National QS Council | Nadeau-Dubois denounces a “referendum on immigration”

(Saguenay) “The urgency to act” which justifies the modernization of Québec solidaire is explained by the need to provide a bulwark to the Parti Québécois, which wants to transform the country project into a “referendum against immigration,” pleaded Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.


Published at 11:33 a.m.

“We cannot let Paul St-Pierre Plamondon transform this beautiful and great project which is the independence of Quebec into a referendum against immigration,” launched the co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire on Saturday, rousing the activists gathered in the National Council in Saguenay.

Mr. Nadeau-Dubois believes that the PQ leader and Prime Minister François Legault are, despite appearances, “in complete agreement”. “Housing, schools, French, public services, whatever the problem, for these two, it’s always the fault of immigration,” he said.

He criticized François Legault, who accepts private health care, and the “good old liberal party” which, according to him, is bored with austerity, and which honors former Prime Minister Philippe Couillard at the end of the week.

“These three parties are different, but they want to form the next government in Quebec. If we are here together, it is because we share this conviction that this is not what we want for Quebec,” said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

“Modernize solidarity-based Quebec”

It is this “urgency to act” which requires “modernizing Québec solidaire”, according to him. And this involves the adoption of the Saguenay Declaration and an overhaul of the Québec solidaire program. Acting co-spokeswoman Christine Labrie told activists that some proposals “take us out of our seats.”

But these changes will be made with the members of the party, said Mme Labrie. If she became a member of the party in 2017, it is because her positions “do not change from one leader to another”, adding that the political group has more than 22,000 members.

Mr. Nadeau-Dubois has affirmed on several occasions that the floor is up to the activists, and that it will be them who will decide on the future of the party. “I have one vote here, just one,” he said.

Read Paul Journet’s column

The shadow of Émilise Lessard-Therrien

Despite everything, it is impossible to ignore the context surrounding the holding of this National Council. The party has been shaken by an internal crisis since the resignation of Émilise Lessard-Therrien from her position as co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire. Following this departure, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois suggested that QS take a “pragmatic” turn and review the responsibilities of party leaders. Then, members and deputies shared their visions in numerous open letters.

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PHOTO JACQUES BOISSINOT, THE CANADIAN PRESS

The party has been shaken by an internal crisis since the resignation of Émilise Lessard-Therrien from her position as co-spokesperson.

Saturday morning, Radio-Canada reported the content of a 23-page document where Émilise Lessard-Therrien recounted “at length” the reasons which led to her resignation. She illustrates through several examples that Québec solidaire has never recognized its authority as spokesperson.

“It seems absurd to me that a female co-spokesperson who does not have the same visibility and resources as an MP does not have the bare minimum to function,” wrote Mme Lessard-Therrien, according to Radio-Canada.

Before the speech of the co-spokespersons, the National Council began with the presentation of Martin Roy, from the ethics committee of Québec solidaire. “I invite us to avoid seeking to blame and find culprits,” he explained. He believes that there is “a lot of suffering in our party”, and hopes that the interventions will be “benevolent”.

The fear of heartbreak is very real. MP Alexandre Leduc fears it. In the past, members “have left by tearing up their membership cards.” “I’m always heartbroken when this happens,” Mr. Leduc said. Some risk experiencing “disappointments at the end of the week,” he admitted.

Trust

As for Émilise Lessard-Therrien, the two current co-spokespeople expressed contrition. “It’s a collective failure that we failed to support it,” said Christine Labrie. “I regret having failed to prevent his departure, I have my share of responsibility in this departure, and I have another responsibility: that is to learn the right lessons from this departure. We must continue to question ourselves,” said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

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PHOTO EDOUARD PLANTE-FRÉCHETTE, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Émilise Lessard-Therrien

At a press briefing in the morning, he affirmed that “there is no demonstration to be made by the members of Québec solidaire towards me”. Friday, in interview with The Press, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois however maintained that the conditions for him to remain co-spokesperson for the party during the 2026 electoral campaign were not met. “Does the party trust me? That’s a question that the members and activists of Québec solidaire must answer,” he said.

This was no longer the case on Saturday. “The latest news is that the members of Québec solidaire also have confidence in me. This was confirmed during the last congress [en novembre]. As long as this trust is mutual, I want to continue to be co-spokesperson,” said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

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