Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois wants leadership role with Québec Solidaire

The 26-year-old former student leader, who will seek the nomination in the Montreal riding of Gouin, says it's time for a new generation to take the reins of the party.

26-year-old former student leader will seek nomination in Gouin, party spokesperson position

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois announced his candidacy with Québec Solidaire for the upcoming provincial byelection in the Montreal riding of Gouin. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

After months of speculation, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois confirmed Thursday he wants to take a leadership role with the small, left-wing party Québec Solidaire.

The 26 year old said he will seek the party nomination in Gouin, the former riding of Françoise David, as well as the role of party spokesperson. 

"It's the only party where I feel at home," he said at a news conference. 

"I believe that Québec Solidaire can and must become a leading political force in Quebec."

The party has made no secret of trying to recruit the charismatic figure. 

David, one of the party's founders, suggested he would be a good fit for the party when she quit politics in January for health reasons.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of the CLASSE student group, centre right, was a key figure in the 2012 student protests. He is seen here alongside Paul-Émile Auger, Martine Desjardins and Léo Bureau-Blouin. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)
Nadeau-Dubois said he wants to make the party younger, more diverse and expand beyond its base in the Montreal area.

"We have to do it together. Come work with us to change Quebec," he said.

Manon Massé, the MNA for Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques, is also seeking a position as party co-spokesperson.

Since leaving student politics, Nadeau-Dubois has published a book, Tenir tête, which won the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for non-fiction.

Last fall, Nadeau-Dubois was among several other prominent progressives who held discussion forums across the province about changes they wanted to see in Quebec society.

Nadeau-Dubois has plenty of work ahead with Québec Solidaire.

The party holds only two seats at the National Assembly and finished fourth in the 2014 provincial election, with only eight per cent of the popular vote. No date has yet been set for the byelection in Gouin.