Quebec Conservative Party looking to score points with anglophones this fall

Adrien Pouliot

The leader of Quebec's fledgling Conservative Party made a pitch to anglo voters on CJAD 800's airwaves Wednesday morning.

Party leader Adrien Pouliot — the son of former CFCF owner Jean Pouliot — appeared on the Leslie Roberts show to present his party as a possible alternative to the Liberals and the CAQ ahead of the Oct. 1 election.

The Conservative party has been around since 2009, and has run a handful of candidates in the last two elections, though none of them have come close to winning a National Assembly seat.

One recent poll, however, put the Quebec Tories in second place among non-francophones, albeit with 10 per cent support — nowhere close to the Couillard Liberals, and just ahead of another relatively unknown entity, the newly-created Quebec NDP.

Pouliot, the leader of the party since 2013, says his party is fiscally conservative, but not as socially conservative as other right-wing parties elsewhere.

"We're fiscal conservatives, but from a social standpoint, from a moral standpoint, we're not on the so-called right in the sense that...I don't think the government should decide who you live with, I think abortion is a decision between a doctor and her patient."

Being on the right, according to Pouliot, means highlighting individual rights.

"We're on the right, in the sense of...less government. In Quebec, we've been under governments of the left since the Quiet Revolution. We've been told that the government has the solution to every problem. So it's right of centre, based on individual rights and freedoms, and individual responsibility."

Pouliot also says that while he believes Quebec should have a French face, individual Quebecers — both francophones and anglophones — should be bilingual by the time they leave high school, in order to better succeed in the wider world.

And while he wouldn't say if it was time to relax Bill 101, he did say it's time to bring a different attitude toward preserving French.

"It's time to stop worrying about the death of the French's a myth," he says. "There's been a tremendous advance in the French language in Quebec now. Allophones are using French more and more at home. Allophones' and anglophones' knowledge of French is on the rise. 70 per cent of allophone students choose to go to French CEGEP."

Pouliot says he would have voted against the 'Bonjour-Hi' motion in the National Assembly late last year — which no MNA did. At the time, the party also created a pro-'Bonjour-Hi' petition.