Quebec’s official election campaign isn’t expected to start for at least another week, but the state’s ruling party has already delivered on billions of dollars in promises.
Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe told reporters on Friday that if coalition Avenir Quebec is re-elected, it will invest $1.4 billion over five years to convert more than 56,000 unsubsidized daycare spots into subsidized spaces. He said he would spend
“Within five years, every toddler in Quebec will have access to quality educational day care for $8.70 a day. I mean sex,” he said.
The election promise was one of several recently made by members of the government led by Prime Minister François Legault.
Last Friday, Legault pledged $1.8 billion for thousands of new subsidized and affordable housing units. Earlier this week, Health Minister Christian Dube promised a new agency to manage the state’s health care system.
The Liberal Party released its full electoral platform in June and the Conservative Party of Quebec released its platform last week.
Professor Philippe Dubois of Quebec’s School of Public Administration said the early start of the campaign was due to Quebec’s fixed election date, which has been set by law since 2013.
By law, Quebec must hold elections every four years on the first Monday in October. There are some exceptions. Also, the campaign must be between 33 and 39 days.
All five parties with seats in the legislature have told the public that they have time and readiness to prepare their platforms, that they have a strong vision and that they can create momentum around their candidates. I would like to show
Dubois said he wasn’t worried voters would confuse CAQ’s partisan campaign promises about the government’s official proposal.
“This is a wise decision by[Lego]to protect him from charges of using public money and national resources for partisan purposes,” Dubois said.
But with Legault’s government running a record campaign and pledging to continue the efforts it has made over the past four years, Dubois said he expects ministers like Lacombe and Duvet to make portfolio-related commitments. I said it was no coincidence that I was doing this.
“This allows them to show this continuity and associate the image of ministers with their political image,” he said.
Guy LaChapelle, a professor of political science at Concordia University, said it’s common for political parties to make commitments before official campaigns begin.
“It’s nothing new in Quebec politics,” he said in an interview. LaChapelle said the actual campaign and when voters make their decisions will take place after Labor Day.
Friday’s promise was praised by a group representing unsubsidized private day care centers, which said the funding would create a more inclusive system. Marie-Claude Collin said parents often don’t have the means to pay for quality private childcare.
Private daycares cost about $40 a day, but that’s not enough to cover educator payments and other costs, she says.
“Having a subsidized space not only helps daycare owners, but most of all, it helps parents who send their children to daycare,” she said in an interview, noting that private daycares are also doing more. It added that it will be able to offer special services to children with special needs.