Verbal showdown between Liberals and CAQ goes up a notch

Verbal sparring between the Coalition Avenir Quebec and the Liberal Party increased in intensity on Saturday, with the focus centering on a Quebec City hospital once headed by a prominent Liberal candidate.

CAQ candidate Genevieve Guilbault said an investigation must be held into contracts connected to the university hospital that was once led by Gertrude Bourdon.

Guilbault also attacked Health Minister Gaetan Barrette for defending Bourdon.

The salvo comes as response to a Liberal offensive aimed at discrediting outgoing CAQ deputy Eric Caire. 

On Thursday, Barrette suggested that UPAC, Quebec’s anti-corruption police, investigate a $55,000 loan made to Caire by the mayor of a municipality in his riding.

On Friday, Premier Philippe Couillard defended himself against the idea that he asked his candidate to criticize other parties and opponents.

“We are witnessing a new chapter in Philippe Couillard’s bad novel: the shenanigans of the Barrette/Bourdon administration,” said Guilbault. “When one thinks that they are being approached by the president of the treasury board and minister of health, respectively, one can question the incestuous management of public funds that would ensue.”

Prior to announcing her candidacy as a Liberal, Bourdon had been approached to run for the CAQ.

Couillard has said that if elected to another mandate, Bourdon would take over as health minister while Barrette would move to leader of the treasury board.