MISE & Agrave; DAY
The new interim leader of Québec & nbsp; 21, Éric Ralph Mercier, wants to break with the past and breathe new life into his political formation, which will probably change its name in the coming years.
In an editorial interview yesterday morning, the leader of the second opposition group at Quebec City Hall himself addressed the subject and confirmed his intention to rename the party, founded in 2017 by Jean-François Gosselin.
“The past is the past. I still adhere to the values of Québec & nbsp; 21, but of course, I inherited from previous decisions. What I want to defend now is a new way of seeing things with Quebec & nbsp; 21, under another name very likely […] I want a modern, avant-garde & nbsp; ”, a- he said with conviction.
It is not tomorrow the day before, however, that the name Quebec & nbsp; 21 will cease to exist. It is the members of the party who will decide. However, no date has yet been set for the next general assembly.
The party will also have to define the modalities of the next leadership race which could take place as late as in “& nbsp; two or three years & nbsp; ”. There is no rush.
Will Éric Ralph Mercier be a candidate for his own succession? Will he be a candidate for mayor of Quebec in four years? “& Nbsp; We will see. Right now, I'm landing & nbsp; “, he replies. One thing is certain, the party will never bear his name. “& Nbsp; I want to do things differently. & Nbsp;”
No other departures in sight
For this ex-soldier, loyalty is a fundamental value. The recent departure of Stevens Mélançon, who decided to sit as an independent, has visibly disappointed him, even if he is careful not to say so.
“He came to my house, we talked, I accepted his decision. He is a personal friend. It's up to him to explain himself. & Nbsp; “
Mr. Mercier assures us that there will be no further starts. The two other elected members of the party, Jean-François Gosselin and Bianca Dussault, are “& nbsp; faithful and loyal & nbsp;”, he says. “& Nbsp; Mr. Gosselin has taken another step forward and he has given me all his confidence. & Nbsp;”
“& nbsp; reserves & nbsp;” on the tram
On the tram, the “little guy from Charlesbourg & nbsp;” still has “reservations,” but he doesn't intend to filibuster. “There was a popular, democratic verdict that we voted for the streetcar. I reached out to the mayor, I'm waiting to see the proposals [to improve the project]. I'm honestly ready to see what's on offer. “
The new leader of Québec & nbsp; 21 still believes that the light rail project, which he defended in the campaign, was a “good project”, but the party “maybe ran out of time”, he analyzes. “& Nbsp; I don't know. & Nbsp;” & nbsp;
M. Mercier refuses to throw stones at anyone or to criticize the strategy of his predecessor who finished third at the town hall, behind Bruno Marchand and Marie-Josée Savard. “I was a candidate in the Monts [district]. I was not a chef. There, I am the leader. & Nbsp; “
Convinced of the need for 3 e link
The new head of Quebec 21 also has some concerns about the future Quebec-Lévis tunnel, but he remains convinced of the relevance of the project. “I am always for. I await studies like everyone else. I don't have any more information than you do. It takes more details from me. Obviously, that will have to be analyzed. I may have some questions but for me, it is a viable project for the future “, he confided in an interview.
” Quebec is changing, the City of Quebec and the large region change. It includes Lévis. I am always for. I haven't changed my mind and neither has the party. “
His trusted man: Richard Côté
Eric Ralph Mercier will finally be entitled to a significant budget for the formation of the cabinet of the second opposition at the town hall. The sums allocated to him will be known later, but we already know that he will have the means to pay for a few employees as well as a chief of staff. Richard Côté has agreed to continue the adventure in this role. “The first reason I chose Richard was because he was a friend. He has a long track record. I have confidence in him (…) He has carte blanche to negotiate with the cabinet of Mr. Marchand and that of the official opposition. “Asked about the unusual exit of Mr. Côté, who went off his hinges during a heated press briefing with the press at the end of the campaign, Mr. Mercier believes that he had” perhaps an overflow ” . The vase “overflowed”. “I haven't been here for four years. I cannot judge. He suggests, however, that he himself would not accept being eclipsed by his chief of staff in the middle of a press conference. “I'm the boss …”
A homecoming, 20 years later
In 2001, Eric Ralph Mercier participated in the formation of the very first official opposition cabinet for the new city of Quebec after the mergers. He had then acted as director of communications for Jacques Langlois and his own father, Ralph Mercier, who had acted in the leadership during Mr. Langlois’s sick leave. “We're coming home (…) It's no stranger to me. I'm comfortable. I am very familiar with politics as you know. I love that. For me, going back to City Hall, whether in power or not, I enjoy it, to serve the citizens. I would tell you that it is passion. My father instilled his values in me, he has always been close to the world, “says the one who was then Liberal MP for Charlesbourg in the provincial government and then Quebec Delegate General in Mexico City. “My son is Mexican, he is 9 years old, he speaks three languages (…) I was married to a Mexican. I still have ties to Mexico, I have a lot of friends in Mexico, but at the same time my life is here, in a two-generation house. I take care of my mother. “& Nbsp; & nbsp;