They focus on the regions dissatisfied
Photo Guillaume St-Pierre
The conservative mp for Richmond-Arthabaska, Alain Rayes, has been appointed lieutenant policy of the new chief Andrew Scheer this summer. He was passing by the parliamentary bureau of the Journal in Ottawa to take stock of this eventful year.
Saturday, 13 January, 2018 19:05
Saturday, 13 January, 2018 19:05
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OTTAWA | This is only a matter of time before the conservative Party does not direct of new the country, ensures his lieutenant in Quebec, Alain Rayes. The member of parliament and ex-mayor of Victoriaville has come up in the ranks within the official opposition since the arrival of its new chief, Andrew Scheer, this spring. He sees with a good eye the prospects of an electoral success of the Coalition avenir Québec at the provincial level, another sign that the people of the regions will soon be the door, according to him, politicians ” disconnected “, as Justin Trudeau or Bill Morneau.
How do you explain the recent gains of the Liberals, who remain at the top of the polls in Quebec in spite of the recent scandals ?
You can see the glass of water half-empty or half-full. Yes, we lost two mps during the by-elections, in the face of a prime minister who is campaigning with taxpayer money [by going on-site, ED.]. When we look at the results, almost all the partial one has done better than our results of the last elections. In the past year, no one imagined Justin Trudeau will lose the next election. Today, I think no one can say with certainty that it will be an easy victory for Justin Trudeau. I think everyone is convinced that the honeymoon is over now.
Your ads seem to apply to conservatives, convinced. How you and your chief, Andrew Scheer, will succeed in expanding your support ?
We talk to people who are like the rest of us. Andrew Scheer, Alain Rayes, Gérard Deltell, it is not of this world, the one that is around Bill Morneau and Justin Trudeau. I think it captures the imagination. Yes, they are as celebrities, but because they create policies that affect us, it would take at least that they know our reality. When the prime minister and the minister of Finance attacked the SMES, they have tried to pass them [the contractors] for the wicked who invest in tax havens. It is very wrong to know the areas to say things like that. One puts aside people who are proud of their region, who are personalities in their midst. This is a beautiful example of the limits of the fame of Justin Trudeau.
As of July, the cannabis will be legal. Are you going to stop the critics in this respect if it goes well ?
It will not well. It is impossible, and it has been shown in places where it has been legalized. Above all, we are going too fast. There will be situations that are going to be devastating to people, families. It can’t do otherwise. We will not have the necessary time to make education, awareness-raising. There is nothing to understand, except to hope that the senators will succeed in delaying the process the time that things done in the best way possible, to minimize impacts.
In Quebec, the Coalition avenir Québec seems to have the wind in their sails. Are you going to draw any conclusions from the elections of 2018 ?
Yes. I think that a number of provinces such as Quebec will elect the centre-right parties. This is the opportunity for generation X to take its place in the elections. If it is not there, it is another generation who will take his place. I also make an observation : there is a difference between the regions and major centres. It is necessary to look at policy differently. The stakes of Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver are not the same as Rimouski, Trois-Rivières, Victoriaville, Tingwick, and all the other small municipalities. Justin Trudeau, this is a government of large cities. When he puts up a bank of infrastructures for the major centres, when I see a skating rink of$ 6 Million with Ottawa, I say they are not aware of the needs of the regions.
Why Quebecers would become suddenly conservative in 2018 ?
I look at Brian Mulroney, a prime minister who has had the largest majority in Canada [in 1984]. Therefore, there are a lot of Quebecers who voted conservative a day in their life. When I take a coffee at Tim Horton’s in my riding and I met someone who votes liberal, it is always for superficial reasons. But when I talk to them about issues, they do not adhere to the proposals of the government. People should not under-estimate the impact of the Quebec within the conservative Party at this time. Because the question is not whether he will return to the power, but just when. Quebec has a decision to make. Do we want our concerns, our issues in Quebec are part of a great national party ? My answer to that is yes.
► The Journal has met with representatives of the three opposition federal for interviews that we present in this beginning of the year. Monday, at the turn of the leader of the NDP Jagmeet Singh and the leader of the Bloc Québécois Martine Ouellet.