Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault took a break from the campaign trail this week to chat with CBC's Daybreak about the election campaign so far.
Here is an excerpt from the CAQ leader's interview with Daybreak host Mike Finnerty.
Mike Finnerty: What do you think the chances are that you will once again hold the balance of power in the National Assembly?
François Legault: I'm shooting for more than that. I'm shooting to be in government on April 7. (MF: Do you think that's realistic?) Yeah, I think it's realistic because people are very fed up with two old parties talking only about, or against, a referendum. They want to have someone with a real economic plan, somebody who will cut taxes and we're the only alternative.
MF: What do you think the election is about?
FL: I think Mrs. Marois tried to have an election about the famous charter, I think that Mr. Couillard wanted to have an election about fear against the referendum and I wanted to have a campaign around economy and cutting taxes for families in the middle class ... I hope we continue until Monday to talk about the economy.
MF: The economy is not doing very well. The most recent budget deficit was $2.5 billion more than what was forecasted. How can you possibly provide a tax cut with finances in the state they're in?
FL: I'm a chartered accountant, I'm the founder of Air Transat, so I've dealt with expenses before. We've tabled a detailed plan. What we have to do is reduce the number of employees in our bureaucracy.
We have 22,000 people in our bureaucracy not giving services. We have to reduce that by 10 per cent. We have to reduce some tax credits to companies like multimedia and electronic commerce, some won't be happy, but I think it's important and it's urgent that we reduce taxes for the families.
I'm convinced and I want to assure the population that I've done my homework, it's possible. You have to have courage, but Mr. Couillard doesn't have this courage.
MF: If you don't win a majority or a minority government, and you're in the position where you hold the balance of power, do you have a preference over putting the premier in as Philippe Couillard or Pauline Marois?
FL: For me, it's the same. I think regarding spending, taxes and economy, both Mrs. Marois and Mr. Couillard, they don't have any plans. Mr. Couillard is using the same plan of Mr. Charest.
MF: Would you consider serving in a coalition government?
FL: At this point I'm shooting for a majority government of the CAQ. That's it, that's all. I don't want to speculate about any other hypotheses.