The Coalition Avenir Quebec’s sweep to power on Oct. 1 is being welcomed as good news for the province’s foodservice sector — although some concerns remain around the party’s plans for immigration.

A Strong Vote for Change

Quebeckers delivered a decisive victory to the CAQ, which secured more than 70 seats in the provincial legislature. Meanwhile, the two major parties, which have traditionally governed the province over the past 50 years, each suffered historic losses: the Liberals lost more than half their 68 seats, dropping down to 32, while the Parti Québécois lost its official party status, after managing to hang onto only 9 seats.

PQ Leader Jean-François Lisée immediately announced his resignation after losing his own seat. Liberal Leader and outgoing premier Philippe Couillard said he intends to reflect on his own future.

What this Means for the Future of Foodservice in Quebec

With a majority government, CAQ Leader Francois Legault, a former businessman, will have the potential to create conditions that allow the province’s foodservice sector to thrive. One area of concern, however, is the party’s stance on immigration.

During the election campaign, the CAQ pledged to reduce Quebec’s immigrants to 40,000 a year from 50,000, and require them to pass a language and values test after three years in the province.

Quebec is already suffering from the worst labour shortages in the country, and restaurateurs are having an especially difficult time filling vacancies for dishwashers and other low-level back-of-house positions.

Given that CAQ candidates were receptive to concerns raised by Restaurants Canada around this issue on the campaign trail, the association expects to have a constructive relationship with the new governing party and looks forward to ensuring that the voice of foodservice continues to be heard.

Restaurants Canada congratulates all the newly elected members of Quebec’s National Assembly and is excited to begin working together on key issues of importance to the province’s foodservice community.

Make Your Voice Heard

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec, at dlefebvre@restaurantscanada.org or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 6000.

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