Merchant has won his bet

Mayor Bruno Marchand recently passed the milestone of 100 days at the head of Quebec City, a period during which the newcomer managed to establish himself brilliantly as one of the most prominent politicians in Quebec.

It has often been said. Bruno Marchand had big shoes to fill after Régis Labeaume, whose popularity conferred remarkable political weight during most of his reign.

The hyperactive athlete in colorful running shoes had however planned his arrival well. He rose to the occasion, in a different style, but resolutely effective. Admittedly, recent events have ensured that Bruno Marchand has benefited from great visibility, with the anti-sanitary measures demonstrations which have carried over into his city.

In the previous months, Quebec has also been struggling with the Omicron wave, in addition to having been the scene of a crisis within its police department. Mr. Marchand took these episodes very seriously, being proactive and responsible.

The chosen one proved to be up to the task during the demonstrations, occupying space without leaving too much to the organizers. Quebec and its mayor were not only able to avoid the worst, but the city’s image has also improved.

Everything to lose

Without political experience, Mr. Marchand had everything to lose or gain from this sudden media visibility. Instinct, skill and tact worked in his favor and allowed him to achieve national stature.

This credibility will be useful to him in negotiating with higher governments. In the nickel file, Mr. Marchand demonstrated that he could be firm. It will be necessary to see concretely what its opposition to the increase in the standard will produce as a result.

The aura of the mayor also encourages elected officials of the CAQ, like Geneviève Guilbault, to stick to his locomotive. She has every advantage in demonstrating their good understanding. This is all the more true with the rise of the PCQ in the region which, although not very threatening in reality, encourages the CAQists to take nothing for granted.

Mr. Marchand must seize this opportunity to wield his political weight skillfully between now and the fall election. After that, if the government proves to be even more in a situation of strength, as one might expect, the momentum will no longer be there. On Wednesday, Bruno Marchand will address business people for the first time. Expectations are high.

End of honeymoon

If the honeymoon with the population continues, it is different with the one with the official opposition, Quebec first. Led by Claude Villeneuve, it plays its role very well, exerting the necessary pressure and focusing on the right files. This is a big step, not taken for 14 years. Mr. Villeneuve criticizes the mayor for being too conciliatory with the government. He is right to urge her to be cautious. The mayor accuses him, for his part, of wanting to play provincial politics.

I see in this way of doing Quebec first a transposition, in the opposition, of the Jean-Paul L’Allier style. He led the council a bit like a council of ministers. We will see the results of this strategy.

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