Eric Duhaime (Photo: The Canadian Press)
The evening promised to be auspicious for Éric Duhaime’s curators; it will eventually have been disappointing. The party did not choose a candidate. M. Duhaime himself was defeated at Chauveau.
Faces were long at the Manoir du Lac Delage on Monday night, where supporters of Mr Duhaime had gathered to watch election night.
“I’m very disappointed,” exclaimed activist Micheline Dion when the big chains announced that François Legault’s Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) would form a majority government.
“I’ll tell you my ulterior motives here. I find it hard to believe that after the last four years we’ve had and the whole package of broken promises, the majority of people will vote for the CAQ.
“I feel like Quebecers aren’t politicized enough, they’re not informed enough about what’s really going on,” she said.
However, the Quebec Conservative Party (PCQ) expected to see a historic moment on Monday, snatching seats from the CAQ in Quebec and Beauce.
All hopes were pinned on the formation of Éric Duhaime, but his own victory was uncertain at Chauveau, Quebec, where he faced outgoing CAQ MP Sylvain Lévesque.
In the last elections in 2018, the PCQ, then led by Adrien Pouliot, received 1.46% of the vote.
According to the Qc125 election projection page, the PCQ could hope to wrest counts Beauce-Sud and Beauce-Nord from the CAQ, where opposition to health measures has been particularly strong.
“It is clear that we want to move into the National Assembly with as many MPs as possible,” declared the conservative candidate in Portneuf, Jacinthe Ève Arel, at the beginning of Monday evening.
Also the PCQ, which filled up with new members during the pandemic – there are 61,500 – denounced the lack of transparency of the CAQ in the file of the third link during the election campaign.
Mr. Duhaime also felt that he had won “the battle of ideas” since he managed to speak about private health, the defense of individual liberties, as well as the exploitation of hydrocarbons on Quebec territory.
However, he was quickly overtaken by stories of unpaid taxes. The media revealed that his council and school taxes were overdue; he defended himself by creating a misunderstanding with the friend he was harboring.
Éric Duhaime won the gold medal in the support rallies: The event he organized on September 16 drew more than 2,000 people to the lobby of the Videotron Center.
Later, in response to a Radio-Canada report on the costs associated with receiving asylum seekers, Mr. Duhaime proposed building a wall on the Quebec-US border.
The Conservative leader was outraged at being compared to former US President Donald Trump by his CAQ opponent François Legault.
By Caroline Plante
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