Couillard talks decentralization, Montreal's suburban mayors calling for electoral map changes

If given a second term, Premier Philippe Couillard is promising to give Quebec’s regions more authority.

On Tuesday, while touring the Gaspesie area, Couillard said the region would welcome employees of the fisheries sector of the department of agriculture and fisheries, as well as the senior management associated with it.

The Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region would become home to forestry sector employees and senior management, while Abitibi-Temiscamingue would take in those working for the mining sector of the department of natural resources.

Lastly, employees of the mariculture sector of the department of agriculture and fisheries would be moved to the Magdalen Islands.

Québec Solidaire takes on Trump

Québec Solidaire spokesperson Manon Massé said her party, if elected, would defend Quebec’s softwood lumber industry from American President Donald Trump’s mood swings.

Speaking in Gatineau, Massé said the party would develop a national market for the wood and would propose changes to the province’s building code to ensure any new non-residential construction would include a wooden structure.

“When Donald Trump gets up in the morning and is in a bad mood, it’s the people here who are losing jobs,” she said.  

CAQ wants to double tax credit for caregivers

CAQ leader François Legault made an appeal to seniors and caregivers, promising to double the tax credit for Quebecers who care for their elderly loved ones.

The measure would affect roughly 1.6 million Quebecers and would see the credit brought up to $2,500 per year.

The proposal would also include government help in financing the construction of 20 new respite homes over 10 years, and constructing new, more modern seniors' homes that would offer more privacy than current CHSLDs.

Legault made the announcement alongside Marguerite Blais, the one-time Liberal minister responsible for seniors who left politics after being left out of Couillard's cabinet in 2015. Blais is currently running under the CAQ banner and had harsh words for her former party.

"We are doing a very positive campaign and I think that's what people want," she said. "They don't want to hear all these kinds of subjects. This morning we talked to people about caregivers and the difficulty they have in life, to be able to work, to be able to help an older person or handicapped child. I think that's what people want to hear. That we're going to take care of families, education, senior citizens and caregivers."

Electoral map unfair, suburban mayors say 

A group of Montreal suburban mayors are calling the province's electoral map unfair to city-dwelling voters. 

The group — including Hampstead's William Steinberg and Montreal West's Beny Masella and Cote St. Luc's Mitchell Brownstein — is calling on Elections Quebec to add more ridings to cities like Montreal, where as many as 61,000 voters can live in one riding. The group said that some rural ridings can have as few as 37,000 voters, giving their votes more sway than those cast in the city. 

This was the same group that moved to challenge Elections Quebec in court after the merger of two west-end ridings, Mont-Royal and Outremont, in time for the 2018 election. That case won't be heard until next year.