Get your facts straight: Quebec Liberal Party

“Together, addressing the real issues” – slogan

The Quebec Liberal Party (Parti libéral du Québec, PLQ) is considered a centre-right party in the context of Canadian politics.

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The party platform focuses mostly on economy and social policy and supports the idea of what it calls Quebec federalism – an autonomous Quebec within Canada, and the party was an vocal campaigner for the “No” vote in the 1995 sovereignty referendum.

The Liberals regained power from Bernard Landry’s Parti Québécois in the 2003 elections, lead by Jean Charest. He was subsequently defeated almost a decade later in the 2012 provincial elections by Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois.

After the 2012 provincial elections, the Liberals held 49 of the 125 seats in the National Assembly.

Interested in reading more about the Quebec Liberal Party’s 145 year history? Click here for details.

The economy is one of the main key issues for the Quebec Liberal Party in the 2014 elections. To read their framework, click here.

Party leader: Philippe Couillard

Quebec Liberal Party Leader Philippe Couillard.

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

A former university professor and neurosurgeon, Philippe Couillard joined politics for the first time in 2003 when he was elected MNA of Mont-Royal. In that same year, he was also appointed Minister of Health and Social Services.

He held this title as he left Mont-Royal to become the MNA of Jean-Talon in 2007; he resigned as MNA and Minister of Health and Social Services in 2008.

Some of his accomplishments include a $4.2 billion increase in the Quebec health budget and he was behind the movement to prohibit smoking in public spaces.

During his time away from politics, Couillard worked at the Security Intelligence Review Committee and the Privy Council. His return to politics came in 2012 when he ran for leader of the Quebec Liberal Party.

He was the third person the enter the race to succeed Jean Charest (after Raymond Bachand and Pierre Moreau). Couillard was elected with 55 per cent of the vote as the MNA of Outremont in the 2013 by-election.

In the 2014 provincial elections, Couillard will run in Roberval, one of the most rural ridings in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, which is often classified as extremely “pure laine.”

Key ridings to watch

The Liberals boast several strongholds, most of them located in the Greater Montreal region. These include Acadie, Anjou-Louis-Riel, Bourassa- Sauvé, D’Arcy McGee, Laporte, Nelligan, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Robert-Baldwin.

La Pinière: The Liberal’s newest candidate, Gaétan Barrette will face off against incumbent Fatima Houda-Pepin, who was first elected to La Pinière in 1994.

On January 20, 2014, Houda-Pepin left the Quebec Liberal Party due to disagreement with the party’s views on Bill 60.

Watch: Houda-Pepin leaves the Quebec Liberal Party

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