Coalition Avenir Québec

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Coalition Avenir Québec
Leader François Legault
President Stéphane Le Bouyonnec[1]
Founded 4 November 2011 (2011-11-04)[2]
Headquarters 4020, rue Saint-Ambroise Bureau 499, Montreal, Quebec H4C 2C7
Ideology Quebec federalism[3]
Quebec nationalism[4]
Fiscal conservatism[3]
Political position Centre-right[5][6][7]
Colours Blue[8]
Seats in the National Assembly
21 / 125

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ; pronounced [kɔɔ̃ av.niʁ ke.bɛk], "Coalition for Quebec's Future"), is a centre-right 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 of CAQ. 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.[citation needed]

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.[9] 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).[2]

Members and supporters of the party are referred to as "caquistes", derived from the French pronunciation of the party's initials. However, the party had requested that the term "coalisés" be used instead.[10]


Foundation and 2012 provincial election[edit]

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",[11] literally Coalition for the Future of Quebec.

Logo used before official party launch on 14 November 2011.

In September 2011, the CAQ began discussions with the ADQ on the possibility of a merger between the two groups.[12]

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.[13] The actual registration of the party with the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec had already taken place on 4 November.[2]

On 13 December 2011, the coalition and the ADQ announced an agreement in principle to merge, pending final approval with the ADQ membership.[14]

On 19 December 2011, two former PQ MNAs (Benoit Charette, 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.[15][16]

In January 2012, PQ MNA François Rebello switched party affiliation to the CAQ, becoming its fifth sitting member.[17]

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.[18][19]

On 23 January 2012, the CAQ announced its first president, Dominique Anglade, who would also be a candidate for the party in the next election.[20]

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.[21] He won the MNA seat.

On 4 September 2012, the CAQ won 19 seats in the 2012 provincial election.[9]

2014 provincial election[edit]

First party logo.

In the 2014 provincial election held on 7 April, the CAQ won 22 seats, a gain of three seats.[9] 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.[citation needed] Therefore, early voting results revealed a disastrous outcome for the party, while ballots cast on Election Day were much more favourable.[22]

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,[23] 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,[24] 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.

Meanwhile, the CAQ support in Chaudière-Appalaches and Centre-du-Québec remained steady.

On 15 August 2014, CAQ MNA for Lévis Christian Dubé resigned his seat to take a job at the Caisse de dépôt et placement.[25]

The subsequent 20 October 2014 by-election was won by François Paradis with 47% of the popular vote.[26]

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.[27]

On August 26, 2015, CAQ MNA Sylvie Roy resigned to sit as an independent following personal issues with party leadership.[28]


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. Although the party does not support independence, it advocates Quebec nationalism. This includes limiting immigration and promoting the use of French without creating new barriers. The party supports multiculturalism insofar as to "integrate newcomers".[4]

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".[4]

On 10 April 2014, the party stated that it 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."[29] François Legault also pointed out that "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."[30] However, Legault has stated "aggressive[ly]" that a CAQ government would not repeal Bill 101.[31]

The party describes itself as of neither the left nor the right: it describes itself as conservative on economic issues, while liberal on social issues.[3] However, its politics have been described in the press as centre-right by Quebec standards.[32][33][34][35][36][37]

Projet St-Laurent[edit]

The centrepiece of the Coalition's policy platform is the Projet St-Laurent, a detailed program designed to modernize Quebec's economy, education and health systems.

Election results[edit]

Election Leader Votes  % Seats +/– Position Government
2012 François Legault 1,180,235 27.05
19 / 125
Increase 12 Steady 3rd Third Party
2014 François Legault 975,607 23.05
22 / 125
Increase 3 Steady 3rd Third Party

Members of the National Assembly[edit]

