The leaders of Quebec’s five major political parties addressed Pierre Poilievre’s landslide Conservative leadership victory this week in the midst of the provincial election campaign.
Like in the rest of Canada, Poilievre received an overwhelming amount of support in Quebec – winning 72 out of 78 ridings in the province.
Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime celebrated Poilievre’s win, saying in French that the latter “is a guy who will, I’m convinced, be a unifier.”
Duhaime pointed out Poilievre’s French language skills and interest in Quebec, saying “a perfectly bilingual Conservative leader like him, it’s been a long time – since Brian Mulroney, I think – that we haven’t had one.”
He also praised Poilievre’s commitment to developing oil and gas and said that “Quebecers must understand that it is important to have a strong Conservative party in Quebec.”
“When we look at federal politics, the most decentralizers in English Canada have often been on the Conservative side much more than on the side of the Liberals or the NDP,” he added.
Meanwhile, Quebec Premier and Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) leader Francois Legault, who endorsed Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives in the 2021 federal election, congratulated Poilievre but took a less celebratory tone.
When asked by the media about Poilievre’s win, Legault quickly said in French, “I don’t know him.”
Legault said that “no matter who the leaders of the federal parties are, I will continue to defend the interests of Quebec and Quebecers.”
Meanwhile, Quebec Solidaire leader Gabriel Nadeau Dubois reacted to Poilievre’s win by comparing him to former U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Most observers agree that Mr. Poilievre is part of a right-wing current of which Donald Trump is also part of,” said Nadeau-Dubois in French, describing it as “very hard right, very populist”
“The similarities between Pierre Poilievre’s political approach and that of Donald Trump are numerous,” he added.
Duhaime slammed Nadeau-Dubois for his comparaison, calling it “completely out of place” and “inappropriate.”
“Mr. Poilievre is a Canadian, he has nothing to do with what is happening south of our borders,” said Duhaime.
Quebec Liberal Party leader Dominique Anglade also congratulated Poilievre on his win, while Parti Quebecois leader Paul St Pierre Plamondon claimed a “Trudeau-Poilievre” tandem could revive the Quebec sovereignty movement.