Parti Quebecois will run immigration lawyer Stephane Handfield in Masson riding

image.jpg

The Parti Quebecois announced Monday that immigration lawyer Stéphane Handfield will run in the Masson riding near Montreal in 2022.

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon announced the nomination Monday as the party gets set for next year's provincial election.

Masson is currently held by CAQ MNA Mathieu Lemay, who defeated PQ candidate Diane Hamelin by over 11,000 votes.

The PQ won the riding in 2008 and 2012 before losing it to he CAQ in 2014.

 "After Pierre Nantel in Marie-Victorin, I am very happy to see a well-known and respected person like Stéphane Handfield join our ranks for the 2022 elections," said St-Pierre Plamondon. "His expertise will be particularly useful, especially on the issues of Roxham Road and the French language, which have been set aside by Ottawa. We are building a strong team in all areas and this is just the beginning."

Handfield's lawyer bio says he works in the criminal, penal, immigration and extradition legal field, and he's a regular commentator on immigration and French-language issues, according to the PQ.

Handfield has spoken out against Canada's harming of Quebec's interest by admitting fewer French-speaking students in Quebec.

"We will have to stop putting our heads in the sand: bilingualism in Canada does not exist!" he is quoted as saying the PQ release.

He also criticized Canada's administration of the Roxham Road crossing and the Safe Third Country Agreement.

"We have been calling for the suspension of this agreement for years, but we have to admit that the federal government is not moving. Only full control of our border, as an independent country, will really allow us to find a solution," he said.

Handfield will speak at the PQ convention this weekend. 

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Nov. 29, 2021.