MNA District Region Years of Service
Within Caucus
François Bonnardel Granby Montérégie 2012–present Business Person
ADQ MNA (2007–2012)
Member of the Party Executive[20]
Éric Caire La Peltrie Québec 2011–present Computer Programmer and Analyst
ADQ, then Independent MNA (2007–2011)
Benoît Charette Deux-Montagnes Laurentides 2011–2012
PQ, then Independent MNA (2008–2011)
Sylvie D'Amours Mirabel Laurentides 2014–present Business Person
Council Member in Saint-Joseph-du-Lac (2009–2013)
Hélène Daneault Groulx Laurentides 20122014 Physician
Mayor of Rosemère (2005–2012)
Gérard Deltell Chauveau Québec 2012–2015 TV Correspondent
ADQ MNA (2008–2012)
Christian Dubé Lévis Chaudière-Appalaches 2012–2014 Accountant and Corporate Executive Officer
Jacques Duchesneau Saint-Jérôme Laurentides 20122014 Investigator
Montreal Chief of Police (1994–1998)
Mayoral Candidate in Montreal (1998)
Janvier Grondin Beauce-Nord Chaudière-Appalaches 2012–2012 Administrator
Mayor of Saint-Jules (1993–2003)
ADQ MNA (2003–2012)
Simon Jolin-Barrette Borduas Montérégie 2014–present Attorney at Law
Mario Laframboise Blainville Laurentides 2014–present Chair of the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) (1997–2000)
BQ MP (20002011)
André Lamontagne Johnson Centre-du-Québec
2014–present Entrepreneur
Management Consultant
Lise Lavallée Repentigny Lanaudière 2014–present Business Person
Notary and Legal Advisor
Stéphane Le Bouyonnec La Prairie Montérégie 20122014 Engineer
Corporate Executive Officer
ADQ Activist
François Legault L'Assomption Laurentides 2012–present Entrepreneur, Accountant and Corporate Executive Officer
PQ Cabinet Member (1998–2003)
Mathieu Lemay Masson Lanaudière 2014–present Mechanical Engineer
Sylvain Lévesque Vanier-Les Rivières Québec 20122014 Employment Counsellor and Administrator
PQ Candidate in 2004 and 2007
Jacques Marcotte Portneuf Québec 20122014 Mayor of Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier (1996–2012)
Donald Martel Nicolet-Bécancour Centre-du-Québec 2012–present Administrator
PQ Candidate in 2007
François Paradis Lévis Chaudière-Appalaches 2014–present Journalist and anchor for TVA
Marc Picard Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Chaudière-Appalaches 2011–present Tax Auditor with Ministère du Revenu du Québec
ADQ, then Independent MNA (2007–2011)
Daniel Ratthé Blainville Laurentides 2011–2013 Sales Representative and Administrator
Acting Mayor of Blainville (2005–2006)
PQ, then Independent MNA (2008–2011)
François Rebello La Prairie Montérégie 2012–2012 Financial Advisor
PQ MNA (2008–2012)
Jean-François Roberge Chambly Montérégie 2014–present Elementary School Teacher
Student Leader
PQ Activist
Nathalie Roy Montarville Montérégie 2012–present Attorney at Law, Journalist, News Reader and Anchor
Sylvie Roy Lotbinière
2012–2015 Attorney at Law
Mayor of Sainte-Sophie-de-Lévrard (1999–2003)
ADQ MNA (2003–2012)
Claire Samson Iberville Montérégie 2014–present CBC’s French Programming Director General for Communications
Sébastien Schneeberger Drummond–Bois-Francs Centre-du-Québec 2012–present Financial Advisor
Chantal Soucy Saint-Hyacinthe Montérégie 2014–present Industrial Relations and Human Resources Manager
André Spénard Beauce-Nord Chaudière-Appalaches 2012–present Administrator
Vocational Guidance Counsellor
Michelyne St-Laurent Montmorency Québec 20122014 Attorney at Law
Claude Surprenant Groulx Laurentides 2014–present Business Person
Financial Advisor
Denise Trudel Charlesbourg Québec 20122014 Administrator
Council Member in Quebec City (2005–2012)
School Board Member (2002–2006)

House Leaders[edit]

MNA Years of Service
Gérard Deltell 2012–2014
François Bonnardel 2014–present

House Whips[edit]

MNA Years of Service
Daniel Ratthé 2012–2013
François Bonnardel 2013–2014
Donald Martel 2014–present

Party Presidents[edit]

