Liberal House Leader Marc Tanguay will take on the temporary role of top job after he was chosen by fellow caucus members. Since 2012, he has represented the Montreal riding of LaFontaine at the provincial legislature.
A beaming Tanguay spoke to reporters at the national assembly in Quebec City in the afternoon, thanking his colleagues for their confidence to take on the mandate. He said the Liberals will collaborate with their counterparts in the legislature, but that they will be ready for when the parliamentary session kicks off on Nov. 29.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said.
He also briefly spoke about Anglade, calling her an exceptional woman at the heart of the Liberals and congratulating her on her political career.
“You’re a source of inspiration,” he said.
Earlier this week, Anglade announced her decision to quit as party leader. She will also step down as MNA for the Montreal riding of Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne effective Dec. 1.
The 48-year-old politician said that her resignation comes after personal reflection, adding it was for the “good of the party.”
The Quebec Liberals faced internal strike in the weeks leading up to Anglade’s departure. The party held onto Official opposition status in the Oct. 3 provincial election, but it was far from a comeback.
It captured the lowest share of the popular vote in its history after winning just 21 of the provincial legislature’s 125 seats — down from 31 in the 2018 election. The Liberals received fewer votes than Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois.
After a hard campaign and crushing election results, Anglade’s leadership was questioned in the five weeks that followed. The party lost a member of its caucus after she ejected Marie-Claude Nichols following a disagreement over shadow cabinet roles. Anglade changed course and publicly asked Nichols to return, but the latter refused to do so and said the Liberal leader was unable to to properly lead the party.
On Thursday, Tanguay said the door remains open for Nichols to come back and that he plans to reach out to her.
Fortin, Derraji consider run for permanent leader job
Quebec Premier François Legault congratulated Tanguay on his new role shortly after the announcement was made.
“I am already looking forward to exchanging with him at the National Assembly on topics that concern Quebecers,” Legault wrote in a tweet.
Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon also took to social media, saying he was looking forward to working with Tanguay as well.
Meanwhile, Liberal MNAs André Fortin and Monsef Derraji declined to run for the interim post but told reporters they had not closed the door on running for the permanent leader job.
— with files from Global News’ Olivia O’Malley and the Canadian Press