Coderre jumps into the race for leadership of the Liberal Party of Quebec

Coderre jumps into the race for leadership of the Liberal Party of Quebec
Coderre jumps into the race for leadership of the Liberal Party of Quebec

The former mayor of Montreal and former Liberal federal minister made the announcement Friday morning, in front of the National Assembly in Quebec.

He says yes to: more immigration, a third link between Quebec and Lévis with the possibility of providing public transport, Law 21 on secularism, “a strong Quebec in an efficient Canada”, a tramway in Quebec if Mayor Bruno Marchand wants it, the nationalization of bottled water, the existence of systemic racism, the Northvolt battery factory. Among the range of subjects he covered.

In a 35-minute speech where he also reaffirmed his liberal faith, his federalist faith and his Catholic faith, without failing to greet the tourists who passed nearby in their double-decker bus.

Mr. Coderre was surrounded by a dozen current or former Quebec liberal organizers or activists from the start, including the former member for Montmorency, Raymond Bernier, and Christian Therrien, his campaign director who is a municipal councilor in the municipality of Armagh, in Bellechasse.

For his announcement, Denis Coderre was surrounded by a dozen supporters, including his campaign manager for the leadership, Christian Therrien, with the red jacket. (Frédéric Matte/Le Soleil)

This riding on the south shore of Quebec is currently represented by a member of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), Stéphanie Lachance.

Bellechasse, I’m coming!

Mr. Coderre says he chose Bellechasse “because it is a federalist riding with a high French-speaking content and an agricultural and industrial character.”

Bellechasse is also directly concerned by a project for a third link to the East with which Denis Coderre says he is in favor.

“We need a third link, but we have to stop changing our minds every five minutes.”

— Denis Coderre, who does not say no to bringing public transport to this possible third link

In Bellechasse, Stéphanie Lachance was elected with 46% of the votes ahead of the candidate of Éric Duhaime’s Conservative Party of Quebec, Michel Tardif, in the October 2022 election. The liberal candidate, François Bégin, had only won 4%. voters.

The conservative Tardif, leaning on a lamppost at a distance, was on hand to listen to his possible electoral opponent. On the side of the Lachance caquiste, we refuse to comment on Mr. Coderre’s candidacy.

Federal MP in the Montreal riding of Bourassa, Mr. Coderre says he will run in Bellechasse “not because I’m burned out elsewhere, but because I have too much respect for the regions.”

He also promises that he will be a Liberal candidate in the 2026 general elections even if he does not become party leader next year. Admitting to being “parachuted” into the constituency, he also promised to buy a house there and settle there.

Legault like Groulx

Victim of a stroke in April 2023, the 60-year-old politician had since repeated that he would officially announce his intentions to return from a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela carried out in May.

During the hour and ten that his press conference lasted, despite a little rain, Mr. Coderre attacked the project of holding a third referendum on the sovereignty of Quebec supported by the Parti Québécois and its leader, Paul St- Pierre Plamondon.

On François Legault, current premier of Quebec and head of the CAQ, he described his nationalism as “identitarian,” comparing him to Lionel Groulx. He also indicated that Mr. Legault “knows nothing about immigration” and considers him “the weak link in his government.”

Mr. Coderre also did not fail to mention his liberal heritage.

Among his idols, he named the late Liberal provincial MP for Maskinongé Yvon Picotte, who died in May, as well as the former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien, who had made him his federal Minister of Immigration the last two years of his 10-year reign, in 2002 and 2003.

He also praised the financial rigor of Philippe Couillard and praised the president of the Employers’ Council, Karl Blackburn. A former Liberal member of the National Assembly, Mr. Blackburn was also considered for the leadership race of the PLQ, but prostate cancer prevented him from doing so.

“Karl would make a good minister,” said Mr. Coderre, letting us understand that he is already putting together his cabinet of ministers.

Not forgetting that he quoted Nelson Mandela: “Mandela said: “You don’t lose, you learn.” I have already lost and I know how not to lose,” he said.

This will begin with his tour of 125 spaghetti dinners in each of Quebec’s ridings, starting in September.

The race is taking shape

With this announcement, Denis Coderre becomes the first candidate to officially enter the race to succeed Dominique Anglade for the political party since led by interim leader Marc Tanguay.

The race is starting to take shape. Current MP for Marguerite-Bourgeoys, Frédéric Beauchemin has never hidden his intentions.

Charles Milliard recently announced that he was resigning from his position as president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce.

Mr. Coderre also said of Mr. Milliard that “he would make an excellent minister, by the way.”

“I have no problem with Charles, I know him well. You will not hear me speak against my opponents. We want to have a race, we’re going to have one. We will be respectful. And may the best win!”

— Denis Coderre, first official candidate for the leadership race of the Liberal Party of Quebec

Other new names are circulating, including that of the mayor of Victoriaville Antoine Tardif.

The race might therefore not be so simple for Denis Coderre. A Léger poll published by Quebecor media in early June indicated that only 12% of Liberal voters now see Mr. Coderre as the ideal leader for the PLQ. A decrease of 15% compared to February.

The Liberals will elect their new leader in June 2025.

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