Legault shows support for Conservative leader O’Toole

By The Canadian Press

Quebec City – On Thursday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault criticized Trudeau and Singh for wanting to introduce national standards in health care, saying they want to appropriate provincial powers.

The premier also said he was pleased that the Conservatives, particularly over O’Toole’s plan to increase health transfers without conditions, but expressed concern that the Conservatives would cancel a $6 billion deal with Ottawa intended to support the province’s daycare system.

The Conservatives said Wednesday, when revealing the costing of their platform, that an O’Toole government would honour the funding deals with provinces for the first year. But after that the Liberal child-care plan would be replaced by the Tories’ promise to convert the existing child-care expense deduction into a refundable tax credit that would cover up to 75 per cent of child-care costs for low-income families.

The spiciest exchange during Wednesday’s debate concerned issues of Quebec identity and representation.

An animated Trudeau turned on Blanchet late in the debate, proclaiming he is also a “proud Quebecer” and that Blanchet does not have a monopoly on the province.

“You keep forgetting: I’m a Quebecer,” Trudeau said, his face flushed, while a small smile slid across Blanchet’s. “I have always been a Quebecer, I will always be a Quebecer.

“You have no right to consider me not a Quebecer.”

Blanchet conceded to reporters in English after the debate that it was “probably true” that Trudeau was as much a Quebecer as him.

“But in terms of institutions, this is the Assemblee nationale du Quebec which speaks for Quebec,” he said, referring to the French name for the provincial legislature, adding that Quebecers are “obviously not” a monolith.

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