Montreal

Drummondville mayor Alexandre Cusson to run for PLQ leadership

Alexandre Cusson, the mayor of Drummondville and former president of the Union des municipalités du Québec, announced at the Liberal party convention that he will be seeking the nomination. He will step down as mayor in late January.

Will challenge Dominique Anglade for top job after dismal 2018 election

Drummondville mayor Alexandre Cusson announced on Saturday that he would be running for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal party. (Radio-Canada)
The campaign to choose the next Quebec Liberal party leader officially started on Saturday, and one candidate took the opportunity to announce he's throwing his hat into the ring.

Alexandre Cusson, the mayor of Drummondville and former president of the Union des municipalités du Québec, announced at the Liberal party convention that he will be seeking the nomination. He will step down as mayor in late January.

Dominique Anglade, MNA for Montreal's Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne and opposition critic on the economy, is the only other candidate officially in the running. 

The leadership has been vacant since the 2018 provincial election, when former premier Philippe Couillard stepped down following a crushing defeat at the hands of the Coalition Avenir Québec.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Cusson said the party didn't do a good job of communicating with Quebecers during the last campaign.



"We need to reconnect with Quebecers, be able to talk to them," he said.

Cusson said he wants all Quebecers to see themselves in his platform, including old-stock Quebecers — a group he said includes minorities — and new immigrants to the province.

Cusson would not say whether he supports the controversial Bill 21, which bans government employees in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols at work. He did say he supports a secular state.

Dominique Anglade has publicly said that she supports the idea of secularism, but that Bill 21 was "not the way" and she would repeal it.

She said she is ready to be a "strong" alternative to the populist politics of Quebec Premier François Legault.

Anglade said she is ready to be a “strong” alternative to the populist politics of currently Quebec Premier Francois Legault. (Radio-Canada)


"Building tomorrow is an occasion to bring Quebecers together around an identity that is inclusive, and to build a Quebec where everyone has a place," she said.

Alexandre Cusson's announcement comes after other would-be candidates who were openly considering a run decided against jumping into the race.

Former provincial health minister Gaétan Barrette announced last week he would not be running.

Marwah Rizqy, the MNA for Saint-Laurent and the party's education critic, also threw in the towel, instead saying she would support Cusson's run.

Interim leader Pierre Arcard said that the party has some "strong personalities," and told reporters he wants to avoid creating divisions in the party. 

"I will tell [party members] to make sure this is a debate of ideas, and to avoid personal conflicts that will disturb the caucus," he said.

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