Outaouais feeling ignored by leaders during Quebec election
Québec Solidaire only party to make an appearance in Gatineau; CAQ's Legault promises to visit
Only one leader of Quebec's three major political parties has committed to coming to the Outaouais before the provincial election on April 7, a development that comes as no surprise to Shawville mayor Sanda Murray.
"We've been ignored for years, it's pretty obvious," said Murray.
Many of the ridings in west Quebec have long been Liberal strongholds. In the 2012 election, the ridings of Hull, Chapleau, Pontiac and Gatineau all provided the Liberals comfortable wins even as the scandal-plagued party lost key ridings elsewhere.
However, Québec Solidaire's Amir Khadir spent some time in the Outaouais earlier this month. He talked about his party's plan to invest $130 million in the region's CLSCs and to improve access to health care.
Chapleau incumbent Marc Carrière was unsure if Couillard would come.
"I can't promise because the agenda is really booked. And as I say, it would be great if he comes. But if he can't come for the elections, he will be here afterwards for sure," he said.
Yves Morin, the PQ challenger in Chapleau, was equally unsure if Marois would come.
The one leader who has committed to come to the Outaouais is François Legault of the Coalition Avenir Quebec. Legault has said he wants to shelve the sovereignty debate for at least a decade to focus on economic prosperity.
But for voters in the region, many of whom work in Ontario for the federal government, the possibility of a sovereignty vote remains the top issue.
Murray said referendum fears will still drive people to vote Liberal.
"People are really worried about that," she said.