One of the young student leaders who rose to prominence in Quebec’s student movement has decided to run for the Parti Québécois in the upcoming provincial election.
Léo Bureau-Blouin, the former head of Quebec’s main association of college students, revealed his decision Tuesday evening to run in the Montreal-area riding of Laval-des-Rapides.
“I believe the re-election of the Liberals would only help increase the cynicism, social inequality and disinterest in public matters,” the young candidate said in a statement released on social media.
Months of social disruption provoked by student protests over a tuition hike promise to be a key issue in the Quebec election, widely expected to be called for Sept. 4.
PQ Leader Pauline Marois and her entire caucus wore the red square emblematic of the protests for months – until it became clear an election was likely, and that a majority of voters backed Premier Jean Charest’s plan for a tuition hike.
Anticipating the student leader’s likely candidacy, Mr. Charest said it showed how Ms. Marois had aligned herself with the disorder and brought about by the student strike.
The riding was won narrowly by Alain Paquet, the junior finance minister, in the last election.
“This only associates very clearly Pauline Marois with the extremism of the student movement,” Mr. Charest said in Quebec City.
“The citizens will make the choice not on the presumed ’starness’ of someone, but on the true convictions and true values,” he said.
Mr. Bureau-Blouin, 20, rose to fame in Quebec alongside two other young leaders, and was quickly seen as the voice of reason between his more radical counterparts.
He promised to run his campaign with a big social media presence.