‘In our home, there was always a lot of talk about politics’
Quebec Liberal Party leader Dominique Anglade, who will be steering the PLQ into the next provincial election in early October, says her life at home with her parents prepared her well for politics.
“At home, there was constant talk of politics, because my father was in politics, my grandfather did politics, my great-grandfather did politics,” she told Newsfirst Multimedia in a recent interview at the downtown Montreal offices of the National Assembly’s official opposition.
Family fled Haiti
Anglade’s father, Georges Anglade, was a founding faculty member of UQAM, who was forced to flee Haiti in the last 1960s because of the political oppression he experienced there.
Born in Montreal in 1974, Anglade has led the PLQ since May 2020. Her mother, Mireille Neptune, was an economist as well as devoted adherent to feminist principles.
Before immigrating to Canada in 1969, Georges Anglade was imprisoned in Haiti by the dictatorial government of the Duvalier family, and was also exiled twice as a result of his political views.
A political environment
“In our home, there was always a lot of talk about politics, because my father was into politics, my grandfather also did politics, and my great-grandfather was into politics,” said Anglade. And since her mother was involved with women’s groups, “I was immersed in an environment that was highly political,” she added.
Although Dominique Anglade was at one time a member, a candidate and even president of the Coalition Avenir Québec which currently governs the province, she maintains today that she decided to break away permanently from the CAQ when she realized it didn’t reflect her own values.
No to politics of division
“I don’t believe in the politics of division,” she said. “I am not for this anglophones versus the francophones type of thing, the immigrants versus other immigrants, those who are vaccinated versus those who aren’t vaccinated. I am personally fed up with this whole politics of division.
“What we need is to get together, to unite, to have a real social project, to have a true vision for a collective future, regardless of our origins, regardless of where we come from. For me, this is really something that inspires me into what we are doing everyday.”
Ouellette won’t run with PLQ
Responding to questions, Anglade confirmed that Chomedey Independent MNA Guy Ouellette, who sat as a Liberal in the National Assembly from 2007 until shortly after the last provincial election in 2018 when he was ejected from the PLQ caucus, will not be running for the Quebec Liberals in the October 2022 election. “It’s not part of our plans,” she said.
Considering that the sheer number of political parties running in the 2022 provincial election is expected to be exceptional, Anglade was asked how she thought this might split the vote for the PLQ, which traditionally derives a significant amount of support from anglophone and minority community voters.
Coping with divided vote
Among the parties that could be running would be a new but as yet unnamed political entity to be formed by supporters of the Task Force on Linguistic Policy, which has serious objections to the CAQ government’s Bill 96 language law revision, as well as the federal government’s Bill C-32 to overhaul the Official Languages Act.
‘I don’t believe in the politics of division’
“I think you have to earn the trust of every single citizen,” Anglade said. “I am a democrat and we live in a democracy. But we have to earn the trust of every single person. I really hope that they see that the alternative to the CAQ is the Liberal Party, in terms of standing up for everything that’s right for the English-speaking community.”
The politics of division
In the last provincial election, virtually the only area of Quebec where the Liberals maintained a stronghold was in Laval and greater Montreal, with the CAQ government capturing seats predominantly in the province’s rural regions. But at the same time, critics have pointed out that the CAQ government has been systematically neglecting metropolitan Montreal since it came to power four years ago.
“When you’re talking about the politics of division, it’s clear there’s a division between the urban centres and the rural,” said Anglade. “But you know, there are other people outside of Montreal who are also fed up and who see the level of division. This is also part of our message.”