O'Leary may have skipped the French language debate last night, where the other 13 candidates were participating. But that's because he doesn't believe you can have a real debate when there are so many candidates. And he's absolutely right.
So we know he's anglophone, he's from Montreal and he's a millionaire. But what are his views on Canadian polities?
O'Leary has a pretty negative view of Justin Trudeau and his policies, and he thinks our economy is in drastic need of an overhaul. He also believes that Trudeau doesn't care about millennials and he has forgotten about the people that matter.
What's really crazy is how hyped up all the media outlets are about this. Just by making this announcement it already feels like he won the election. According to CTV, even the Premier from Saskatchewan, who is considering running for the position, said he was curious about O'Leary's policies. So even his opponents can't wait to see what happens next.
So far it seems the only "negative" thing anyone has to say about O'Leary is about how he doesn't speak French. Which just shows how there's nothing seriously bad you can say about the guy, if language is what people are focusing on.
A majority of Quebecers still approve of Premier François Legault, according to a recent Angus Reid Institute survey — despite the fact that the population has grown increasingly critical of his government's handling of the pandemic.
Legault's approval rating currently sits at 55%, the survey says. That's a big drop from his peak of 77% in May 2020 — and it's his lowest rating since his election in October 2018. But Legault's approval rating is nonetheless second-highest in Canada, behind only Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, who has 57% approval.
"Legault's personal popularity, or approval, was at stratospheric levels in the early days of the pandemic, as were those of many other premiers," Shachi Kurl, the president of Angus Reid Institute, told MTL Blog in an email.
"Doug Ford reached a halcyonic 69% approval. In B.C., John Horgan was at 71%, Blaine Higgs reached 80% at the height of the cross-country love-fest for provincial leaders."
Legault's 22% drop since then is not insignificant, but minor compared to the free-fall of Ontario Premier Doug Ford (currently down 39% from his pandemic peak) and Higgs (down 46%). Legault's ongoing popularity is perhaps most remarkable given that Quebec has arguably been hit the hardest by the pandemic — demonstrating the depth of his support.
"That two years later — after curfews, a catastrophic loss of life within long-term care homes, and now a promised 'health tax' on the unvaccinated — Legault remains above 50% approval, is a testament not only to Quebecers' perceptions of him but their buy-in for the CAQ," Kurl said.
Approval of Legault's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has dropped to 59%, also the lowest rating Angus Reid has reported for the Quebec premier. It's still in positive territory, but far from its high of 92% in April 2020. (Angus Reid notes their most recent survey was conducted before Legault announced the tax on unvaccinated Quebecers.)
Quebecers are generally happy with the province's vaccine rollout, the survey says — 81% say the government has done a good job or a very good job. But 58% say the government has done a poor job or a very poor job of "making rapid antigen tests available where they are needed."
The pandemic response may be affecting voting intentions. A different poll, by Mainstreet Research, showed support for the Coalition Avenir Québec has dropped 10% since their last survey in February 2021, and now sits at 38%. The drop is significant, but the runner-up, the Quebec Liberal Party, is still at a distant 20%.
The Angus Reid survey was conducted from January 7 to 12, 2022, with a sample of 5,002 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Speaking on Tout le monde en parle, the 29-year-old mayor said reducing her salary is one of the first things she wants to do at the first city council meeting on November 23.
Catherine Fournier nous annonce que le salaire de la mairesse de Longueuil passera de 250 000 $ \u00e0 environ 185 000 $ par ann\u00e9e \nEntrevue int\u00e9grale avec @CathFournierQc et @brunomarchand sur notre site #TLMEP\n https://bit.ly/Catherine_Bruno_TLMEP\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/wXN3LXH3Mv
— Tout le monde en parle (@Tout le monde en parle)
"We will lower it considerably [...] I think it's going to be about a $65,000 pay cut, so it's going to be around $185,000 [per year]," Fournier said.
Fournier promised to reduce the salary set by her predecessor during the campaign period.
"I think everyone agrees that it doesn't look good for the mayor of Longueuil to earn a higher salary than the premier of Quebec," Fournier told TVA Nouvelles in April.
Fournier told Tout le monde en parle host Guy A. Lepage that the whole question of elected officials' salaries, in general, deserves more in-depth reflection.
"There are many mayors in Quebec who earn only a few thousand dollars per year, while it is a job that is considerable. There are also differences between levels of government. The federal government makes about double the salary of a Quebec MP. So, I think there is some cleaning up to be done in all this," she said.
The new mayor of Quebec City, Bruno Marchand, who was also a guest on the show, said he will receive a salary "in the same range" as Fournier. "If she had lowered it more, I would have done [that], but as she does not..." he said, laughing.
The report recommended that Quebec acknowledge systemic racism. It also said racism and prejudice played a role in Echaquan's death.
"The only place where I don't agree is when we say that there's a 'system' because for me a 'system' is coming from upstairs, coming from the top people, and I don't see this in the health care network, for example," Legault said at a press conference on Tuesday, following the release of the coroner's report.
"What happened to Mrs. Echaquan is terrible [...] and few employees, not only one, didn't deliver the right services to her."
He reiterated that people who believe in systemic racism in Quebec don't have the same definition that he does.
"We don't have a system [of racism], top to bottom, and it's a question of fact," he said.
He emphasized the need to "stop dividing Quebecers" with arguments about systemic racism.
"Even [the coroner who wrote the report] Mrs. Kahmel, she's saying that we have not to put all the emphasis only on words. We have to put emphasis on actions to change the situation and, on that, I fully agree," said Legault.
Justin Trudeau's Liberals will get a minority government following Canada's 2021 election, the CBC projects. The public broadcaster projected earlier in the evening that the Liberals would win a government, but it was not immediately clear whether the party would claim a minority or majority of seats in the House of Commons, the CBC said.
The result, of course, is that it's possible little will change in the balance of power in the next parliament. The Liberals have held a minority government since the last federal election in 2019.
As of the time of writing, Elections Canada has not released results for all ridings.