New Quebec political party makes statement with logo
Published Monday, November 14, 2011 9:03PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 6:34AM EDT
Quebec's latest political party might actually be a lot of old parties rolled into one: it's billing itself as ready to work on both sides of the political spectrum.
The Coalition For Quebec's Future's logo takes its shape from the Parti's Quebecois but also includes the colours of the Liberals and federal Conservatives.
The party, which officially launched on Monday, says it wants to focus on getting Quebeckers to work together, rather than fight over independence.
That message has gotten traction in the province -- before the party was even an official entity it has surged ahead in the polls.
Party Leader Francois Legault, a former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister and airline executive, says he's done with the independence debate -- he just wants the province to become more prosperous.
"After 40 years, it's time for a new era," Legault said.
"An era when Quebec starts to advance again. A strong Quebec, a dynamic Quebec, a proud Quebec. I'm not here to promote sovereignty -- nor reopen the Constitution."
Mark Bruneau, a Montreal businessman who ran and lost for the federal Liberals in the last election, says he joined the new party because it's a coalition of ideas with a focus on the future.
"I define that future as a high-performance economy . . . that stands head and shoulders as a strong performer within a strong Canada," he told CTV's National Affairs. "It's a very different kind of Quebec that rolls up its sleeves, that reduces its cost structure and increases its performance level."
"We are among the highest level of indebtedness and taxation of any state in North America," he added. "For that, what do citizens gets: schools that don't perform, a health care system that doesn't perform, antiquated infrastructure."
The party's initial platform includes:
- Abolishing regional health agencies to give hospitals more autonomy, and basing hospital budgets on total patients treated.
- Paying down debt faster by allocating 100 per cent of non-renewable resource royalties to debt repayment.
- Enforcing Quebec's language laws by using the Constitution's notwithstanding clause.
- Reducing immigration levels by 10 per cent for two years.
Legault's former allies weren't that impressed by the party's ideas, calling them the opposite of bold and new.
"I question the courage of Mr. Legault to revolutionize the world using recipes as old as the world," Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois said.