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Denis Lessard July 24, 2012
(Quebec City) Propelled in the limelight by last spring’s student conflict, Léo Bureau-Blouin is taking on a political career.
The former president of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ - Federation of Quebec College Students) will be a péquiste candidate in the Laval-des-Rapides riding, La Presse has learned.
Mr Bureau-Blouin will be meeting with Parti Québécois leaders as of today. The Director General, Sylvain Tanguay, organized a meeting yesterday. Last Thursday, he also met with the riding’s executive committee to ensure that the process would take place without any hurdles.
The proceedings have left behind Marc Demers, president of the local association and former Laval police officer, who had accepted, for the past few elections, to maintain a stronghold in the riding and to become the rival candidate to Liberal Alain Paquet. Mr Demers would however consent to step back in order to make room for the new “star”.
Reached through the evening, Mr Bureau-Blouin confirmed today’s meeting with the PQ executive committee. “I have never concealed the will to promote the values in which I believe. Politics is a means, there are others”, he maintains, all while affirming that his decision was not settled. He also claims to have been courted by Quebec Solidaire and the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), but has not met with any representatives of those parties. He had given himself the summer to decide if he’d launch into politics, but assured that, if the elections are called next week, he would be ready to announce his decision.
Duel between two opponents
The duel in Laval-des-Rapides is likely to be very interesting. Léo Bureau-Blouin would be up against Alain Paquet, who was in league with Michelle Courchesne during the final round of talks with the students last June. Mr Paquet, named delegate minister of Finance, is a rising star in the Charest government.
The young spokesperson of the CEGEP students had been noticed for his composure and the quality of his interventions during the difficult period of negotiations with minister Line Beauchamp and her successor, Michelle Courchesne. All parties, except the Liberals, would have courted him in light of the electoral campaign, which should be launched next Wednesday. His candidacy, following those of Daniel Breton, Raymond Archambault, Pierre Duchesne, and soon Diane de Courcy and Jean-François Lisée, represent another successful sweep for Pauline Marois.
At 20 years of age, the ex-student leader, who grew up in Saint-Hyacinthe, had enrolled in Law at Université de Montréal. He has made the gamble of a political career before obtaining a degree, as André Boisclair had also done before him.
His name had made the rounds a few weeks ago, when the media had insisted that the executive committee of the péquiste organization of Trois-Rivières had refused him as a candidate in Trois-Rivières. Yet it appears that the party had made no attempt to have him land in Trois-Rivières.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.