Is the Hon. Denis Coderre the saviour that the Québec Liberal Party has been searching for?
The Québec Liberal Party has a very serious problem. Very few candidates are considering running for the vacant post of Party Leader. It seems that the daunting challenge of facing Premier François Legault’s La Coalition Avenir Québec majority government in the scheduled 2022 provincial general election has chased underground many of the QLP’s front benchers.
The present Interim Party Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition Pierre Arcand is ineligible to run because the party’s constitution excludes the interim party leader from running. The Member of the National Assembly for Mont Royal-Outremont since the 2007 general election has done an excellent job.
Dominique Anglade, the QLP Member for Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne since being elected in the November 9th, 2015 by-election, is considered the leading declared candidate. She served as Deputy Premier from 2017 until 2018. Her ministerial experience includes Minister of Economic Development, Innovation, and Export Trade as well as Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy from 2016 until 2018. She has also served as Acting Minister of Forestry, Wildlife, and Parks during 2017.
Dominique Anglade had previously run as a CAQ candidate in the 2012 general election, finishing third behind the QLP and Parti Québécois candidates in the Fabre (Laval) riding. She then served as CAQ Party President from 2012 until 2013. She left the CAQ over differences in the ethnic identity and immigration policies.
The only other declared leadership candidate is Alexandre Cusson, the Mayor of Drummondville since 2013, and the President of l’Union des municpalités du Québec.
A recent public opinion poll has the Honourable Denis Coderre outdistancing both Dominique Anglade and Alexandre Cusson as the most popular choice for future QLP Leader, even though Denis Coderre has not indicated any interest, at least publically, to enter the leadership race.
Denis Coderre would bring a wealth of federal and municipal political experience to any provincial leadership role. He was the federal Liberal Member of Parliament for the Bourassa (Montréal) riding from 1997 until 2013. His federal ministerial experience includes Secretary of State for Amateur Sport from 1999 until 2002, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 2002 until 2003, and President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister responsible for La Francophonie, and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians from 2003 until 2004. He also served as the Québec Lieutenant of the Federal Liberal Party Leader in 2009.
Denis Coderre also served as the Mayor of the City of Montréal from 2013 until 2017. He is thought to be planning a comeback in the Montréal mayoralty election scheduled for 2021.
However, perhaps it would not take that much convincing for Denis Coderre to consider entering the 2020 QLP leadership race.
Imagine the possibilities of future question periods in the National Assembly of Québec if the Honourable Denis Coderre, Leader of the Official Opposition, would raise to berate Premier François Legault over the latest CAQ majority government missteps. I would pay money to watch these two old battle horses dueling it out in the political ring. How about you?