Liberals, PQ woo seniors; Québec Solidaire splashes out $2B for education

Two of Quebec's main parties are wooing seniors on Day 14 of the provincial election campaign — one with the promise of air conditioning in long-term care facilities and the other with tax breaks for working longer.

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard says seniors who want to return to work or stay employed longer would be allowed to suspend or postpone their pensions until they turn 75.

Seniors who choose to suspend their pensions would get a tax break.

Couillard also promised to extend a tax credit for senior workers that would permit them to keep more money.

Air-conditioning for seniors' homes

Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée, meanwhile, says his government would provide all long-term care facilities in the province with air conditioning within its first mandate.

He also promised to spend $200 million on renovating the health centres and to hire more personnel.

Meanwhile, Québec Solidaire promised to invest $2 billion dollars into education — the majority of that money would go toward renovating aging school buildings, and hiring 2,100 new teachers. At a Montreal news conference, party's co-leader Manon Massé blames previous Liberal governments for letting class sizes grow.

The CAQ's François Legault rolled out plans to stimulate the province's agricultural production by compelling government agencies to purchase locally-grown food.

Legault says he also wants to enhance the current electricity rebate program for greenhouse producers in an attempt to double the available greenhouse space in Quebec.

'He didn't tell us about some problems he had'

Meanwhile, the leaders of both the CAQ and the PQ continued to field questions from reporters about questionable candidates in each party.

On Tuesday, Legault announced he was dropping his candidate in the riding of St. Jean, Stéphane Laroche, after a report surfaced that Laroche, a bar owner in St. Jean sur Richelieu, allowed minors to drink at his bar despite numerous warnings from authorities, and for allegedly not paying his female and male employees equally.

Legault suggested that it was impossible to vet every candidate completely.

"It's impossible to make sure that nothing has been done by a candidate in his past," he said. "Of course, we have to rely on the good faith of each candidate, we are asking them questions about information, if they become public, that would hurt the party and the candidate. But if they don't tell us, and that's what I didn't like from Mr. Laroche, he didn't tell us about some problems he had."

Meanwhile, Lisée says he's standing the PQ's incumbent MNA for Beauharnois, Guy Leclair, despite the MNA's drunk driving arrest in Valleyfield on July 13. Police suggest he was sitting behind the wheel of his car in a parking lot, with the car's engine idling. They say he refused to take a breathalyzer test — a charge Leclair denies.

Lisée suggested Wednesday that he was aware of the arrest on Aug. 24, the day after the campaign launch. He told reporters that he believed there would be no charges laid in the case, and thus believed there wasn't anything to talk about.

But Leclair has been busted for drunk driving before — while still an MNA in 2011, he was convicted on a drunk driving charge, fined $2,000, and had his licence suspended for a year.

-CJAD 800's Richard Deschamps contributed to this report.