Coalition Avenir Québec
|President||François Legault (acting)|
|Founded||4 November 2011|
|Merger of||Action démocratique du Québec|
|Split from||Parti Québécois|
|Headquarters||1260, rue Mill|
Big tent party
|Political position||Social : Centre-right to right-wing|
Economic : Centre to centre-right
|Seats in the National Assembly|
75 / 125
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ; French: [kɔ.a.li.sjɔ̃ av.niʁ ke.bɛk], "Coalition for Quebec's Future") is a centre-right to right-wing Quebec nationalist and autonomist provincial political party in Quebec, Canada.
It was founded by former Parti Québécois (PQ) cabinet minister François Legault and businessman Charles Sirois; Legault also serves as the party leader. The party membership includes both Quebec nationalists and federalists. Legault has said it will never endorse a referendum on sovereignty, but more autonomy if necessary.
Not long after its formation, the party gained nine sitting Members of the National Assembly of Quebec (MNAs) who had been elected as members of the PQ and of the Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ); the ADQ later merged with the CAQ in January 2012. The party is registered with the Director-General of Elections in Quebec under the name Coalition Avenir Québec – L'équipe François Legault (Coalition Avenir Quebec – Team François Legault).
Members and supporters of the party are referred to as "caquistes", derived from the French pronunciation of the party's initials. However, the party has requested that the term "coalisés" be used instead.
Foundation and 2012 provincial election
In February 2011, François Legault and Charles Sirois held a press conference to announce the formation of a movement to be known as the "Coalition pour l'avenir du Québec", literally Coalition for Quebec's Future.
In September 2011, the CAQ began discussions with the ADQ on the possibility of a merger between the two groups. The two parties were very similar ideologically.
On 14 November 2011, Legault held a press conference to launch the movement as a political party under the slightly modified name of Coalition Avenir Québec, unveiling a new logo at the same time. The actual registration of the party with the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec had already taken place on 4 November.
On 13 December 2011, the CAQ and the ADQ announced an agreement in principle to merge, pending final approval with the ADQ membership.
On 19 December 2011, two former PQ MNAs (Benoit Charette and Daniel Ratthé) and two former ADQ MNAs (Éric Caire and Marc Picard) who had earlier left their respective parties to sit as independents announced that they were joining the CAQ, becoming the new party's first sitting members.
On 21 January 2012, the results of the ADQ's mail-in vote were announced: of the 54% of members who voted, 70% approved the merger with the CAQ. The ADQ's four remaining MNAs—Sylvie Roy of Lotbinière, Janvier Grondin of Beauce-Nord, François Bonnardel of Shefford, and leader Gérard Deltell of Chauveau—joined the CAQ, boosting its caucus to nine.
On 5 August 2012, Jacques Duchesneau, the whistleblower behind Quebec's anti-corruption unit, announced his candidacy for the riding of Saint-Jérôme in the 2012 provincial election. He won the MNA seat.
2014 provincial election
In the 2014 provincial election held on 7 April, the CAQ won 22 seats, a gain of three seats. The TVA-sponsored second televised debate was noted as a turning point in the campaign and party leader François Legault's performance reflected positively on the CAQ's standing. Therefore, early voting results revealed a disastrous outcome for the party, while ballots cast on Election Day were much more favourable.
Also, overall returns marked a significant geographic shift in the CAQ electoral base. In the Capitale-Nationale area, reputed for its conservative leanings and the influence of its talk-radio hosts, the Quebec Liberal Party won four of the six seats previously held by the CAQ. A strategic vote of the anti-PQ electorate, as well as a pledge by Legault to spend no public money on projects dear to Mayor Régis Labeaume, such as the construction of a $97.5 million covered ice rink, the completion of the $60 million theatre Le Diamant, promoted by Robert Lepage, and the $20 million revitalization of the French colonial era new barracks, are possible causes for the backlash.
The CAQ losses in the Capitale-Nationale area were largely compensated with a significant breakthrough in the "450 area" (Laurentides, Lanaudière and Montérégie), where it ended up with seven more seats.
After 2014 provincial election
Following much speculation, Gérard Deltell announced on 7 April 2015, that he would be running for the federal Conservative Party of Canada in the riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent in the upcoming 2015 federal election. His resignation as MNA for Chauveau took effect the same day.
On 26 August 2015, CAQ MNA Sylvie Roy resigned to sit as an independent following personal issues with party leadership.
2018 Quebec provincial election
On 1 October 2018 the CAQ won 74 seats, a gain of 53 seats when compared to their performance in 2014, propelling them from third place to a strong majority government. This marked the first time since the 1966 election, which was won by the now defunct Union Nationale, that a party other than the Quebec Liberals or the Parti Québécois would form government in Quebec.
In December 2018 CAQ would have 75 seats with the victory in the by-election of former Premier of Quebec Philippe Couillard seat.
Ideology and policies
The party long described itself as being neither of the left nor the right: it is not particularly economically conservative, with economic policies similar to the Quebec Liberal Party and social policies to their right. However, its politics have been described in the press as centre-right and populist by Quebec standards, and Legault himself considers the CAQ to be a conservative party. Since its absorption of the ADQ, it has been the furthest right of the four parties in the National Assembly.
The party proposes government investment in education and partial decentralization of the healthcare system. They promise "to further develop the entrepreneurial culture in Québec" and provide government resources for the private sector. The party also supports austerity "to provide the government with the flexibility it needs to adapt to the ongoing changes in the economy"; one measure specifically mentioned is leaving 6,000 open Hydro-Québec employment positions unfilled.
The party supports abolishing school boards and increasing the autonomy of principals and their governing boards.
While the party does not support independence, it does identify as nationalist. On 10 April 2014, Legault, previously a staunch sovereigntist, stated that a CAQ government would never hold a referendum on leaving Canada: "[There] will never be a referendum for the life of the coalition even after 10 years, even after 20 years, so that's clear. And I was clear but people understood something else." François Legault added, "Once it is clear that there will never be a referendum with the Coalition Avenir Québec, the anglophones and allophones, who don't want a referendum, have to understand that we offer an alternative to the Liberals." However, Legault has stated "aggressive[ly]" that a CAQ government would not repeal Bill 101. He has also stated that a CAQ government will demand greater power for Quebec.
According to the party, Quebec is defined by "its historical heritage, the French language, its democratic ideals and the principles of the secularity of the State, and equality among men and women". The Party supported the Quebec ban on face covering but also argue the ban is not extensive enough. They propose to prohibit the wearing of religious symbols by personnel in a position of authority, including teachers. The party supports multiculturalism insofar as to "integrate newcomers". This includes limiting immigration and promoting the use of French without creating new barriers. In 2018, it proposed cutting the number of immigrants by 20 per cent, to 40,000 annually.
|Election||Leader||Votes||% of popular vote||# of seats won||Change +/–||Position||Government|
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22 / 125
74 / 125
|MNA||Years of Service|
|MNA||Years of Service|
|President||Years of Service|
|Stéphane Le Bouyonnec||2014–2018|
- 2012: C'est assez, faut que ça change! (Enough, things have to change!)
- 2014: On se donne Legault (We give you Legault)
- 2018: Maintenant. (Now.)
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