Charest meets with Lieutenant-Governor (VIDEO)
CJAD's Laura Casella was in Quebec City this morning as Premier Jean Charest met with Lieutenant Pierre Duchesne, asking him to dissolve the National Assembly, paving the way for a Sept. 4 election.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS) Premier Jean Charest has announced plans to call a provincial election, with all signs pointing to a vote on Sept. 4.
Should Charest win, he would tie a provincial record with four consecutive victories. But his Liberals are involved a tough three-way race and, if the polls are to be believed, they will enter the campaign as underdog against the Parti Quebecois.
The campaign's dark horse is the Coalition for Quebec's Future; the new party has attracted much attention with its promise to bring together separatists and federalists while improving the economy.
The Charest cabinet held its last pre-election meeting this morning in Quebec City.
With that, the premier crossed the street at 11:22 a.m. to visit the lieutenant-governor and set the vote date for Quebec's 40th general election.
The premier is expected to campaign on a theme of stability. He will argue that his Liberals stand for economic order while his PQ opponents encourage disorderly street protests and chaos in the markets with their pursuit of Quebec independence.
The PQ will reply that Charest doesn't deserve another term, given all the ethics scandals in the province including several that have swirled around his own government.
In fact, PQ Leader Pauline Marois held a news conference before the expected election call this morning and made it clear that integrity and ethics will be a key issue as she tries to oust a
``tired and corrupt government.''
``We will put an end to the influence of money in politics,'' she said in Quebec City. ``As opposed to the Liberals, we have chosen honesty.''
Marois also took aim at Ottawa, saying the federal government stands firmly in the way of Quebec's values and economic interests.
``We want Quebec to stand tall against the Canada of Stephen Harper.... Canada has become a risk for Quebec.''
``Rather than being a distinct province, we would prefer that Quebec become a normal country.''