THE CANADIAN PRESS
A visibly angry Jean Charest reacted to an inflammatory report, aired in the heat of the Quebec election campaign Wednesday, on his ties to a player in the construction industry.
Allegations of criminal corruption in the industry, and political parties' links to it, are among the key issues in the Sept. 4 election and the piece by the French-language CBC pushed them back to the forefront.
An investigative report by Radio-Canada said the provincial police stopped tailing a construction-union official in 2009 after that man had a chat with Charest.
The Liberal premier, seeking re-election, expressed outrage that anyone who viewed the report might draw a conclusion that he had something to do with the police decision. He said all he did was exchange brief pleasantries at a public event.
``Never, never, never did I intervene. Never,'' Charest told reporters outside his campaign ...
Everyone's a separatist except for Liberals... A vote for anyone else will result in another referendum... Yada, yada, yada...
Alright, already! We get it. You've successfully freaked out Montreal Anglos, Jean Charest. Now, can you please turn off 'la cassette' and give Anglos a little something that will encourage us to vote for you? Another boulevard-gateway to suburban sprawl on the West Island might not be enough.
The Premier's message is getting tiresome and awfully repetitive. Listen to the clips to the right. The first is from today, the second from his appearance on The Andrew Carter Show on Monday.
With former Equality Party MNA Robert Libman expressing his desire for Anglos to vote CAQ in ridings where the PQ isn't a factor, more Anglos could start looking at other options.
It's time for Charest to shift his message to Montreal Anglos from scaremongering to something a bit more positive. ...
Free basic dental care for quebec kids from the cradle to age 16. That's one of the health-care promises from the Quebec Liberals today. Premier Jean Charest says access to free basic dental care, currently limited to children ages zero to nine, will be extended to include children ages 10 to 16.
The Quebec Liberals are also promising more help for the chronically-ill. They want to institute a medical follow-up and health-care coordination program that will have nurses phoning chronic-care patients at home to check up on their condition, to make sure they're following doctors' orders and to verify that they're taking their medication.
Health Minister Yves Bolduc says the 47-million dollars the program will cost will return solid dividends down the road in terms of health-care savings.
Once a separatist, always a separatist. That appeared to be Jean Charest's warning to anyone suggesting that anglophone Quebecers should vote strategically against the Liberals and for Francois Legault's CAQ party.
Jean Charest warns that there are two ways to get another sovereignty referendum in Quebec. One way is to vote for any party other than the Quebec Liberals. The other way, says Charest is to not vote at all.
As for the CAQ and Francois Legault, the premier says Legault has always been a separatist and will still be a separatist after election day, come what may.
One reporter asked the Premier what his Liberals will do for anglos. Charest answered only that his liberals have long been supportive of key anglo institutions, like McGill and Concordia universities
With that, the Premier thanked reporters and walked away, abruptly ending the news conference.
Jacques Duchesneau has told the Globe and Mail that Liberal ministers participated in illegal fundraising activities and the shocking allegations will be revealed when the Charbonneau Commission resumes next month.
Duchesneau, the anti-corruption crusader who's also a CAQ candidate, tells the newspaper he can’t reveal the names of those involved in the alleged illegal schemes for fear of derailing the inquiry into corruption in the construction industry.
He also says the PQ was involved in illegal schemes and that witnesses will testify about this. Duchesneau says there are 13 witnesses who are prepared to reveal how the awarding of government contracts were fixed.
The man who led the last anglophone revolt against the Quebec Liberals says the time has come again for the community to rethink its electoral options and consider voting for another upstart party: the Coalition Avenir Quebec.
Robert Libman's Equality party made a historic, if short-lived, breakthrough in 1989 by stealing four safe seats from the Liberals while championing the cause of English rights.
Since then, Anglos have reliably supported the pro-Canada Liberals. But they have done so with questionable enthusiasm, as anglophone ridings had some of the lowest turnout rates in the last provincial election.
Premier Jean Charest has expressed concern about this trend on the campaign trail.
Last week, he spent several days telling English-language media that voters who stay home on election day — or who vote for the Coalition — are effectively supporting another referendum on Quebec's independence.
That was the last straw for Libman.