Quebec's Legault vows to be premier for all but has limited backing in Montreal


Quebec’s Premier Francois Legault speaks at the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) provincial election night party in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Quebec Premier Francois Legault made a fresh pledge to work for all Quebecers after a landslide election victory on Monday in the wake of a divisive campaign that promised to cap immigration and protect the French language.

But Legault's pledge to be a leader for all Quebecers faces challenges, analysts say, after his party was nearly shut out of Montreal, the Canadian province's largest metropolis.

Legault, the leader of Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), extended an olive branch to the predominantly French-speaking province's English-language minority, along with immigrants after his larger-than-expected victory.

"When I say that Quebecers form a great nation I mean all Quebecers, from all regions, of all ages, of all origins," Legault told his supporters late on Monday. "I'm going to be the premier of all Quebecers."

Legault tackled the immigration issue, arguing that all parties in Quebec support new arrivals.

"There is no party that rejects immigration." Legault has promised to cap immigration at 50,000 per year.

Montreal, the province's economic and cultural metropolis, remains largely a stronghold of the opposition Quebec Liberals.

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, said it will be a challenge "to reconcile you as the premier of all Quebecers" given that CAQ has limited representation in Montreal, Quebec's most diverse region.

"Even though Legault does not have a lot of seats in Montreal he needs to be credible," added Leger pollster executive Christian Bourque.

Legault was re-elected to a second term after promising to cut taxes to offset higher living costs.

He apologized last month for awkwardly linking newcomers to Quebec with extremism and warned last week that bringing in immigrants who did not speak French would be "suicidal."

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In World

Germany's Scholz: We must avoid dividing world into Cold War-style blocs
Female athletes in crosshairs for online abuse, according to World Athletics
‘Pay the money or we will kill you.’ Former teaching assistant blackmailed ex, US feds say
Australia PM tests positive for COVID, to work from home
Australians fear for privacy as hackers steal personal data
Indonesia set to pass new criminal code that will ban sex outside marriage
India's capital blanketed in smog; private construction banned
As Elon Musk is learning, content moderation is a messy job
Amazon workers stole nearly US$10mil from company to buy real estate, luxury cars, US cops say
New Zealand announces review of its handling of COVID-19 pandemic

Others Also Read