President Years of Service
Dominique Anglade 2012–2013
Maud Cohen 2013–2014
Stéphane Le Bouyonnec 2014–present


  1. ^ "Vote de confiance: un appui de 97% pour Legault". Quebec Hebdo (in French). 1 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Coalition avenir Québec". Directeur général des élections du Québec. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  3. ^ a b c Alexander Panetta The Canadian Press (14 November 2011). "New Quebec political party makes statement with logo". Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "TAKING ACTION FOR THE FUTURE — Action plan presented by the Coalition pour l’avenir du Québec" (PDF). 14 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Dominique Auzias; Jean-Paul Labourdette; Collectif (2013). Québec 2013-2014 Petit Futé (avec cartes, photos + avis des lecteurs). Petit Futé. p. 35. ISBN 2-7469-6808-8. 
  6. ^ Collectif; Dominique Auzias; Jean-Paul Labourdette (2013). Ville de Québec 2013-2014 Petit Futé (avec cartes, photos + avis des lecteurs). Petit Futé. p. 28. ISBN 2-7469-6207-1. 
  7. ^ Kristin M. Bakke (2015). Decentralization and Intrastate Struggles: Chechnya, Punjab, and Québec. Cambridge University Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-1-316-30043-5. 
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  9. ^ a b c Tom Lansford, ed. (March 2015). Political Handbook of the World 2015. SAGE Publications. p. 1061. ISBN 978-1-4833-7155-9. 
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  11. ^ "Francois Legault unveils Coalition for the Future". CTV. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Lessard, Denis (7 September 2011). "Fusion de l'ADQ et de la CAQ: Deltell pressé par son parti". La Presse (in French). Québec. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "New Quebec political party makes statement with logo". CTV. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "CAQ officially merging with ADQ". CTV. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Quatre élus indépendants se rallient à la CAQ". Radio-Canada (in French). 19 December 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  16. ^ White, Marianne (19 December 2011). "New party boots its ranks with four new members". [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Philip Authier (13 January 2012). "Pauline Marois blasts former PQ MNA Francois Rebello". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  18. ^ Canadian Press (22 January 2012). "Coalition for Quebec's Future, ADQ finalize merger". CTV News. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  19. ^ Biggs, XiBit (22 January 2012). "Merger uniting new Coalition for Quebec's Future with ADQ a done deal". Global News. Retrieved 22 January 2012. [permanent dead link]
  20. ^ a b Kevin Dougherty (23 January 2012). "CAQ leader François Legault shows off party executive, 'ideal candidate'". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  21. ^ Canadian Press (5 August 2012). "Quebec anti-corruption crusader Duchesneau confirms run for CAQ". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "La CAQ désormais "incontournable", selon Legault". Retrieved 7 April 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  23. ^ "La CAQ blâme le mouvement "anybody but Pauline"". Retrieved 7 April 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  24. ^ "La CAQ paie pour avoir refusé d'endosser les projets de Québec, dit Labeaume". Retrieved 8 April 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  25. ^ Authier, Philip (15 August 2014). "CAQ heavyweight Christian Dubé leaving politics". The Gazette. Retrieved 16 August 2014. [permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Vendeville, Geoffrey (October 21, 2014). "CAQ holds the fort in Lévis byelection". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Gérard Deltell jumps into federal politics with Conservatives". CBC News. April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Sylvie Roy quits CAQ to sit as independent". CTV News. August 26, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Francois Legault says CAQ would 'never' hold a referendum". Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "François Legault finds that Bill 101 and business don't (...) - Vigile.Québec". Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  32. ^ "Francois Legault unveils Coalition for the Future". CTV Montreal. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  33. ^ Ljunggren, David (14 November 2011). "New Quebec party could marginalize separatists". Reuters. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  34. ^ Ljunggren, David (14 June 2011). "The PQ falls on its separatist message". National Post. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  35. ^ "Quebec unites its right". QMI Agency. 22 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  36. ^ "Legault's Coalition Avenir Quebec absorbs ADQ". CTV Montreal. 2012-01-22. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  37. ^ "Jean Charest: Quebec Premier Eyeing 2013 Election". 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 

External links[edit]