MONTREAL — Members of Quebec’s business community breathed a collective sigh of relief Monday after the Liberal party was voted to a majority government in provincial elections.
Just 18 months after going down to defeat in 2012, Philippe Couillard’s Liberals scored a resounding win, prompting Pauline Marois to quit as Parti Quebecois leader after she lost both her government and her seat in the legislature.
The Liberals were elected to 70 seats, compared with 30 for the Parti Quebecois and 22 for the third-place Coalition for Quebec’s Future. In its previous minority government, the Parti Quebecois held 54 seats, with 50 for the Liberals and 19 for the Coalition.
Dorval called the results a vindication for the Liberals and the Coalition, both of which opted to make the economy central planks of their election platforms.
Business leaders are hopeful that will herald an era of stability marked by new investments, jobs and real-estate activity in the province.
“I think the business community will be pleased,” said Yves-Thomas Dorval, president of the Quebec Employers Council.
“There was a question mark in the air and now a majority government will certainly provide a better, stable and foreseeable environment.”
North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said his organization looks forward to working with the new administration, having enjoyed an excellent partnership with various Quebec governments over the last 20 years.
“All, regardless of party, have had a shared commitment to the very important Quebec-New York relationship,” Douglas told the Press-Republican by email.
“Transitioning our relationship to the new government will be important, and we are in a strong position, knowing Mr. Couillard and many of his colleagues already.
“We have been engaging in active outreach for several weeks so we would be ready for any outcome, and that will serve us well as we continue to serve, in former (Liberal) Premier Jean Charest’s words, as Quebec’s best friend in the U.S.”