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5 December 2017

Closing Speech of the Premier of Quebec During the 33rd Members’ Convention

Allocution de clôture du 33e Congrès des membres du Parti libé…

Les Québécois préfèrent l’optimisme au pessimisme. L’espoir au doute.Le rassemblement à la division.L’impossible, c’est ce qui n’a pas encore été fait. Notre histoire est remplie des impossibilités d’hier que nous avons rendues possibles aujourd’hui.C’est le temps de foncer.À nouveau.C’est le temps de foncer ensemble.Encore une fois.C’est le temps de bâtir un nouveau Québec.Visionnez mon allocution de clôture du 33e Congrès des membres du Parti libéral du Québec.

Posted by Philippe Couillard on Sunday, November 26, 2017

Dear friends,

Dear caucus colleagues,

Dear Carole,
Dear Marc,
Thank you for having organized this 33rd Members’ Convention. 

Antoine, congratulations on your ascension to the presidency of our great Party.

I also want to congratulate our Party’s new Management Committee.

Stéphane, you are president of the largest young political movement in Canada, our Youth Commission.
I am counting on you.

I am particularly sensitive to members’ proposals in the field of participatory democracy.
This interests me greatly.

I have heard you.

Thank you for your commitment.
Thank you for your love of Quebec.

We have celebrated our 150th anniversary.
We have demonstrated that it was Liberal governments that brought these new Quebecs to life, marking each period of our history.

We have made history.
And we will do so in the future once again.

You are part of the Party that has built Quebec.
Be proud of your commitment.
I am proud to count on you.
We should be proud of the Quebec Liberal Party.
We are Liberals and, my dear Jean-Marc, this is our way of being Quebecers.

In these resolutions, there is a great project for Quebec.
We will refine it.
We will strengthen it.
And we will deliver!

Liberal members are already hard at work.
In 310 days, your project will become the project of all Quebecers.
In 310 days, our Party will once again form the government of Quebec.
We will have a majority government.
We have started planning our new Quebec.

A new Quebec of our time.
We are basing it on solid foundations.
This is our track record.
It will pave the road to the future.
A road to prosperity.
And mutual aid.
We are looking to tomorrow, and we won’t leave anyone behind.

Our policy is one that brings people together.
We are Quebecers.
We are together.
Proud of our cities.
Strengthened by our regions.
Elevated by our artists.
Driven by our entrepreneurs.
This is our Quebec.

The world is transforming.
Technologies move at light speed.
Everything is done in an instant.
Today family life is so complicated.
Day care, school, work, traffic jams, a sick parent, it never stops.
It passes so fast.

Dear friends,
We are going to make a difference in the lives of families.
We will do it again, but in a different way.

We have raised families’ standard of living:
Increased revenues.
Increased purchasing power.
Reduced income taxes and school taxes.
Provided aid for school supplies.

We have done this together.

We will now give families that which cannot be bought: time with their loved-ones.
Let’s take on this challenge to give Quebecers more time.
To organize life, work and services so that they have more time for what really matters.

We will focus our actions on:
Family-study-work balance.
And, of course, the sound management of public finances, economic development and prosperity that makes all this possible.

For family-study-work balance, we will propose concrete and practical solutions.
More days off for parents.
Greater flexibility in work organization.
Childcare services better adapted to the reality of parents and students.
Companies that understand that a worried parent is not a productive employee.
In our new Quebec, we will work better because we will live better.

In education.
We have refocused our actions on students and their success.
We have increased support for families.

These are steps toward our new Quebec.

There must be others:
Improving the cohesion of early childhood services and the school environment.
Developing the early detection of learning problems.
Ensuring specialized services without delay, in real time.

A school where the living environment will have been redesigned for young people, and for teachers.
We need to rethink the construction of new schools and innovate in the renovation of existing ones.
I visited a school in La Baie: The School for the Millennium. You must see it! I would like all our children to learn in such schools.
Let’s update our dogmas.
Let’s think outside the box.
Let’s be inspired by the best models.
Like what is done in Denmark, for example.
A healthy diet.
Children who are active
At least 60 minutes per day.
Everywhere in Quebec, we will be better for our children.
In this new Quebec, we will go beyond universal education to universal success.

In health care.
In the new Quebec, we must do more to improve access to care.
More autonomy for nurses.

You all know I practised medicine for more than 20 years. I know very well that nurses can solve a large number of problems on their own or in collaboration with doctors.

Superclinics work.
We have 21 of them.
We will reach our objective of 50.
And we will add more.

We now have a real alternative to emergency rooms, at all times: evenings and weekends.
Technology will make the lives of families easier. Online medical consultations are possible, and we will do it. Telemedicine will be a reality in the new Quebec.
We are going to break down barriers and dogmas.
We are going to push, provoke, and renew to better meet the needs of individuals and families.

Our seniors will be better treated.
CHSLDs will offer better care for a better quality of life.
It will be a Quebec where our seniors can continue to age in good health and contribute to the Quebec that they built. A new Quebec that is, and will remain, grateful to its seniors.

A Quebec where our seniors can age in good health and can continue to contribute to a Quebec that they have built. A new Quebec that is, and will remain, grateful toward its seniors.
We will recognize, like nowhere else in Canada, the extraordinary dedication of family caregivers.
They put their lives on hold to take care of loved-ones.
We will help them help others.

In transport.
A vast territory.
Infrastructure long neglected.
We have devoted much effort to renovating our infrastructure, and it had to be done. We will continue to do so.

We must now think of the future in a different way.
Traffic congestion in Greater Montreal cost $2 billion in 2013.

