Montreal

Bloc now main opponent to Liberals in tight races across Quebec

As the race between Bloc and Liberal candidates tightens before Monday in Quebec, the parties' leaders headed to battlegrounds and strongholds on the last day of the campaign.

Trudeau called on voters to choose candidates who will end up in government, Blanchet fights back

People line up to vote in the advance polls for the federal election, Friday, September 10, 2021 in Chambly, Que. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

As the race between Bloc and Liberal candidates tightens before Monday in Quebec, the party's leaders headed to battlegrounds as well as strongholds on the last day of the campaign.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau began his day in Montreal, where the party is expected to win back many of its ridings, before holding in-person and online activities in six provinces by the end of the day. 

Trudeau was accompanied Sunday by star candidates Mélanie Joly, Marc Miller and Pablo Rodriguez as he urged progressive voters to choose Liberal, once again avoiding saying that he is seeking a majority. 

Joly, the Liberal candidate in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, referenced a remark made in 2008 by Jean Charest, former leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, in asking for a majority from Quebecers in time of economic crisis.

She said the Liberals are asking for a strong mandate from the people and want to have both hands on the wheel. 

 
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is joined by fellow candidates, left to right, Marc Miller, Melanie Joly, and Pablo Rodriquez as he makes a campaign stop in Montreal, Quebec, on Sunday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Tight races in the Eastern Townships

Meanwhile, Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet headed to some battlegrounds south of Montreal to try and secure riding victories on Monday.

Before heading to the Eastern Townships, where the ridings of Brome–Missisquoi, Shefford and Sherbrooke are toss-ups between Bloc and Liberal, Blanchet told reporters he was in offensive mode.

"I can't wait to go play cat and mouse with Mr. Trudeau in Estrie," Blanchet said. "I'm still not sure who is going to be the cat and who is going to be the mouse."

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet walks the Grande Allée with his spouse Nancy Deziel, right, and local candidates in Quebec City, Saturday. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

He offered a missive toward incumbent Liberal candidate Marie-Claude Bibeau in Compton—Stanstead, who is also the federal Agriculture Minister, saying, "I can't wait to hear about the protection of supply management in that riding."

Blanchet also had a message for Trudeau, who advised Quebecers to elect MPs who can be part of the government and not just the opposition — a thinly-veiled attack on the Bloc. 

"He much prefers having MPs who will do what he says in government than MPs who will make the government do what the people want," Blanchet said. 

With files from Radio-Canada's Joëlle Girard

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