“The majority of Quebecers think that the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) has conducted the best campaign,” François Legault said on Saturday, responding to “some analysts” who he said labeled his views as racist.
“We are where Quebecers are, not some analysts who associate it with racism, to protect our language and our values.”
He was at a meeting with municipal officials and entrepreneurs in Chibougamau.
In a press conference afterwards, he declined to say who accused him of being racist. He also declined to specify what Quebec’s values were.
In Chibougamau, the CAQ leader also insinuated that “we have associated (his positions) with all sorts of things”, and declined to say what he was referring to.
Nevertheless, he boasted that he had “the courage to say openly” that we must “defend our language and our values”, even if that led to “some people” criticizing him.
“There are people who have tried to make amalgams with the fact that I want to defend the values of Quebec and the French language.”
The CAQ leader responded to columnists who said he ran a bad campaign.
On the contrary, Legault states that he is satisfied with his campaign, that he is not angry and that he is in a good mood.
Legault campaigned Friday and Saturday in Ungava, Quebec’s largest equestrian center, where he made several stops on Friday.
His incumbent Denis Lamothe faces Quebec Solidarity (QS) Cree candidate Maïte Labrecque-Saganash, and liberal Inuk candidate Tunu Napartuk, a first in the province.
The CAQ leader wanted to mobilize his supporters by telling them that nothing has been won until Election Day.
NO IMMIGRATION REFERENDUM FOR 6 MONTHS
Legault is not ruling out anything, but he says he has no plans to repatriate federal immigration powers.
In a news scrum Saturday in Chibougamau, he said he is open to the idea if he re-forms the government on Monday.
This could be a sectoral referendum, that is, asking the population to support him in his effort to give Quebec more control over its immigration.
“It’s not in the plans, but I’m open,” he said. “So there is no plan to do this in six months. Being open means it is not ruled out, but there is no plan, no sequence planned.”
The CAQ government wants to control the flow of temporary foreign workers and family reunification.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published in French on October 1, 2022.