Former Longueuil Major Caroline St-Hilaire to run for CAQ in Sherbrooke

St-Hilaire, a former Bloc MP, has been highly critical of the CAQ’s Quebec-Lévis tunnel project.

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The Coalition Avenir Québec has recruited another sovereignist to run in the fall election, announcing that former Bloc Québécois MP and Longueuil mayor Caroline St-Hilaire will be his candidate in Sherbrooke.

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St-Hilaire, who had been associated for many years with the Parti Québécois, is the partner of former PQ minister Maka Kotto.

On Wednesday, PQ Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon questioned St-Hilaire’s convictions about the status of Quebec. He said on Oct. 3, the population will get to choose between “a federalist party, with people who are maybe not but who, for reasons that are their own, decide to put federalism first, and a proudly pro-independence party.”

After being the Bloc MP for Longueuil and Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher from 1997 to 2008, St-Hilaire was mayor of Longueuil from 2009 to 2017, and has since served as a political analyst on all-news network LCN.

St-Hilaire will have to explain positions she has taken on various subjects that may not have aligned with the CAQ. For example, she was very critical of the government’s proposed tunnel between Quebec City and Lévis, and said if built, the government would have to make it a toll highway. The CAQ government has categorically rejected that idea.

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On Wednesday, St-Hilaire chose not to comment on her political views. She will officially become a candidate on June 5, after she hosts the party’s convention in Drummondville on May 28 and 29.

Though she does not live in Sherbrooke, St-Hilaire has called the Eastern Townships home since she converted her chalet in the town of Austin into her principal residence. Austin is near Lake Memphrémagog, 35 kilometers southwest of Sherbrooke.

Sherbrooke, the former riding of Liberal premier Jean Charest, is currently represented by Québec solidaire’s Christine Labrie, who is running for re-election. Labrie won 34 per cent of the vote in the riding in 2018, with 3,450 votes over the Liberal candidate.

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