CAQ’s ag critic among winners in Quebec election

The agriculture critic for Francois Legault’s Coalition avenir Quebec (CAQ) will be among the party’s returning MNAs as it forms Quebec’s next government.

The CAQ pulled a majority government in Monday’s election with 74 seats, defeating Philippe Couillard’s Liberals, who were reduced to 32 seats, followed by Quebec solidaire with 10 seats and the Parti quebecois with nine.

Sylvie D’amours, the MNA since 2014 for the Mirabel riding west of Montreal, was re-elected Monday night by a healthy 14,440-vote margin over PQ challenger Denise Beaudoin.

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D’amours, the co-owner of vineyard Les Vents d’Ange at St-Joseph-du-Lac, had been a municipal councillor for the community since 2009 before entering provincial politics in 2014. She handled the critic files for agriculture and tourism prior to the election and had also served a brief stint as critic for families.

Agriculture and social policy group l’Union paysanne was quoted in early 2016 describing D’amours as the best opposition MNA on the agriculture file in over 15 years.

Before joining the Quebec legislature she had served as president for the Table de concertation agroalimentaire des Laurentides, a regional round table for agricultural development, and for the Syndicat des agricultrices de la region Outaouais-Laurentides, the regional arm of the provincial organization for women in agriculture.

Legault has yet to name a cabinet, however, and there’s also no clear frontrunner for official opposition agriculture critic. Laurent Lessard, the Liberals’ incumbent agriculture minister, didn’t seek re-election.

Pierre Paradis, Lessard’s predecessor on the ag file, had been kicked out of the Liberal caucus in early 2017 and was reinstated in mid-August this year, but also opted not to run again. Lessard’s and Paradis’ ridings both went from the Liberals to the CAQ in Monday’s election. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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