The family at the heart of the duel PLQ-CAQ

Photo: Marco Bélair-Cirino Duty
The leader of the CAQ, François Legault, was in Sherbrooke this weekend, where about 600 activists caquistes were assembled in general council.

The chief caquiste, François Legault, has found a solution to the demographic challenge, which would stimulate the economy in addition to preserving the identity of québec : a baby boom. The idea was immediately ridiculed by his opponent, liberal Philippe Couillard.


In the eyes of Mr. Legault, a surge of births in the province would enhance the growth of the Quebec economy, which is currently leaded by a low population growth, but would save also the québécois identity, which is based on a ” language “, “culture” and “values” in common. “The family is the soul of the québécois nation “, he said in the closing speech of the general council of the CAQ, Sunday.


Three years after the arrival of Philippe Couillard to the orders of the State, “a lot of middle-class families [living] in the anxiety financial,” said Mr. Legault.


To increase the fertility rate, the Coalition avenir Québec ” mett[ra] more money in the wallet of the parents who want to have a second or a third child “, he promised in front of an audience of some 600 activists raring to go.




Ten months before the next general elections, the leader of the CAQ sweeps the idea of introducing a new “baby-bonus” modeled on the one established by the government Bourrassa in 1989. “We are moving towards the amounts that would be recurring to a first child, but even more for the second, then the third child,” he simply said in a press conference.


Then he was asked if he would propose a cocktail of measures to encourage women to mute their professional careers to raise their children in the family home, Mr. Legault said : “we need to find a balance between helping families, but also help women to access and remain on the labour market. “He recalled that the employment rate of women reached a record in Quebec. “It is a good thing for the economy of Quebec. “


For the moment, no measures to “help more of our families in Quebec” is not ruled out, including that of allowing the splitting of income between two parents who do not have the same wages, and this, to lower their level of taxation spouse.


A measure worrying, according to the LIBERALS


The will caquiste to increase the birth rate has been mocked by the prime minister, Philippe Couillard. “The priests of the CAQ will do the visit in the parish, to verify if the world have children on the way, as we used to say in the time ? “, he asked in the margin of the congress of the liberal Party of Quebec, Sunday. More seriously, the liberal leader has denounced a ” worrying “, inspired by a ” battle of the last century “. “Me, what I believe to decode it, is that women are big enough to decide when they want children, if they want to have,” -he said.


According to him, the position of the CAQ helps to distinguish the visions of the two parties in matters of family. Those are ” radically different “, according to the prime minister. “We haven’t quite realized that, for the families of Quebec, everything is not a question of money. […] The time, it can’t be bought. […] People have a need for a valve time “, he insisted, evoking once again the opportunity to give more paid leave to workers in quebec.


Increase the birth rate, decreasing immigration


“The population of Quebec is aging. How we respond to the defining challenge for our future ? There are not 50 solutions possible, there are two of them : immigration and the birth rate, ” said François Legault, in front of the activists of the CAQ. “I want to be very clear : the CAQ is in favour of immigration. But what we want is a successful immigration “, he quickly added, drawing applause, spontaneous activists gathered in a conference room of the Delta Hotel in Sherbrooke.


Mr. Legault was later explained to journalists that the people from immigration do not constitute a threat to quebec identity to the extent that they are well integrated in the quebec society. “When there are immigrants who come here and embrace our culture, adopt our values, adopt our language, it helps our demographics,” -he said at a press conference.


However, the integration of immigrants is proving to be a failure at the present time. To demonstrate this, the unemployment rate of neo-Québécois hovers around 15 %, five years after their arrival in Quebec, he repeated during the weekend.


The CAQ intends to reduce to 40,000 the number of immigrants admitted by Quebec, while maintaining the amounts currently allocated for the integration of some 50,000 immigrants admitted each year.


The divide between the program of the PLQ and the CAQ has also expanded in the area of immigration. “Mr. Legault is completely lacking the primary economic issue in Quebec, which is the shortage of manpower,” said Mr. Couillard. “Propose to reduce the immigration as he does — unless he changes his mind again — it is a position of uneconomical. “


The prime minister made a confession implied of the failure of the francization in Quebec, outlined in broad strokes in the most recent report of the auditor general. “Before the increase [on the threshold of welcoming immigrants], we have to make sure that we correct what needs to be corrected, especially in the francization and integration,” he conceded.


In front of the liberals, he said that any politician that proposes to reduce immigration harms the economic interests of Quebec, and particularly its regions.” Philippe Couillard, however, kept responding to a question on the increase of the thresholds of immigration. “We will always do the maximum, but the maximum that is done well “, he concluded.


During his remarks, Mr. Legault has not named neither the liberal leader, Philippe Couillard — who had yet scratched on more than one occasion during the weekend, or the leader of the parti québecois, Jean-François Lisée, or one of the spokesperson of Québec solidaire. “I want to be positive,” he explained.

Compulsory education up to 18 years

The minister of Education, Sébastien Proulx, took the floor Saturday to support a resolution to make education compulsory until the age of 18. This proposal, of which the original wording would require school attendance until the age of majority ” for students who are not holders of a diploma of secondary studies or vocational training “, however, was defeated in a vote of the delegates liberals. “I stand by the proposal which is in the Policy of educational success, which says that it is necessary to think of different ways to continue the school,” responded the minister, without ruling out the possibility of imposing compulsory school attendance until the age of 18. According to him, the population does not reject this idea, but rather ” the method of the CAQ “, which is to force people to stay in school and thus ” prolong the torment, in a certain way “.

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