, there were four main reasons why everything happened. First of all, lack of equipment. And when I hear the premier say we never lacked any equipment or protection equipment for people, it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous to say that. Because everybody knows that at least half the CHSLDs didn’t have proper equipment. The second thing is the transfer of patients. The transfer of employees, thirdly. And last is testing.

But you know, this is my perspective. This is the analysis that I’m making, but I think we need a public inquiry to really answer all those questions, to understand what happened and to be better prepared next time.

Read more: Dominique Anglade lays out vision for Quebec Liberal Party, calls for increased COVID-19 testing

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RF: When you look back at 2020 and you look at where the province failed seniors, the most vulnerable seniors, you have already taken some responsibility for the decisions of the past Liberal government, what do you tell Quebecers about what happened and why?

DA: What I’ve said about our government is that CHSLDs were already fragile. And obviously, it hit right there. And because of that, there’s no question in my mind we have a shared responsibility for what happened.

Read more: Quebec dropped the ball on initial COVID-19 response, opposition claims

RF: A lot of families are going to be separated this Christmas break. What are your plans for the holidays and what kind of words of comfort or advice do you give other Quebecers?

DA: I have the chance of having a family of three children, my husband, so we will be together celebrating. I think it’s our collective responsibility to make sure that the people who don’t have the privilege of being with other ones, or loved ones, that at least they get a phone call. If we’re strong together I think we’ll be able to go through this and see the light at the beginning of the year, of 2021.

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