2022 Quebec Election: The Chamber Welcomes Éric Duhaime

A look back at the September 8 talk with the Leader of the Parti conservateur du Québec, Éric Duhaime.

On September 8, the Chamber welcomed Éric Duhaime, Leader of the Parti conservateur du Québec, for the first of a series of talks in anticipation of the 2022 Quebec elections.

During September, the leaders of Quebec’s main political parties are presenting their proposals for the economic future of Quebec and Greater Montréal.

Mr. Duhaime began his speech by discussing the strong growth his party has been experiencing for two years.

“When I announced my run for leadership of the party two years ago, we only had 500 members. Today, there are 60,000. As we speak, we are the party with the most funding. We have the most members and the fastest growth.” – Éric Duhaime, Leader of the Parti conservateur du Québec

A party that stays away from the debate about immigration thresholds in Quebec

The Parti conservateur du Québec believes compatibility with the province’s values need to be prioritized when selecting newcomers.

“Immigrant civilizational compatibility means immigrants sharing our values. We want to have a minimum of things in common.”

He thinks that immigration thresholds should not be the focus of the debate.

“We don’t think that successful immigration is related to the number of immigrants we accept. It’s not the number that’s important. What’s important is whether newcomers are coming to work. And whether the resources are in place to help them learn French. These are the two actually important issues rather than the numbers.”

Fostering a business climate that encourages growth

Mr. Duhaime believes Quebec should prioritize its universities to ensure the province’s economic development.

“We need to invest in improving the level of knowledge our universities provide. Businesses can’t stay neutral on this issue. We need to invest in knowledge instead of subsidies.”

The Leader of the Parti conservateur du Québec said he would reduce business subsidies if he became the leader of Quebec.

“I don’t believe the state should step in and give subsidies to businesses. The state should not be the one to decide who wins and who loses. The role of the state is to ensure a business climate and commerce.”

Measures to combat inflation and the rising cost of living

Mr. Duhaime continued by describing his party’s economic proposals, which aim to address the effects of inflation and the labour shortage.

“We are the party offering the largest tax reduction for the middle class. We are also offering significant tax credits for retirees who want to re-enter the labour market.”

He particularly wants to suspend the fuel tax to fight inflation.

“We want to temporarily cut the gas tax to give inflation time to ease. Inflation is devastating to Quebec’s families.”

GHG reduction targets previous governments never reached 

The Party Leader went on to explain why his party has not offered a GHG reduction target.

“We do not have a target. No party has met its obligations. The goal should not be to outsource the environment, which does not end at Quebec’s borders. We need to stop focusing only on ourselves and have a global perspective of the issue.”

Mr. Duhaime also wants Quebec to use its natural resources to transition to a greener economy.

“We want to use our gas and oil to fund electrification and energy transition.”

As a reminder, the Chamber published in August unveiling thepriorities of Montréal’s businesses.

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