Jobs, health care top Quebec election campaign promises
Posted: Aug 3, 2012 8:37 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 3, 2012 10:26 PM ET
Campaign pledges stacked up on Friday, with Quebec political parties promising everything from family doctors for every resident to creating more work opportunities for seniors.
The CAQ rolled out its health care platform Friday, pledging that if elected, its government would provide a family doctor to every Quebec citizen within a year.
"Right now, our health system is not running at full capacity," said CAQ candidate Gaétan Barrette, former head of Quebec's federation of medical specialists."
Citing Great-Britain's family medecine groups, Barrette said Quebec GPs could see more patients if more resources, such as nurses and diagnostic tests were provided.
"Family doctors are prisoners of a system that prevents them from working," he said.Barrette is running for the CAQ in Terrebonne, a bedroom community northeast of Montreal. (CBC)
A CAQ government would force GPs to manage a 1,000 patient caseload (1,600 for physicians not practising in hospitals.) They would be required to complete 5,000 consultations annually, about 25 a day.
Currently the average Quebec GP has about 700 patients in their care.
CAQ leader François Legault said structuring more family doctors into a group practice environment would ease pressure on the province's overburdened health-care sector.
That would result in shorter ER wait times, less reliance on private clinics and more treatment options.
Liberals for aging workers
The Liberal leader's caravan held an event at a seniors' community centre in Laval, where Charest announced several measures for targetting older citizens.
Charest listed a series of measures to help older Quebecers stay in the workforce longer, including up to $1,000 annual tax breaks for businesses that hire seniors.
"We need more people working — more people working means more women able to make the choice of going into the labour market, and more experienced workers choosing to stay in the labour market," the Liberal leader said.Jean Charest campaigned in Laval-des-Rapides on Friday. (CBC)
"That's what Quebec needs, and we now need to create an environment of policies to allow that happen."
The Liberals also want to encourage businesses to retain older employees, and subsidize salaries of some workers over 55.
Charest reflected on the work done in Quebec to get women to join the workforce decades ago and compares this new promise to the workplace revolution.
"We have done it for the women, now, we will do it for experienced workers and to help the whole of Quebec society."
Marois talks business startups
Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois, who is making her first stop of the day at an ecological interpretation centre in Sorel-Tracy, will talk about the party's economic platform.
Marois said a PQ government would try to claim this province's portion of funding from the federal Business Development Bank of Canada.
"We have the political want to enrich every Quebecer of every region from the province," said Marois.
She said the PQ aims to support entrepreneurs and maintain business startups that use the province's natural resources.
"We need to add a new development bank that will take more risks, make long-term capital available and give additional help and leverage to local business development centres," said Marois.
Charest raises referendum risk
Today's announcements come after a promise-heavy first full day of campaigning Thursday. The leaders of the three front-running parties talked about economy, the student crisis and corruption while whisking through several key ridings.
Liberal party leader Jean Charest, seeking his fourth term as premier, also made a point of highlighting his position that a vote not cast for his party would move the province once step closer to a referendum.
While neither the PQ nor the CAQ has explicitly highlighted Quebec sovereignty in their announcements made since the campaign launched earlier this week, Charest said the PQ is downplaying its stance on separatism and the CAQ was already planning to dismantle English school boards in the province.
"We have been very supportive of a society that is inclusive. Our party believes fundamentally that the future of Quebec is that of a society that affords a place for every one of its citizens and communities, including those who speak English," said Charest.
During her tenure, people have been vocal about Marois' downplaying of an explicit sovereignty push.
Jean-Martin Aussant, leader of Option Nationale – a sovereigntist party – left the PQ in 2011, saying Marois had softened her stance on Quebec independence in order to seek more electoral support.
Quebec Election Results
Updated: Sep. 5, 2012, 1:58 AM EDT
|Party||Elected||Leading||Total||Vote Share (%)|
All results are unofficial until final ballot counts are verified by Elections Quebec. CBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Leaders & Parties
- Jean Charest Liberal Party
- Pauline Marois Parti Québécois
- François Legault Coalition Avenir Québec
- Amir Khadir, Françoise David Québec Solidaire
- Jean-Martin Aussant Option Nationale
- Claude Sabourin Parti vert du Québec
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