SAINT-HYACINTHE — conservative quebecers were proud, Saturday, for having recruited an ex-chief bloquiste, especially in these tumultuous times for training independence. The arrival of Michel Gauthier in blues is a prelude to a policy of the “outstretched hand” that seems to want to deploy the party in order to enlarge the tent conservative in Quebec.
The former member of the Bloc québécois has made his arrival to the general council of the conservative Party of Canada, Saint-Hyacinthe, accompanied by lieutenant training policy for Quebec, Alain Rayes. Mr. Gauthier will not be a candidate in the next election, but it will actively to give a boost to candidates from quebec who brigueront the votes.
Because after “11 years of reflection,” where he was “a member of any political party or funded any political party”, he has chosen a new camp : the conservative Party. “It is the political party closest to the quebec nationalists, the most sensitive in Quebec,” argued Michel Gauthier, in a media scrum.
And sovereignty? “When the population is not behind a project like this, it takes a day turn around. We do not have the right to say no three times”, has launched the one who sat in the benches bloquistes in the Commons from 1993 to 2007, calling it “pitiful” and “sad” the turmoil in which is plunged the Bloc québécois.
“I’ve decided that for now, I’ll be working positively to provide Québec with a government that meets our objectives. And I think a lot of bloquistes of the past, of the people who were with me, who fought sincerely, will make exactly the same choice”, has he hammered.
The conservative Party has wanted to mark a major coup by taking advantage of the gathering to celebrate the arrival of Michel Gauthier. Its accession as a member of the party — he filled his form in front of tv cameras — is symbolically charged, the Bloc québécois being in a state of disarray for months under the leadership of the chief Martine Ouellet.
But this is not the bloquistes that it wants to rally, as was pointed out in a speech the former minister in the conservative and ex-ambassador of Canada to France, Lawrence Cannon. Released from reserve duty as imposed on him by his role as a diplomat, he invited the activists to conservatives to “reach out” also the supporters are neo-liberals.
“Our party will never be a party sovereignist or a socialist party, but there should always be a party open”, stated Mr. Cannon in his address to the activists. “I am convinced that a large number of Quebecers who have never voted for the conservative Party — just like me before 2006 — are ready to support us”, he pleaded.
Before him, on stage, Alain Rayes had been very optimistic about the chances of his training to do well in the election in October 2019. As from October 2015, “the tide has turned” and “he blows in our sails now,” he shouted, whipping up his troops and urging them to “seize the opportunity” and make it so that Justin Trudeau is a “prime minister for only one term”.
The mayor Lévesque enticed
The conservative Party hope to convince the mayor of Trois-Rivières, Yves Lévesque, be of the battle. The main concerned seemed very enticed by the idea of skipping finally in the arena of federal — “finally”, because he has himself recognized that he’s talking about “since 1999”.
On his arrival at the general council, on Saturday morning, he said that this time, his thinking was advanced. The family issues remain an “issue”, but I can tell you that it’s going well”, he meant. If he decides to run, Yves Lévesque plan to do so in the riding of Trois-Rivières, currently owned by the new democrats Robert Aubin.
The activists conservatives have adopted in the afternoon a series of resolutions specifically relating to the Quebec — often very strong majority and the outcome of very brief interventions in the micro.
The one who had been touted as one of the resolutions-the highlights of the book and which seeks the implementation of an income tax return single has been endorsed by 190 members, compared to 23.
The proposal of a renegotiation of the Agreement on safe third country with the United States, “in order to eliminate deficiencies related to the entry of illegal immigrants in Canada” was passed with an overwhelming majority of 197 green cards against six red cards.
The result has been more tight when it came time to decide on the proposal to eliminate the requirement for canadian businesses collect the GST on subscriptions to all platforms of dissemination of cultural content online. The resolution has obtained the support of 127 members from 57.
The proposal to put an end to the party line in the House of commons by allowing free votes for its part, has been beaten to 100 votes to 63.
The votes on the resolutions of the notebook — there are 73 in all — will continue Sunday on the floor of the council. At the end of the process, three specific proposals in Quebec will be submitted to the national convention of the party which will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in August next.
The holding of a general council in Quebec, a first, is part of an offensive aimed to appeal to the québec electorate. The conservatives are working to fix the “image problem” that they had under Stephen Harper, as indicated by Alain Rayes interview a few days ago.
The new democrat mp for the constituency where the rally, Brigitte Sansoucy, there has been no change. “What I see in the Room, me, all the days, it is the same conservative Party that we saw during the 10 years of the [Stephen] Harper, the same positions,” she argued.
“Again this week, it was obvious,” she illustrated, with reference to the cry launched last Wednesday in the House by the conservative mp Ted Falk about the right to abortion. “This is not a right,” had dropped the elect of Manitoba while Justin Trudeau’s, in response to a question, that his liberals would still defend that right.
The general council shall end on Sunday with a closing speech by Andrew Scheer.