Montreal

Q&A: Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois on Québec Solidaire's platform – and how to pay for it

"There’s not one proposal that hasn’t been applied in other countries around the world," says Québec Solidaire's co-spokesperson.

Québec Solidaire's co-spokesperson says his party's proposals are already in play in other countries

Québec Solidaire spokespeople Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, left, and Manon Massé say raising corporate taxes would pay for all their party's campaign promises.

Québec Solidaire is making a lot of promises in its campaign: free education from daycare to graduate school, free dental care for all, public transit at half the current price, and more.

Now, the party's saying that if elected, it would increase corporate taxes to pay for its promises.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, the co-spokesperson of Québec Solidaire, dropped by the CBC Montreal's Daybreak studio this week to talk about that plan, and how Québec Solidaire would carry it out, if elected.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Québec Solidaire has proposed free dental care for all. How much of dental care would be free to the user?

What we are putting forward is a proposal to take 100 per cent of the cost of dental care for minors and people on [social assistance]. We think that preventive care should be 80 per cent covered and interventions should be 60 per cent covered. It would be sort of basic coverage for everyone.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is the Québec Solidaire candidate for the Montreal riding of Gouin.

Your party has also proposed halving the price of public transit. Wouldn't this make buses and Metros even more crowded than they already are?

The objective is to encourage people to take public transit. Now, the cost of a ticket is something that blocks people from taking public transit. By lowering the price, we want to encourage people to take it more.

We also are going to invest massively in public transit infrastructure to make sure that the service is of better quality and that the viability is better.

What would you do about Montreal's light-rail transit project, the REM?

We think there should have been a better project than the REM, but still, it is there. It's being constructed; it's going to go ahead. So we're going to keep it, but we're going to put it in the public sector.

Québec Solidaire has also proposed that the provincial government be in the business of internet service provision. What's the reasoning there?

The current model has two big companies controlling the market. They are blocking the market, and there is no competition.

We're going to add a public player just like SaskTel in Saskatchewan to put some competition in that market – and by competing with those two private services, we're going to be able to lower the price of internet by 30 per cent.

You've also promised free education, from daycare to grad school.

We think there should be quality public education for everyone, and we won't be able to achieve that as long as private schools are doing an unfair competition by selecting the best students and putting them in separate schools.

Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé greets supporters on the campaign trail.

How would Québec Solidaire handle the question of an independent Quebec?

In our view, the project of independence has to be given back to the Quebecois people.

What we're saying is let's define together — francophones, anglophones, minorities — everyone, and of course, also First Nations. We're proposing a two-and-a-half to three year process to define that vision for Quebec, and then after that — at the end of the first mandate of Québec Solidaire — a referendum vote.

How do you plan on paying for all this? Are your promises realistic and viable?

There is not one proposal that hasn't already been applied in other countries in the world. The money is going to come from where it is in our society: In the past, big businesses with more than 500 employees were paying 30 per cent of income tax in Quebec. Now, after 15 years of Liberal and Parti Québécois governments, they are paying 11 per cent.

With a very small increase of taxes for big businesses, big corporations, we're going to raise $2 billion. What we are going to do with that [is] fund our promise for free tuition and free education.

The co-spokesperson for Québec Solidaire joined Montreal Daybreak host Mike Finnerty in studio to discuss the party's platform. 14:55

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