Ouimet gets sixth mandate in Marquette

François Lemieux
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Liberal candidate gets nearly 50 per cent of vote

Liberal MNA François Ouimet entering his campaign office shortly after his victory was announced in Lachine. Photo by Rob Amyot.

Liberal incumbent François Ouimet kept his seat at the National Assembly in Marquette snatching 49.15 per cent of the vote, 8,660 votes ahead of his closest rival, Parti Québécois candidate Étienne Gougoux who got 21.41 per cent of the ballots. Coalition Avenir Québec candidate Victor Tan came in third with 19.54 per cent of the vote.

At 8:55 p.m., Radio-Canada announced the PQ would form a minority government. A couple minutes later, Ouimet was announced the winner in his riding with nearly 50 per cent of the vote at that moment.

He arrived at his campaign office at 9:30 p.m. with a smile on his face and a tear in his eye as he took time to thank his militants. Despite the fact that his party will not be in power, Ouimet ensured the population that the 66-million investment in the Lachine hospital would go through. He made that a firm promise to the citizens.

“We have another two to four years of this government. We’ll see how long it lasts. We still have many projects to realize locally and we will work really hard to keep our promises, especially the Lachine Hospital. I promise you that the $66 million will be invested before the next electoral campaign” he said.

A lot of questions arise from this election in which the PQ gathered 54 seats, the Liberals 50, the CAQ 19 and Québec Solidaire 2. How long will the minority government last? Will the PQ be able to re-introduce the tuition fee freeze despite not having a majority? Will the party get collaboration from other parties to pass a budget? Ouimet was unsure what will happen next when he spoke to The Chronicle.

“Minority governments usually last 18 to 24 months. We must however respect the mandate that was given to us by the Quebec population. We will remain vigilant as the official opposition. We will do our job, in my case to ensure that the Marquette residents receive their due and promote the important dossiers of our community ,” he said.

On the question of the student crisis, Ouimet said it will be up to Marois to settle the dossier now without speculating on what would happen next. Joined on the phone, CAQ candidate Victor Tan said he felt Quebecers have expressed a great desire for change during this election and the 27 per cent gathered by the CAQ is a sign of that.

“I saw a great deal of political will for change during the campaign. I think the CAQ did great in this election. The number of MNAs doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the vote percentage to really assess the results. The PQ takes power with 32 per cent and we have 27 per cent. All in all, we did a great campaign to present our platform to the population,” he said.

Placing fourth was Claudelle Cyr, the Québec Solidaire candidate with 5.22 per cent of the vote. John Symon, the Green Party of Quebec candidate finished fifth with 3.24 per cent of the ballots. Patrick Valois of Option Nationale finished last, collecting a mere 1.43 per cent of the vote with only 446 votes.

Organizations: Parti Québécois, Lachine Hospital, National Assembly Radio-Canada

Geographic location: Marquette, Quebec

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