Dominique Anglade, the first Black woman to lead a major Quebec political party, resigned as Liberal leader on Monday, five weeks after her party suffered a crushing defeat in the provincial election.
Anglade told reporters in Montreal she will also step down as member for the Montreal riding of St-Henri–Ste-Anne, effective Dec. 1, opening the door to a byelection that will be hotly contested by the left-wing Quebec solidaire.
Her leadership had been under pressure since the party elected just 21 members in the Oct. 3 election – down from 31 in the 2018 vote.
“Having in mind the interests of Quebec and the good of the party, I have informed the party president of my resignation as the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party,” Anglade said.
The party maintained official Opposition status but saw its share of the popular vote drop to less than 15 per cent, receiving fewer votes than Quebec solidaire and the Parti Quebecois. In recent weeks, current and past members of the party had come out – some anonymously – to question her authority and say she no longer had the confidence of members.
Speaking to the internal conflict in the party, Anglade said Monday that the issues facing Quebecers – regarding demographics, culture, the economy and the environment – “are too important for the official Opposition to be torn up.”
“The Liberal party has to renew its political offer but also its way of doing politics, and we don’t have the luxury of being undermined by internal intrigues.”
The tension within the party erupted shortly after the election, when Anglade ejected Marie-Claude Nichols from caucus after a disagreement over shadow cabinet roles. Anglade reversed position, but Nichols refused to return and said the Liberal leader was unable to to properly lead the party.
Anglade, 48, was acclaimed leader of the Liberals in 2020 after her only opponent – Alexandre Cusson – withdrew before the vote.
She was elected in the riding of St-Henri-Ste-Anne in November 2015 and served as economy minister in the cabinet of Philippe Couillard. She was re-elected in 2018 and 2022. Before joining the Liberals, Anglade was briefly president of the Coalition Avenir Quebec, the party of Premier Francois Legault.
Anglade is married with three children and is the daughter of Haitian immigrants.