Automobile ownership is growing more rapidly than the population is.
This makes no sense.
We made the commitment to reduce greenhouse gases.
We have an energy policy that requires 40% less gas by 2030.

This revolution is coming.
And it is for this reason that we are in the process of electrifying transport.
The REM in the Montréal region is a preview of things to come.
We will finish the Montréal Metro’s Blue Line.

We will also devise practical and modern solutions for Québec City.
We will develop strategies for all Quebec regions.
We are moving forward with a bridge across the Saguenay River, a link to Anticosti, the completion of Route 138 and a train to the Gaspésie region.

The Quebec Liberal Party has singled out road congestion as an obstacle to progress.
Just think of Laval, the Basses-Laurentides region, the South Shore of Montréal and Québec City and its suburbs.
We are going to get Quebec out of this unsustainable and never-ending logic of more roads for more cars.
This is not the way of the future,
It is not our vision for the new Quebec.

Dear friends,
I need your help.
I challenge you to develop a quick link between Montréal and Québec City as exciting as the REM.
I want you to propose a flagship project for the new Quebec.
A modern, sustainable and futuristic link between Montréal and Québec City.
I want you to plot a new line on the map of Quebec by putting our clean energy and our know-how in engineering and design to good use.
The new Quebec needs you!

Economic development enables social development.
We believe that we must generate wealth to share it.

As Adélard Godbout said: “Liberalism is the mobilization of all of a nation’s forces for the well-being of its most needy citizens.”
We have a strong public sector because a strong private economy generates the resources to finance public services.
This is the essence of liberal economic ideology.
It is this vision that has built Quebec.
Creating wealth to share and grow together.

Look at Quebec’s economy today.
Quebec is running at full speed, but there is a major problem: Quebec lacks people.
Companies refuse contracts, and defer growth projects.
Because they lack workers.

Since 2014, Quebec’s active population has decreased by 5,000 workers per year.
In Gaspésie.
In Abitibi.
In Beauce.
In Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
In Northern Quebec.
Along the St. Lawrence.
Everywhere, Quebec is lacking labour.
This is the greatest economic development challenge of the years to come.

So, what shall we do?
First, we must continue to better train and better equip our young people.
And we must also welcome more people who are willing to work.
And we must help them to learn French.
And we must integrate them better.
And they will participate in the success of Quebec and its regions.
The new Quebec is, and will be, a crossroads of talent.

Any politician who does not hold this argument or who proposes decreased immigration is hindering the economic prosperity of Quebec, and especially its regions.

Quebec is in full transformation.
Economic and social indicators are flashing green.

A new Quebec is emerging.
There is a new force in North America.
A society of entrepreneurs and creators.
A new cornerstone in the Canada-Europe relationship.
A North American leader in energy transition and sustainable development.
A new model of equal opportunity.
A new vision of prosperity and solidarity.

This is who we are.

We are the bearers of this project.
We are the bearers of this progress.

My friends, we will be the builders of this new Quebec.

For now, we must continue our work.

We have 310 days before us.
310 days to meet Quebecers and listen to them more than ever.
310 days to define the plan that we will propose.
310 days to gain the confidence of the people of Quebec because, with them, we will have developed the best ideas and have presented the best team.

I urge you to openly plan this new Quebec,
and to work freely.
Ignore habit.
Forget dogmas and corporatism.
Do not get caught up in imaginary and ideological rifts.
Think of the new Quebec as the Quebec you long for.
Let’s attract bold and innovative people. Let’s show them that Quebec is where ideas come alive.

What’s impossible is just that which has not yet been done.
Our history is filled with the impossibilities of yesterday that we have made possible today.

Now is the time to act.
Now is the time to act together.
Once again.
It is time to build a new Quebec.

A Quebec where all Quebecers have access to a doctor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A Quebec that takes care of the poor, and its elders.
Where our children will learn in an environment that fosters fulfilment and dreams.
Where their parents will have more time to breathe, to live.
Where modern, comfortable and efficient transportation will have defeated traffic congestion.
A Quebec made stronger by its hydroelectricity, and a pioneer in the development of clean energy.
An innovative Quebec, whose creativity is exported throughout the world.
It is a Quebec that banks on artificial intelligence and new technologies made available throughout our province.
A Quebec that is confident in the future, and that has its place in the world as a French-speaking people.
Together, let’s build the Quebec of tomorrow, let’s build the new Quebec.

Our point of reference is our values:
Individual freedoms.
Economic development and social justice.
Democracy and civil society.
Identification with Quebec and Canadian belonging.
Intergenerational equity.

These are the principles that have carried us through time. These are the principles that have allowed us to address the future while remaining ourselves, without giving in to populism and simplistic solutions.

My friends,
There is a battle in preparation.

It will set a vision for Quebec
Against a division of Quebec.

It will set a new Quebec
Against a false change that is just a rehashing of yesterday’s ideas.

Quebecers prefer optimism to pessimism.
Hope to doubt.
Uniting rather than dividing.

We are going to win this battle:
Riding by riding.
Region by region.
All of us together.

Because this is the Quebec that we dream of.
This new Quebec.
Quebecers know that it is here.
In this room.

Quebecers have known, for 150 years, that it is here that the future begins.

We will deliver this battle for Quebecers of all ages, of all backgrounds, of all origins who want this new Quebec, as do we.

We will deliver as a Party.
We will deliver as a parliamentary wing.
I will deliver as Premier of Quebec
And I look forward to delivering with you.
For our new Quebec.

Thank you.