Martin C. Barry
Last Monday morning, the Laval region’s six Coalition Avenir Québec candidates held an unofficial launch of their campaign for the Oct. 1 provincial election with the opening of their headquarters on de l’Avenir Blvd. in central Laval.
With the campaign set to begin officially on Aug. 23, Laval CAQ supporters are hoping to score a breakthrough in the 2018 election, expanding the party’s number of seats in the region beyond those it currently holds on the North Shore.
Support from councillors
The six CAQ candidates running in Laval in the election are Mauro Barone (Mille-Îles), Alice Abou-Khalil (Chomedey), Adriana Dudas (Fabre), Christine Mitton (Laval-des-Rapides), Michel Reeves (Vimont) and Christopher Skeete (Sainte-Rose).
Some of the candidates, such as Mauro Barone who is running against Liberal incumbent Francine Charbonneau, received apparent support from members of Laval city council. Several Laval city councillors were among the 75 or so people who crowded into a rented storefront on de l’Avenir Blvd. for the headquarters opening.
Chomedey CAQiste determined
“As you have no doubt surmised, I am not a homegrown Quebecer,” said Chomedey CAQ candidate Alice Abou-Khalil. “But I am Québécoise in my heart and, even better, Québécoise by choice. And I have always consecrated a great deal of time to my community and I decided to run for the CAQ and stir things up a bit.”
She said she wants to put an end to the “inaction” of the Liberals, while following CAQ leader François Legault who has “intergrity and determination.” According to Abou-Khalil, the CAQ’s three priorities are education, the economy and health, “which align very well with what I hope to accomplish in Chomedey.”
CAQ’s Skeete confident
The CAQ’s Sainte-Rose candidate Christopher Skeete, a founding member of the party, said, “This is my third election as a candidate in Laval. I am convinced that this time will be the right one, because I am surrounded by competent people.”
Of the six candidates, perhaps it is Alice Abou-Khalil who faces the steepest challenge since the riding of Chomedey has long been a Quebec Liberal stronghold. “I agree that it is a château fort,” she said in an interview with the Laval News.
“But I believe that people want a change and they see that things haven’t been changing for the last 15 years. We need a government that will bring this change and do things better.”