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As Fiona slams into eastern Quebec, Legault pauses Quebec election campaign

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Quebec election: Fiona briefly throws off Quebec election campaigns
WATCH: Day 28 of Quebec's election campaign was interrupted by Hurricane Fiona which hit Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec early Saturday morning. Global's Dan Spector has the latest – Sep 24, 2022

Post-tropical storm Fiona caused some disarray on the campaign trail Saturday as some parties cancelled planned events and Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) Leader François Legault briefly suspended his campaign to manage response to the powerful gale that hit Atlantic Canada and parts of eastern Quebec.

Legault, the incumbent premier, resumed his re-election bid on Saturday afternoon after meeting with public security officials in Quebec City and holding a briefing with reporters.

Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault speaks at a news conference on the storm Fiona that hit the Gaspé and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine region overnight, Saturday, September 24, 2022 in Quebec City. Quebec Deputy premier and Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault, left, looks on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot.

The CAQ campaign resumed with a planned meeting with Quebec City Mayor Bruno Marchand. However, a major partisan rally on Saturday night in Terrebonne, north of Montreal, was postponed, Legault said.

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In Quebec, Fiona hit the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Gaspé and the province’s Lower North Shore, with the brunt of the impact expected from Saturday to Sunday morning. All party leaders expressed well wishes for Quebecers caught in the storm, which also played havoc with some of their schedules.

Damage to houses in la Martinique caused by post-tropical storm Fiona are shown on the Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Que., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. Coastal flooding remains a threat for parts of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island including the Northumberland Strait, the Gulf of St. Lawrence region including Iles-de-la-Madeleine and eastern New Brunswick, southwest Newfoundland, the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Quebec Lower North Shore. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nigel Quinn. Nigel Quinn/The Canadian Press
Youth hostel Paradis Bleu is surrounded by high water caused by post-tropical storm Fiona is shown on the Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Que., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. Coastal flooding remains a threat for parts of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island including the Northumberland Strait, the Gulf of St. Lawrence region including Iles-de-la-Madeleine and eastern New Brunswick, southwest Newfoundland, the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Quebec Lower North Shore. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nigel Quinn.

Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois cancelled a press conference in Montreal, but would meet with party supporters in Rimouski, Que. later in the day.

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Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said she was closely monitoring the situation in the affected regions but continued with her campaign in western Quebec as planned in the Outaouais region.

Once a Liberal stronghold, the CAQ won three of the area’s five ridings during the 2018 election and the Liberals are at risk of losing the two they hold, according to poll-aggregating website qc125.com.

Read more: Fiona, a record-setting storm, leaves path of destruction in eastern Canada

Anglade held a rally in the area on Friday and campaigned again on Saturday before heading back to Montreal at the end of the day.

“The Outaouais has been neglected in the last four years, the health and the economic results demonstrate it,” Anglade said.

With just over a week until voting day on Oct. 3, all five party leaders are scheduled to appear live on “Tout le monde en parle” on Sunday night, a popular prime time talk show on Radio-Canada.

Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon also suspended his own campaign on Friday because of flu-like symptoms. He has tested negative three times for COVID-19 using rapid tests, but said Saturday he would only return to the hustings after a PCR test confirmation.

“As a precaution, we will wait for the return of the PCR before formally resuming the campaign,” he told reporters during a scrum in Longueuil, Que. “As you can see, I’m doing better.”

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Conservative Party of Quebec Leader Éric Duhaime campaigned in the Quebec City-area riding of Chauveau where he’s seeking to win a seat in the legislature.

He called on Conservative supporters to vote in large numbers to ensure the party elects members — particularly in the riding where he’s running — as two days of advanced voting begins on Sunday.

 

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