PQ’s Bureau-Blouin routs Paquet and the Liberals
In one of the ballrooms at the Laval Sheraton on election night, it had been just minutes since PQ candidate Léo Bureau-Blouin had been declared the winner in Laval-des-Rapides.
The handsome 20-year-old former student activist then found himself surrounded by a half-dozen star struck young women with digital recorders and microphones, who were either journalism students or journalists. Answering their questions, the bilingual Bureau-Blouin seemed in his element – a media star in the making.
While the victory gathering had been organized by the PQ, those attending (who were mostly students and young people) cheered as hard when wins were announced by rival parties like Option nationale and Québec solidaire.
Answering one of the young journalists about the role Bureau-Blouin expected to play in the minority PQ government, he said he would be accepting all the challenges presented to him.
“But I have no pretensions of becoming a minister overnight,” he added. “That is the prerogative of Mme Roy, but I am ready to accept all the challenges they will give me.”
He said that one of his first priorities will be to see that the laws brought in by the former Charest government to deal with the student uprising are abolished. “I think I have a personal responsibility to deliver on that,” he said.
In a riding known for its tight and bitter electoral battles, Bureau-Blouin scored a relatively easy win against incumbent Liberal Alain Paquet, a junior minister for finance in the Charest government whose background in economics suggested he would have been cabinet material.
Paquet had managed to hold onto the seat for three terms for the Liberals after triumphing in Laval-des-Rapides over the PQ’s Serge Ménard in 2003. But after his initial win, Paquet had a harder time. In the 2007 and 2008 elections, he was never ahead of the PQ by more than 1,500 votes.
And between elections, the Laval-des-Rapides PQ had the sometimes nasty habit of riding Paquet’s tail by periodically issuing caustic statements about him or the Liberals that would occasionally get him riled – especially with media who dared to repeat them.
Bureau-Blouin beat Paquet in last Tuesday’s election by more than 2,000 votes. The Coalition Avenir Québec was more than 4,000 votes behind in third spot and Québec solidaire performed impressively to capture fourth place.