Legault says he can handle the pandemic as he prepares for the election campaign

The premier said Thursday that he believes the COVID-19 situation in Quebec remains under control despite the rise in hospitalizations.


Despite growing indicators of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister François Legault said Thursday that he believes the situation is still under control and has no plans to add public health measures during the seventh wave.

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“This summer there have been many parties, people wanted to see each other and there has been a lot of contagion, so there has been an increase in cases,” Legault said.

“But what is important to understand is that with the new variant there are more cases, but proportionally there are fewer hospitalizations and deaths.”

The prime minister’s comments came as Quebec recorded another 20 deaths on Thursday and hospitalizations for COVID-19 reached more than 2,100.

Legault made the comments while in Montreal to announce two candidates for local elections in the provincial elections this fall.

Asked about criticism that he has put the pandemic aside to focus on the election campaign, Legault said he is confident he can work on both at the same time.

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“Of course, I’m not the only leader announcing candidates right now, so I think… we’re all in a pre-election campaign,” Legault said.

“I have to remain the prime minister until October 3,” he continued, “but I have tried to separate the first part, talking about COVID, and the second part, being the leader of the CWC.”

Legault announced that the Coalition Avenir Québec party will feature attorney Audrey Murray in the Maurice-Richard horse and local councilor Véronique Tremblay in the Verdun horse.

Maurice-Richard riding, which includes parts of Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Montreal North, is currently represented by independent MNA Marie Montpetit, who has already announced that she will not race again in the fall.

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The Verdun riding went to Isabelle Melançon of the Liberal Party in the 2018 elections.

The CAQ finished third in both races during the last election, placing behind the Liberal and Solidaire de Québec candidates.

During Thursday’s press conference, Legault spoke about strengthening the party’s presence in Montreal and accused the Liberal Party of taking the two commitments for granted “for too long.”

This story will be updated.

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