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The right-of-centre group, Coalition pour l'avenir du Quebec, is led by ex-Parti Quebecois cabinet minister Francois Legault. (Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail/Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail)
The right-of-centre group, Coalition pour l'avenir du Quebec, is led by ex-Parti Quebecois cabinet minister Francois Legault. (Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail/Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail)

Quebec's rising political star set to launch new party Add to ...

Rising Quebec's political star Francois Legault will launch a new party on Nov. 14 after months of speculation.

Mr. Legault made the announcement in Quebec on his final stop of a six week tour of the province.

“People can now stop asking: 'When, when, when? It will be on Nov. 14,” Mr Legault told a crowd of 350 people.

Mr. Legault took advantage of the political crisis in Premier Jean Charest's government over reports of collusion and corruption in the construction industry to declare that his party would do things differently.

Mr. Charest this week announced that an inquiry with limited powers will examine corruption the construction industry. Mr Legault said that without subpoena powers, the probe will accomplish little.

“If I form a government, I will change the decree and give the commission headed by Justice France Charbonneau the powers to subpoena witnesses,” Mr. Legault said.

Recent public opinion polls have indicated that Mr. Legault's yet-to-be formed party would sweep the province and form a majority government.

The former Parti Quebecois minister launched the Coalition for the future of Quebec earlier this year with federalist business leader Charles Sirois. It has since raised tens of thousands of dollars in funding and attracted supporters from all political stripes.

“We never thought there would be so much enthusiasm so quickly,” Mr Sirois said. He later told reporters that on Nov. 14, the coalition “will cease to exist” and that the step will be taken towards forming a political party.

Mr. Legault reiterated the need to set aside the old federalist-sovereigntist debate for at least a decade and focus on education, health, the economy and protection of the French language.

“We don't need to be a sovereigntist to love our language and defend our language in Quebec,” Mr. Legault said.

The new party intends to present a right of centre nationalist program that proposes abolishing school boards, guaranteeing each Quebecker access to a family doctor and more Quebec ownership of the economy.

“We have lost the crown jewels of our economy to foreign ownership,” Mr. Legault told the crowd.

Mr. Legault received resounding applause when one participant challenged him on his political past, in which he strongly defended sovereignty as the solution to Quebec' economic problems.

“But that was in 2007 when there was a surplus in Ottawa. Now there is a deficit and we don't have the luxury of debating a stale issue when we have to deal with our situation in education, health and the economy,” he said.

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