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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:18 am    Post subject: Quebec has seen a record number of provincial by elections Reply with quote

( although few have changed parties and they haven't generated a lot of press there has been 15 provincial by elections in quebec a number not seen since the 1980's )

Drama, intrigue help trigger the most Quebec by-elections in more than 30 years

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard speaks during the final press conference at the Council of Federation meetings in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday July 19, 2017.


Giuseppe Valiante


The Canadian Press

19 hours ago

September 4, 2017

Death, palace intrigue and allegations of lies and corruption are at the centre of the highest number of Quebec byelections in more than 30 years.

The Oct. 2 byelection in the Quebec City riding of Louis-Hebert will be the 15th in the province since Philippe Couillard's Liberals formed a majority government in April 2014.

Ontario, by contrast, has had seven byelections since Kathleen Wynne's Liberals won in June that year.

At roughly $500,000 a pop, byelections this legislative session will cost Quebec around $8-million, according to the province's elections commission.

And that sum doesn't include so-called "transition" allowances given to some of the departing politicians.

Before November 2015, members of the legislature who left mid-mandate were eligible to such payments to help them in their career switch.

Yves Bolduc, the ex-education minister who lost Couillard's confidence early in the Liberal mandate, pocketed $150,000. His staff – who were also put out of work when he resigned – shared another $150,000.

The high number of byelections – the most in one mandate since 1981-85 – forced the government to end the practice of automatic allowances. Now, only politicians who leave early for "serious" family or health reasons are eligible.

Julie Champagne, a spokeswoman for Quebec's national assembly, said "it is up to the ethics commissioner to determine if the departing member satisfies the conditions to receive an allocation."

Despite the change, nine members resigned this session before the new rules were adopted.

The most high-profile resignation came in May 2016, roughly 24 hours after a cryptic television interview involving Julie Snyder, the ex-partner of then-Parti Quebecois leader Pierre Karl Peladeau.

Peladeau resigned the following day, saying he was choosing his family over politics.

He'd been leader for a year.

Weeks later, PQ house leader Bernard Drainville resigned and soon after began co-hosting a popular Quebec City radio show, leading pundits to speculate his political career was hitched to Peladeau's and sank as a result of him leaving.

Drainville had replaced Stephane Bedard, who quit office shortly after Peladeau demoted him during a turbulent time for the party in 2015.

The Liberals haven't had it any easier, with the Opposition strategically attacking the party on its key vulnerability: its past.

The Opposition has tried to pick off Liberal cabinet ministers by accusing them of corruption and being tied to alleged wrongdoings from the Liberal era of Jean Charest, whose party lost the 2012 general election.

Sam Hamad left cabinet in April 2016 after he was connected to a former Liberal fundraiser facing corruption-related criminal charges. The fundraiser, Marc-Yvan Cote, is awaiting trial along with various co-accused, including ex-deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau.

Hamad was cleared by the province's ethics commissioner of any wrongdoing but he never rejoined cabinet and quit politics last April.

Former cabinet minister Jacques Daoust resigned in 2016 after perceived wrongdoing involving the controversial sale of Rona Inc. to U.S. hardware retailer Lowe's.

Daoust died last month.

Additionally, a byelection was held after the death of Sylvie Roy, who was sitting as an Independent member of the legislature.

Concordia University political scientist Harold Chorney said it is common for politicians to leave during a mandate.

"Politics is a thankless career; you put your livelihood and that of your family at risk and in the hands of the public and you're there to serve," Chorney said in an interview.

"People find it tiring for all sorts of personal reasons. It wears people out."

Chorney also said there appears to be a birth of a new generation of idealists.

The new wave is personified by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who in his mid-20s won a seat in a byelection this year for Quebec solidaire, a left-wing party hoping to steal votes from the PQ and make inroads outside Montreal.

October's byelection is being held against the backdrop of good economic news for the Liberals.

Quebec is a leader among the provinces in job creation, salary increases, and its unemployment rate hasn't been as low for decades.

If political donations are any indication, however, the PQ remains a popular choice for citizens, with the sovereigntist party getting $611,837 in donations between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31.

The Liberals are second with $417,508 and Quebec solidaire, with only three seats in the 125-member legislature, is third at $214,879.

