Martin C. Barry
A large crowd of supporters of incumbent Chomedey Liberal MNA Guy Ouellette gathered at a Notre Dame Blvd. office on Aug. 28 for the launch of Ouellette’s 2018 provincial election campaign.
Liberal since 1960
This will be the fifth campaign the Quebec Liberal Party veteran wages in a riding where support for the PLQ remains highest among the six provincial ridings in the Laval region. Voters in this area of Laval have consistently voted Liberal since 1960.
Joking with the crowd, Ouellette pointed out that the photo used on his campaign poster makes him appear ageless. “For those of you who’ve seen my picture on the wall, I was told that for this campaign – I don’t know if it’s Photoshop – but with my old 2007 photo and with the one from 2018 I seem to have just a little bit more grey, I seem to be growing younger with the years,” he quipped.
Won’t be easy, says Ouellette
While Ouellette won the 2014 election in Chomedey with a record 73 per cent share of the vote (a level not seen since 1985 when former PLQ MNA Lise Bacon won with more than 72 per cent support), he told supporters at this latest launch:
“This will not be an easy campaign. But I will tell you that I am very, very happy to be starting this campaign with you all. I think we have come a long way over the past 11 years.”
While acknowledging this, Ouellette also wished all his volunteers and other supporters success while helping out on his campaign. “I am pleased that you are here with us tonight,” he said. “Good campaign, and just spread the word that in Chomedey on Oct. 1 it will stay Liberal.”
Aiming for six of out six
At the same time, he noted a pattern in Quebec provincial elections that involves Laval’s six ridings. “If we want to be in government we need to have six ridings in Laval,” he said. “Without six it’s dangerous. And normally at six Liberal MNAs in Laval we are in power.”
Noting that Laurier-Dorion Liberal candidate George Tsantrizos was also present at the launch, Ouellette said, “We need him and I want to be in the National Assembly with George Oct. 2.” Not to be forgotten, he also told his supporters, many of whom are from countries such as Greece, Lebanon or Morocco, that they should remember to remind friends and relatives, who may be overseas around election time, to be back to vote on Oct. 1.
A demanding riding
“Every riding is different, but this is a riding where you need to work seven days a week because the citizens of Chomedey like to see their MNA over weekends,” Ouellette said in an interview with the Laval News. He noted that the 2012 provincial election marked the first time in recent memory that the Laval region’s National Assembly seats were split, with two seats going to the Parti Québécois and four to the Liberals. At that time, the PQ formed a short-lived government.
Pointing out that the Laval Liberal MNAs worked proactively for 18 months with the PQ government, Ouellette said, “I can tell you that a caucus divided in Laval is not in the interests of the people, because the files and the importance of Laval need to be recognized in Quebec City. Laval is a city that is in expansion mode for the future so it needs to be adequately represented at the government level. In my experience over five campaigns, having MNAs who are all Liberal in Laval with a government that is also Liberal is beneficial for everyone.”