Shock resignation of Émilise Lessard-Therrien | “Québec solidaire must become a government party,” says Nadeau-Dubois

(Quebec) With a party plunged into crisis since the shock resignation of Émilise Lessard-Therrien from her position as co-spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is playing his game and calling on its members to rally behind his priorities policies so that Québec solidaire (QS) modernizes its statutes, makes its program more “pragmatic” and becomes “a government party”.

In a lengthy press scrum Wednesday in parliament, QS’s male co-spokesperson made a rallying call, two days after Lessard-Therrien, who criticized the “small team of professionals woven tightly around” the parliamentary leader and the organizational obstacles which did not allow her to deploy the political orientations for which she was elected last November.

I believe that Québec solidaire must become a government party. This is the approach that I began seven years ago when I joined to succeed Françoise David and it is still what I wish to do.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire

“I am aware that this vision is not unanimous at Québec solidaire. There are people who have a different vision for the future of the party (and) for the future of the left. But I think I have a duty to be transparent in a context where my party is going through difficult times,” he added.

Earlier in the afternoon, Wednesday, The Press revealed that a new person had resigned from the national coordinating committee (CCN), the equivalent of the party’s board of directors, in order to “free his speech” and testify that political positions presented to them had first been discussed outside the body.

Three priorities

To get his party out of the plateau it is facing, while the indicators do not point towards an improvement in voting intentions and QS obtained fewer votes in 2022 than in 2018, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois proposes three priorities to its members .

Firstly, he reveals that the party will propose the adoption of a political declaration to the National Council at the end of May, in Saguenay, which will take stock of a tour of the regions to get the left party out of Montreal and urban centers, where its supporters are mainly located.

Then, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois proposes to completely review the political program of Québec solidaire, a condition, he says, for the removal of the ceiling.

Finally, the parliamentary leader and male co-spokesperson proposes to review the structure of the party, set up at a time when the solidarity movement had few or no elected representatives in parliament. Is this the end of the co-spokesperson formula?

“This formula must be modernized. We must specify the roles, we must specify the distribution of power, we must specify who is accountable for what exactly. Right now, I realize, we realize that there are some blurs. It creates confusion internally and it can even create frustration,” he said.

What is his share of the responsibilities?

Criticized by former employees for his centralized management of the party’s political affairs, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois recognizes that there have been several controversies in his party over the past year, starting with the criticism aimed at him in the essay by his former colleague Catherine Dorion.

That being said, I think that we have too often tended to interpret these conflicts, these debates, as conflicts of personalities. Like style debates or contrasts between temperaments. I think the real issues are political. Do we want Québec solidaire to become a government party, yes or no?

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire

“It’s time we made that choice. As long as we beat around the bush, as long as we don’t resolve these issues, it creates frustrations, it creates division which subsequently becomes conflicts,” said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

Furthermore, even if he appeared alone in front of journalists on Wednesday, the parliamentary leader assured that his caucus supported him in the vision he is proposing.

On the political spectrum, while Québec solidaire is still far away for the moment from hoping to form the next government, or even the official opposition, is Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois proposing to refocus his party?

“I think we need to be more pragmatic. I think we have to choose our battles. We cannot present an electoral platform that would require four or five mandates to put in place. You have to make choices. (…) For me, a government party is a party that knows how to prioritize and that knows how to choose certain battles,” he said.


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