Legault’s formidable Duchesneau weapon

The former Montreal police chief is basically immune to criticism — and he’s a federalist


No doubt, Jacques Duchesneau is a huge score for François Legault. In a province that loves its saviors (here, here, here and, yes, even here), the former Montreal police chief  has become the face of integrity in the face of rampant corruption, political and otherwise. In doing so he’s become irreproachable and practically immune to criticism. Marois stayed practically silent on Legault’s coup, while Jean Charest made sure to praise Duchesneau even while he was accusing the ex-cop of “pure demagoguery.” For Duchesneau, it’s the stuff of political gold: Taking a shot at him is the equivalent of insulting Eliot Ness. Doing so suggests you have something to hide.

But here’s another reason why getting Duchesneau is a coup for Legault. Apart from his investigative chops and formidable reputation, he’s also federalist to the bone. It marks the first time in Coalition Avenir Québec’s short history that the party has nabbed an honest-to-goodness, high-profile Lover Of Canada™. “He’s a federalist, part of the gang,” Parti Québécois parliamentary leader Stéphane Bédard told me in June.

Before Duchesneau came along, Legault’s party was less a coalition than a refuge for disillusioned sovereignists, Legault very much included. Methinks Charest will have to retire his CAQ-as-a-crpyto-sovereignist-party talking point sometime soon.

Coalition Avenir Quebec leader Francois Legault, right, looks on at Jacques Duchesneau on Sunday, Aug. 5. (Graham Hughes/CP)


Legault’s formidable Duchesneau weapon

  1. I think the cartoon with the stickman kicking the beaver with a mountie hat pretty much summed up the parties stance on federalism. Which is too bad, I almost voted for the. Ten years is far enough that I thought thing may change, but with that cartoon, i’m left with the impression that they’re just going to try a and pull a Marois. That is to say, spend most of their time in office trying to pull power from the federal government. As a federalist in Quebec, I feel very poor and screwed right now. Jean Charest seems to be my only option, and there’s no way in hell I want to vote for him…. disaster. Had he resigned like Gordon Cambpell, I’m sure the PLQ would be on it’s way to an easy victory this election.

    • You are confusing the CAQ and Quebec Solidaire… Very, very, very different parties.

  2. The beginning of the article attempts to list the so called “saviors” of Québec. The fact that Lucien Bouchard is part of that list shows how much Macleans lacks an understanding of the French Speaking province’s population. Lucien Bouchard is considered by most “separatist frogs” as a disloyal monster of perfidy. This publication would benefit to hire a few french speaking Québecoises or Québecois… but that would go against all principles. Hiring a frenchy. From Québec to boot…pffff. Not that it’s discrimination…

    • You don’t know Marty Patriquin, or much else.

  3. Good for the CAQ, no matter how much of a loose cannon Duchesneau might prove to be.

    For those quebecers (pretty sure I’m not the only one) who were glad to see a party step up and promise not to discuss sovereignty, that Legault has taken on a high profile, hard core federalist is great stuff.

    Legault’s remarks on language laws and the like made me cringe, because he was wrecking his own plans of having an umbrella party that can appeal to slightly more fiscally conservative people in the province. Not that what he said was any worse than anything the PLQ has said before; honestly it’s more that if he hopes to pry certain federalists off the PLQ wagon, he needs to be whiter than white on language issues, and truly set those aside along with the separatism bit. Otherwise, many people who might have risked voting for him will swallow the PLQ Corruption Pill of Bitterness because they’re more at ease with that.

    Besides that, I would rather not leave this Quebec love of saviors unexplained as the article above does, nor pin it on some dubious “Quebecers are emotional voters” excuse, considering election after election shows they’re cold blooded, strategic voters, on the whole.

    If Quebecers love a savior, it’s probably because the province has been one one exasperating dead-lock after another. Liberal vs Union National (aka, Duplessis and the church vs the world) and then PLQ vs PQ.where the two parties, bent on drawing people from a relatively homogeneous have become almost indistinguishible other than on the hard seperation question.

    • ^homogeneous population

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