The election campaign is over, a new government will soon come to power, and I would like to share with you some of my conclusions on this election.
First and foremost, I am very proud of the campaign of ideas led by the Green Party of Quebec and our candidates on the ground in all regions of Quebec. Our team of candidates, younger (average age of 34 years) and more female (58% female candidates) than ever before, conducted a campaign unprecedented in our party’s 34-year history.
Together we injected positive energy and a progressive youth perspective into a political environment where optimism, the promotion of living together and environmental protection are rarely on everyone’s lips. Together we have demonstrated that green voices are essential in our democracy and voters have responded very favourably to our proposals by tripling their support for our party!
We finished in fifth place, and are the largest political party outside the National Assembly! With close to 68k people who voted for our party, we are now a force to be reckoned with in Québec politics! We are ahead of both the Conservative Party and the NDP who have both conducted major campaigns across Quebec!
A new government
Although our party has had many successes, Quebec is facing a new challenge: the election of a majority CAQ government. This new government represents a major shift to the right for Quebec. We can no longer take anything for granted. The environment, the public health system, education, workers and minority rights are now at stake. This government, which is geared towards big business, will seek to reduce the size of the public service by attacking services in order to give tax cuts to multinationals, big business and the richest people. They will seek to limit our rights, suspend the constitution, arbitrarily limit immigration thresholds and even plan to legalize discrimination in public service employment.
In this new political era, you can count on the involvement of the Green Party of Quebec and our team in issues of great importance for the future of Quebec. Together, we will stand up to François Legault and his right-wing coalition. Together we will be on the ground in support of environmental groups, citizens and the most vulnerable. Austerity measures and right-wing identity politics have gone on long enough and the Green Party of Quebec will be there to oppose the next wave.
Although there will be many challenges under a François Legault government, I remain optimistic about Quebec’s future. A government that is explicitly anti-environmental, anti-immigrant and openly pro-authority will give rise to unprecedented social movements. This new right-wing era will allow us to gather the critical masses that will be needed to exert pressure, to oppose and to prepare for the future.
I would like to thank Philippe Couillard for his political involvement. Although we were often not on the same wavelength, he did take limited action to promote living together and welcoming refugees, immigrants and minorities in a political arena dominated by the nationalist right, and I congratulate him for his openness towards minorities and refugees. He also had the courage to cancel the ransacking of Anticosti Island planned by Ms. Marois’ government, and I thank him for his actions in this matter.
Manon Massé and Québec solidaire succeeded in increasing their number of seats and I congratulate them on their campaign, although I believe that they placed far too much emphasis on the national question and I remain disappointed in their lack of commitment on the carbon tax and the fight against climate change. They did advance left-wing ideas in the political arena and I appreciate their willingness to work for low income people.
Jean-François Lisée did not have an easy job in his party, but he still ran a campaign that was more focused on real issues rather than divisive politics, and I applaud the difference between him and his predecessor in that regard, although I was unimpressed by many of his statements.
During this campaign, I had the pleasure of meeting the leader of the NDP, Raphaël Fortin, as well as the leader of the Conservatives, Adrien Pouliot. Although our parties have many differences of opinion, I salute the commitment of these two opponents to Quebec democracy. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to lead an emerging party and I have great respect for their commitment to democracy.
For several years now, the Green Party of Quebec has been involved in cross-party discussions on the reform of the voting system in Quebec. Earlier this year I signed a commitment with François Legault and the spokespersons for QS and the PQ on a series of commitments to reform the voting system, including tabling a bill in the first year of the new government. Since the election, François Legault has reiterated his commitment to work towards this goal and the Green Party of Quebec will be present in these consultations and beyond. So far we have played an important role and we intend to continue to do so. Who knows, perhaps the Quebec Green Party will win many seats in a proportional election in 2022. Let us redouble our efforts to do so.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone involved in our campaign and the 68,000 people who put their trust in us at the ballot box. Whether you are a candidate, intern, employee, volunteer or supporter, you have all contributed to this victory. Our party is better represented than ever and we are very well placed to continue to defend ecology and social justice in Quebec politics.
On a personal note, I am very pleased with the campaign we ran, our candidates, our platform and our team. I believe we have succeeded in distinguishing ourselves from the other parties on several levels and I have never been more optimistic about the future of our party! There really is that there is no limit to what we can accomplish together. We just have to work hard to get there. I am ready to continue the work we started together, I am very proud of our team and for all these reasons I would like to continue to lead our party until the next election. I believe strongly in our mission, in our organization and in our team. Let’s continue to fight together and the voters will give us even more support in the next election!
Over the coming months and years, the Green Party of Quebec will be active on the ground in all regions. We will continue to defend our values, to stand up to the government and to build our movement and our party together. A few days of rest will be enough and then be careful, because we have only just begun. We will continue to surprise voters, the media and civil society with our passion, our determination and our desire to see Quebec move toward a greener, more inclusive and more egalitarian future.
Thank you so much for your support and let’s continue to work together!
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec