Major political redirection on Laval Island
The CAQ sweep of 90 seats across Québec comes as no surprise, but the previous Liberal tide of 2018 in Laval that swept five of the six seats lost enough intensity and height to bring about a more extensive presence of the Legault factor island-wide.
As expected, Christopher Skeete easily drifted to victory in Sainte-Rose, outdistancing his strongest rival – PLQ’s Michel Trottier by a wide margin. Trottier is no stranger to Laval politics, having successfully contested several campaigns at municipal level. After four years as leader of the opposition at city hall, Trottier bolted after his loss to Stephane Boyer for the mayor’s chair.
Asked to what he attributed his win and the massive success of the CAQ cross-province,
Skeet told TLN that the credit must go “To the Premier and his amazing leadership and the stellar team we have in general. “Skeet said he fought hard because he believes in the CAQ’s philosophy, strategies, aims, and belief that to govern effectively is to render service to all Quebecers. “I promised M. Legault that as long as he was there, I would fight a good fight with him. We managed to surprise a lot of people, imagine what we can do in the next 4 years.”
Asked if he had a message for those who didn’t vote for him, he replied that “it doesn’t matter that you didn’t vote for me, I’m going to be your MNA, the person speaking on your behalf in the National Assembly. I represent all 53,000 voters and their families in Sainte-Rose,” adding that “he was grateful to the people of Sainte-Rose who put their trust in me as their representative in Québec City. I hold their support in very high esteem and I will continue to be present to all residents of the district.”
Having spent the last four years carrying the heavy load of Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier for Relations with English-Speaking Québecers, in February of 2021 he also took on the role of Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism.
At press time, Skeete’s totals for 2022 were at over 13,000 votes, with a margin of 5,000 over Trottier.
In addition to winner Skeete and runner-up Trottier, four other hopefuls sought the Sainte-Rose seat in the National Assembly: Lyne Jubinville of the Parti Québecois, Karine Cliche of Québec Solidaire, Pierrette Kamning Nguendjong of the Green Party, and Stéphanie Beauchamp of the Québec Conservative Party.
Of these six candidates, four are women, a changing-of-the-gender guard as only one woman out of eight candidates – Caroiline Bergevin of the Green Party – was courageous enough to throw her political hat in the ring in 2018.
Is there a seat in cabinet looming on the horizon for Skeete as he embarks on his second consecutive term in office as Sainte-Rose MNA? “Only time will tell,” the 43-year-old- veteran politician answered politely and cautiously, carefully choosing to stay on the good side of optimistic expectations.
Haytayan wins in Laval-des-Rapides
In the other five Laval-Island provincial ridings, at press time, the CAQ was declared winners or leading in three – with Alice Abou-Khalil leading in Fabre, Celine Haytayan in Laval des Rapides,and Valérie Schmaltz in Vimont. In Mille -Îles, Liberal Virginie Dufour was leading CAQ’s Julie Sélde by a narrow margin. One seat was declared lost to the CAQ.
Not surprisingly, in Liberal Bastion Chomedey, Sona Lakhoyan Olivier narrowly retained the riding for Anglade’s party, although the margin of victory was considerably reduced compared with the wins racked up by the three pervious MNAs – Guy Ouellette, Thomas Mulcair, and Lise Bacon in election-after-election since the early 1980s.