Editor’s note: Robert Libman was elected to the Quebec National Assembly only once, in 1989. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version of this story.
Voters in the D’Arcy McGee riding will see a familiar name on the ballot this fall, but beside a different party. Former Hampstead city councillor and longtime Liberal Bonnie Feigenbaum is running for the Conservative Party of Quebec.
The 53-year-old candidate says the Liberals’ initial support for Bill 96 was the final straw.
“We can’t trust the Liberals. They tell us one thing and then once they were in power, they go, ‘Sorry, got to do something else, you have to understand,'” said Feigenbaum.
The D’Arcy McGee incumbent MNA David Birnbaum is stepping down after serving two terms. The riding representing Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead and part of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce has been a Liberal stronghold.
The Liberals were only defeated once in the 1989 election by Robert Libman, the founder of the Equality Party. He was a member of the National Assembly from 1989 to 1994.
Feigenbaum says she relates to the Conservative Party’s core values, telling reporters she is not deteterred by leader Eric Duhaime’s past comments as a shock-jock and his opposition to government public health measures.
“I love the fact that as long as we’re open and transparent with each other, I could stand with my community,” said Feigenbaum.
The Hampstead resident was a city councillor from 2005 to 2013, before a run for mayor that proved unsuccessful.
Marlene Jennings says if she lived in the riding, the former Liberal MP would vote for Feigenbaum
“She’s fantastic. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, even when that may not be 100 per cent what her political party supports,” Jennings told Global News.
Duhaime believes the Conservative candidate will be a voice for anglophones.
“That’s exactly the type of candidate that we needed to make sure that the anglophones also are part of our coalition, of our movement,” he said.
Support for the Conservative Party of Quebec is growing. According to a Léger poll, 22 per cent of non-French speakers intend to vote for the Conservative Party. While it is second behind the Liberals’ 49 per cent, political science professor Daniel Béland says the Liberals should not take the riding for granted.
“This is a much more competitive race this time around than in the recent past in that riding,” said Béland.
A Liberal spokesperson tells Global News they have yet to announce Birnbaum’s successor and have no timeline as to when they will announce the new candidate.