François Legault has been elected for a second mandate as Quebec premier with a majority government, CTV News has declared.
“More proud! More rich!” said Legault’s deputy premier Genevieve Guilbault.
Within eight minutes of the polls closing across the province at 8 p.m. ET, CTV News declared Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) has secured a resounding win in the Quebec legislature.
For anyone paying attention to the Quebec election campaign over the last 36 days, the victory for the CAQ came as no real surprise.
Poll after poll projected Legault’s party would clinch a sweeping electoral victory.
It remains to be seen whether Legault will make Quebec election history Monday night.
It was former premier Robert Bourassa who won an historic election in 1989 with 91 seats out of a total 125 for the Quebec Liberal Party at the time.
While votes are still being counted in several Quebec risings, polls leading up to voting day indicated Legault could win a record number of seats in the Quebec legislature.
The 2022 election was by all accounts a race for second place as polling suggested the status of official opposition was up for grabs between the Quebec Liberal Party and Quebec solidaire.
CTV News declared soon after the polls closed that the Liberals will retain their status as the official opposition in the National Assembly.
Legault spent party of the day Monday in the Quebec City area asking voters to throw their support behind his party.
“We need your vote because we want to continue — continue — to fight for more prosperous, greener, and prouder Quebec,” he said Monday.
A few gaffes by incumbent premier did not seem to sway voters away from the CAQ in large numbers. On two occasions, Legault was forced to apologize for comments he had made on the campaign trail. In one instance, the CAQ leader said he was sorry for drawing parallels between immigrants and “violence” and “extremists.”
He also apologized to the family of Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw woman who died on Sept. 28, 2020, after saying problems of racism were “settled” at the hospital where she died.
In his four years in power, Legault pass 125 bills in the National Assembly, including legislation to replace school boards with school service centres, a revamped French-language charter, and the controversial secularism law that banned public servants in positions of authority, including teachers, from wearing religious symbols on the job.
All three laws adopted by the CAQ government are currently being challenged in the courts, but it was Bill 96 that Bill 21 that surprised many with the exceptional use of the notwithstanding clause.
This is a breaking news story. More to come.
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