Quebecers in the Marie-Victorin riding on Montreal’s south shore will head to the polls next month.
Opposition parties have accused Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) party of dragging its feet in setting a date for the byelection in the riding, where unofficial campaigning is well underway. Legault has cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to wait.
“Quebec will be deconfined in a few days and all candidates will be able to meet voters without restrictions,” Legault said in a statement Tuesday. “It’s good for Marie-Victorin. It’s good for democracy.”
The seat in Marie-Victorin has been vacant since last fall. Independent MNA Catherine Fournier left provincial politics after she was elected mayor of Longueuil in November 2021.
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The riding has traditionally been a Parti Québécois stronghold for the past 40 years. The CAQ came within about 700 votes of winning it in 2018, when it was the first new party to take power in the province since 1976.
There are already six candidates hoping to become the province’s next MNA.
Shirley Dorismond is running under the CAQ banner while Shophika Vaithyanathasarma is Québec Solidaire’s candidate.
Liberal candidate Emilie Nollet, Pierre Nantel of the PQ, Conservative Anne Casabonne and Martine Ouellet, leader of the new party Climat Quebec, have all thrown their hats in the ring.
The byelection will take place on April 11.
—with files from The Canadian Press