The Coalition for Quebec's Future, which is gaining strength in the polls and is considered a possible dark horse in the 2018 fall general election, is last among the four major parties, with $144,949.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberal campaign posters go up in Quebec City area, signalling by-election

Éric Tétreault
Posters have gone up for Liberal candidate Éric Tétreault.

The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, August 30, 2017 8:07AM EDT

Liberal Party posters were posted overnight Tuesday into Wednesday in the Louis-Hébert electoral district of the Quebec City area, announcing a by-election for Oct. 2.

Premier Philippe Couillard has not yet formally announced the date of the Louis-Hébert by-election.

Some of the posters feature Liberal candidate Éric Tétreault along with Couillard and the slogan ‘La voix économique d'ici' or 'The Economic Voice Here.'

Tétreault will be challenged by CAQ candidate Normand Sauvageau, a retired businessperson.

The Parti Québécois presented its candidate -- Norman Beauregard, a biologist who has spent his career in public service – Monday.

Lawyer Guillaume Boivin will serve as the Québec solidaire candidate, the party confirmed on Wednesday morning. He ran for the party in Louis-Hébert in 2012 and in La Peltrie in 2007 and 2008.

The electoral seat in Louis-Hébert has been left vacant since April when Liberal MNA Sam Hamad resigned. Hamad had served as MNA there since 2003. In 2014, Hamad won easily with 49.22 per cent of the vote, with about 8,000 votes more than his CAQ rival Mario Asselin.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( in a bizarre move , 2 of the main candidates suddenly have quit the by election )

Liberal Éric Tétrault, CAQ's Normand Sauvageau pull out of Louis-Hébert race

Tétrault on defensive after harassment claims, while CAQ's Normand Sauvageau withdraws after admitting he left previous job under tough circumstances.

Presse Canadienne Presse Canadienne

Published on: September 6, 2017 | Last Updated: September 6, 2017 10:09 PM EDT

Éric Tétrault, left, had been a candidate for a byelection in the Louis-Hébert riding before pulling out Wednesday evening. Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS

QUEBEC — Overwhelmed by resurfacing controversies from their past, Quebec Liberal Party and Coalition Avenir Québec candidates withdrew on Wednesday from the Louis-Hébert byelection.

Liberal hopeful Éric Tétrault, who defended himself against allegations of psychological harassment all day Wednesday, finally threw in the towel in the evening.

The party confirmed his withdrawal on Twitter, but said it would make no further comment on the situation for now.

Tétrault had announced the news earlier in an interview with the RDI news network, where he defended his reputation and recalled that no formal complaint had been made against him.

Earlier in the day, the Liberals had stood together and chosen to support their candidate. Tétrault had been the subject of a harassment report while he was public affairs director at ArcelorMittal in 2014.

According to the report, commissioned by senior management at the company, Tétrault reportedly acted inappropriately toward women by passing comments about their physique. He was said to have intimidated other employees as well and was reportedly to blame for at least three employees’ sick leaves during his time.

Tétrault had apologized to the employees, but before withdrawing Wednesday, he seemed willing to defend his candidacy and said he still had the confidence of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

Earlier Wednesday evening, it was CAQ candidate Normand Sauvageau who announced his withdrawal, also due to controversies from his past.

Before becoming a candidate for the CAQ, Sauvageau reportedly had workplace issues while working at Scotiabank.

In a statement issued Wednesday, he said he retired prematurely in 2016 under “difficult” circumstances. He didn’t explain what those circumstances were but said it was an “error” on his behalf to have not disclosed the information to the CAQ.

Tétrault had already experienced a difficult start to his campaign in Louis-Hébert, having his integrity questioned before the byelection was even officially called.

He was accused of not living in the riding, located in the Quebec City region, but rather on the South Shore of Montreal.

It had also been revealed during the Charbonneau Commission, which examined collusion and corruption in the Quebec construction industry, that Tétrault had shared a private box with Lino Zambito and former Liberal minister Nathalie Normandeau at a 2008 Céline Dion concert. Zambito, a former construction boss who pleaded guilty to fraud and corruption, had apparently given Tétrault the tickets.

Tétrault had also been questioned by Quebec’s anti-corruption unit, UPAC, during a political financing investigation.

Both parties say the candidates will be replaced for the Oct. 2 byelection.

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Quebec has seen a record number of provincial by elections

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