Young Liberals Convention held to lure Quebec youth vote

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Young Liberals Convention held to lure Quebec’s youth vote
WATCH: Provincial political parties are putting their candidates in place and making their first campaign promises ahead of Quebec's 2022 fall election. Phil Carpenter reports – Aug 13, 2022

Provincial elections for this fall haven’t been officially called but Quebec Liberal Party leader Dominique Anglade was busy rallying party members Saturday at the annual convention of the party’s youth wing.

Anglade took the opportunity to launch its campaign slogan, “vote for real,” while taking swipes at Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) leader and the premier, François Legault.

“He hasn’t been challenged enough during the last two years because of COVID,” Anglade told reporters during a press conference following her speech to a roomful of delegates at the Plaza Centre-Ville hotel in downtown Montreal.  “What we want here as the Liberals is we want to have the debate, we want to show François Legault for who he is.

One issue she is hoping to use to her advantage is the identity debate — convincing Quebecers that Legault is not governing for everyone.

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“(Trying to) divide us with Bill 96, divide us with Bill 21, divide us with Bill 40 around school boards,” she alleged. “That’s what he’s been doing for the last 4 years.”

Read more: Judge suspends two articles of Quebec’s new language law regarding legal translations

Regarding a judge’s decision Friday to stay parts of Bill 96 dealing with the translation of court documents, Anglade said she wasn’t surprised.

“We said all along (parts of the Bill) did not make sense, and here’s the result,” she said.

Still, according to polls, the party may have its work cut out, consistently trailing in second place, far behind the CAQ , and risking losing seats in party strongholds in Montreal.

However, even with other parties competing for the non-Francophone vote, some at the convention are confident.

“I think the CAQ has enjoyed the media presence that comes with the pandemic,” delegate Nicholas Karsenti said. “François Legault was omnipresent on our screens and I think that with a real campaign as soon as possible, Dominique is really going to show why we chose her as leader.”

Others pointed out that even though the elections are less than two months away there’s still enough time to turn things around.

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“We’re discussing what we want to promote during the elections and I think the public will be very surprised with what we have to give,” said Marie-Justine Torres, another delegate.

The Quebec provincial elections will likely be in early October.

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