Laval Ouellette backs Raymond Bachand in Quebec Liberal leadership race
When former Quebec Liberal Finance Minister Raymond Bachand said last week he’s in the running for his party’s leadership following Liberal Premier Jean Charest’s departure, Chomedey Liberal MNA Guy Ouellette was right there behind Bachand during the announcement.
In an interview with the Laval News, Ouellette explained why he has chosen to support Bachand, who was the first hopeful within the QLP to step forward and declare interest in becoming leader.
“I share the same values as Mr. Bachand,” said Ouellette. “His highest values are integrity, justice and equity. These are some of the reasons I backed Mr. Bachand. He is a model of integrity and he’s a guy who has a vision.
“People should get to know Mr. Bachand better, especially his great sense of humour,” Ouellette continued. “He’s easy to work with, he’s a leader and during the next few months we and all Quebecers will be able to see that he has all quality needed to be a good prime minister.”
Apart from having served as Finance Minister in the most recent Charest cabinet, Bachand has also served as Quebec’s Minister of Tourism and Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. A supporter of the Yes side in the 1980 Quebec sovereignty referendum, Bachand has since moderated his views and is said to be committed to Quebec remaining within Canada.
Politically, Bachand has easily won elections each time he’s run in the riding of Outremont. In his professional life, Bachand’s background is in law. He was vice-president of Culinar, the company that makes Vachon desserts and cakes which is now owned by Saputo. He was also vice-president of the Quebec supermarket chain Metro-Richelieu, president of the management consultancy Groupe Secor, and was a senior administrator for the Montreal daily Le Devoir.
Likes him personally
Ouellette said he also backs Bachand because of his personal appeal. “He’s got a good family with three children with good values. These are some of the reasons why I support Mr. Bachand and why I plan to keep on backing him. Mr. Bachand wants to make sure that he gets out to meet with Liberals as well as with other Quebecers and share with them his thoughts about what can be done in the Liberal Party to make sure that it returns to power.”
Asked whether he anticipates another Quebec general election taking place in the next 18 months or so, Ouellette said: “We will have wait and see, depending on how Mme Marois will deal with the future of Quebec economically and what decisions she will take or come forward with.”
Strong leader needed
He noted that the National Assembly will be resuming on Oct. 30 for the next six weeks, after which it will resume in February. After that the next budget may come around the end of March or the beginning of April.
This could be a crucial period, he suggested, as the budget will contain the PQ’s fundamental measures on which the minority government will obtain the consent of the opposition or the latter could refuse to agree. But one thing Ouellete is sure about: “We need to have a leader of the Liberal Party on the fast track to make sure that we are ready for any eventuality,” he said.