Charest Announces New Candidates

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CHAREST NEW CANDIDATES
Quebec Premier Jean Charest announces new candidates Pascal Beaupre (left) for Joliette, Jean Francois Gosselin (second right) for La Peltrie, and Linda Lapointe (right) for Groulx at a press conference in Montreal Sunday, July 29, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe | CP

Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced three new candidates to the Liberal Party for the upcoming general provincial elections, all of which are former Action Démocratique du Québec members.

Linda Lapointe, elected in the Groulx riding in 2007, is seeking re-election. She will go up against the former Radio-Canada radio announcer and Parti Québecois member, Raymond Archambault.

In Joliette, the former ADQ member Pascal Beaupré will try to win over the district he represented in 2007-2008.

Jean-François Gosselin, who was elected in 2007 in Jean Lesage, is presenting his candidacy in La Peltrie, where he will oppose Coalition Avenir Québec member and former ADQ member, Éric Caire.

On Saturday, Charest stopped for a visit in northern Quebec and announced his candidates for Ungava and Duplessis. He presented these LPQ members as his "Plan Nord team."

These two districts have been represented by the PQ for thirty years.

No elections announced yet

Francois Legault, chief of the Coalition Avenir Québec, will be in the Capitale-Nationale region to introduce his campaign slogan and new candidacies.

Chief of Option Nationale, Jean-Martin Aussant, will be in Trois-Rivières Sunday afternoon to make similar announcements.

Amidst all the announcements, Charest refuses to unveil an election start-date. Laurent Lessard, minister of municipal affairs for the Liberal Party, talked about heading to the polls on Sept. 4, but Charest would not confirm this information.

Parties introduce new members

All eyes seem to be fixed on a general election announcement soon.

Quebec Liberal ministers have committed about $2 billion this week to various projects across the province. On Friday alone, the party pledged $60 million.

The money will be spread across several sectors such as agriculture, health care and infrastructure.

On Friday, Environment Minister Pierre Arcand announced a $1.2 million investment to expand Mont-Saint-Bruno Provincial Parkon the South Shore. But he said it has nothing to do with an election.

Political columnist Martin Patriquin said government generosity, as the province approaches an election, is nothing new.

"When that starts trickling out, those are breadcrumbs to an election," he said.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the PQ announced that André Bouthillier, former journalist and public relations manager, would be running for election in the Soulanges district. The CAQ also introduced Christian Dubé for the Lévis area.

Pauline Marois, leader for the PQ, unveiled Léo Bureau-Blouin, ex-president of the Quebec college student association, as candidate for the Laval-des-Rapides riding.

Charest in Vermont

Charest will head to Vermont on Sunday afternoon for the 36th annual conference of New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers.

Energy and transport are said to be the principal topics of discussion this year.

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