Immigration and id politics as soon as once more had been on the forefront because the leaders of the primary events confronted off for the third time Thursday night time — a debate that obtained sidetracked again and again, notably when the PQ’s Jean-François Lisée demanded to know simply who’s Québec Solidaire’s chief.

The ultimate debate, carried on the French-language TVA community, proved to be the testiest but, because the 4 leaders debated one another on quite a lot of matters, one on one, on the lookout for their opponents’ weaknesses.

Hijab-wearing cadet ‘has rights identical to you’

Although by no means talked about particularly, one of many solely police cadets in Quebec to put on a hijab discovered herself the main focus of debate, when Coalition Avenir Québec’s François Legault, attacked the incumbent, Philippe Couillard, for permitting cops to work whereas carrying a Muslim scarf.

“Why do you wish to take away the rights of a Quebec girl?” the Liberal chief retorted. “You are speaking about her like she’s not an individual.”

“She’s an individual. She’s a Quebecer, and he or she has rights identical to you.”

Legault mentioned polls present the vast majority of Quebecers consider police shouldn’t be allowed to put on non secular symbols.

“In a democratic society, we do not take away a minority’s rights due to polls,” mentioned Couillard. “We do not govern by polls on the query of rights.”

He requested Legault what number of cops in Quebec now put on a hijab, saying there isn’t any present disaster of cops carrying non secular symbols.

“A premier is there to be proactive,” replied Legault.

QS’s Massé requested to clarify her function

The format of this debate gave the co-spokesperson of Québec Solidaire, Manon Massé, ample alternative to make her factors, and the truth that her occasion is creeping up within the polls has clearly not been misplaced on the PQ chief.

Requested to debate Massé on the scarcity of household medical doctors, Lisée rapidly disbursed with the subject at hand to demand Massé clarify her function.

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“I am being requested to not ask questions which can be too exhausting of Manon Massé,” Lisée mentioned. “However I’ve a supplementary query to ask: It is a leaders debate.… Should you aren’t the chief of Québec Solidaire, then who’s and why is not he right here on the leaders debate?”

“We have realized to share energy,” Massé informed him.”It is a obligatory democratic observe, once you wish to change the world.” 

Parti Québécois Chief Jean-François Lisée questioned the construction of rival occasion Québec Solidaire on the closing leaders’ debate. (Radio-Canada)

Lisée’s refusal to return to the well being care matter was an odd second, scary a barrage of questions from journalists after the controversy ended.

“Québec Solidaire is now an necessary participant on this marketing campaign, and the co-spokespeople, Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois are terrific. However they’re spokespeople. Who’s the boss of those spokespeople? Who’re they talking for?” he defined within the post-debate scrum.

He repeated his assertion that there’s an unnamed chief within the background, pulling the co-spokespeople’s strings.

When Massé was requested what she considered that, she burst out laughing.

“You guys know there is no chief of Québec Solidaire,” she mentioned to journalists. “We’re two co-spokespeople, a person and a girl. You understand why? To at all times make certain there’s one man and one girl who’re the spokespeople of this occasion.”

French assessments for immigrants

Legault discovered himself as soon as once more on the defensive for his controversial promise to make immigrants move a French check in the event that they wish to keep in Quebec.

The CAQ chief was requested by TVA host Pierre Bruneau whether or not Quebecers might belief him on such an necessary topic as immigration, after he responded incorrectly to questions on how the immigration system works earlier this week.

“Our place is straightforward,” mentioned Legault, reiterating his vow that immigrants who fail to move a French check and a check on Quebec values wouldn’t be allowed to remain within the province.

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“It is not a query of expulsion,” he mentioned. “It is that we cannot settle for them.”

“The one factor we’re expelling is the Liberal occasion.”

Manon Massé, proper, co-spokesperson for Québec Solidaire, informed CAQ Chief François Legault she would not consider he has something in opposition to immigrants — that he is solely going after them as a result of his strategists have informed him it is a technique to win votes. (TVA)

Legault’s been accused again and again by each the Liberal and Parti Québécois leaders of horrifying newcomers.

In her one-on-one with him, Québec Solidaire’s Massé tried a special tack.

“I consider you once you say you’ve got obtained nothing in opposition to immigrants,” Massé informed Legault.

“I ponder in case your political strategists aren’t telling you to push this concern — to win votes.”

‘Saviour of well being care?’

The controversy opened with one-on-one sparring on well being care, with Legault asking Couillard if he thought well being care had improved in any approach within the 15 years since former Liberal premier Jean Charest launched the retired neurosurgeon to Quebecers as “the saviour of well being care.”  

Legault reminded Couillard he’d talked again then about altering the way in which medical doctors had been paid to supply incentives to work carefully with nurses and nurse practitioners.

“You had been well being minister for 5 years, premier for 4 years, you have not modified it,” he mentioned.

“Truly, it is already taking place,” Couillard replied, pointing to the Jewish Common Hospital’s mixed-remuneration system by means of instance.

A number of occasions, Couillard was compelled to defend cuts his authorities made to public spending in his first two years in workplace, notably in well being and schooling.

“I believe Mr. Couillard, you have no credibility at this time to say you are going to restore what you broke,” the PQ’s Lisée informed the Liberal chief.

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“What breaks our public providers are deficits. [Your party] gave them to us,” Couillard replied. “We took care of them. We fastened the issue.” 

Philippe Couillard speaks to reporters after the third leaders’ debate. (Radio-Canada)

How a lot do groceries value?

Inevitably, Couillard’s remark in a radio interview Thursday {that a} household of three might stay for every week on $75 price of groceries got here up within the night’s debate.

Critics have mentioned Couillard’s remark is out of contact.

“Right here in Montreal this week, there are individuals who do their groceries with that price range,” responded Couillard. “You have to know that, in any other case you are not delicate to them.

On that time, Massé agreed, reminding voters of her occasion’s plan to boost the minimal hourly wage to $15.

Couillard mentioned his occasion’s poverty plan will assist raise individuals out of poverty.

“I do not assume Mr. Legault has a [poverty plan],” he mentioned.

Higher to be feared than cherished?

As regards to provincial-federal relations, Lisée invoked the identical Machiavellian screed as within the first French debate — that Quebec will get a greater deal when a pro-sovereignty occasion is in energy as a result of it makes federalist politicians afraid.

“Ottawa would not care when there are federalists in energy. They do not like Quebec; they do not respect it, however when sovereignists are in energy, they’re afraid of us.”

Legault, whose occasion helps federalism, fired again.

“What credibility do you might have once you discuss to Ottawa when you do not need federalism to work?” he mentioned.

If elected, Lisée’s occasion wouldn’t suggest a referendum till its second time period.


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