Legault accuses Montrealers of “despising” the people of Quebec and Lévis

Yes, he really said that.

In a TV show interview with Radio-Canada this Sunday, Legault answered a series of questions as part of a special program in anticipation of the next election. Among a series of more normal conversations with reporters, the head of the CAQ responded… oddly to questions about the controversial “third link” — a project that would connect Quebec City to Lévis more directly by car and public transit.

When Céline Galipeau, news presenter and co-host of the special, asked Legault if he thought the third link would increase traffic, the CAQiste chief said no. Galipeau’s follow-up pressed Legault to explain why studies conducted by the CAQ on this subject have not yet been made public.

Legault signaled that the data needs to be “updated” due to changes caused by the pandemic. He confidently asserted that, for him, “there is a clear need for a third link”. This is where things started to go off the rails.

“I don’t see why Montrealers would have more bridges than Quebecers,” he concludes pensively.

Galipeau and his co-host Patrice Roy immediately took the plunge. First, Galipeau, recalling that by comparing Montreal to Quebec, “it is not the same population, Mr. Legault”. Next, Roy, speaking almost above her, points out that Montreal has a special need for bridges: “It’s an island!

Legault was unfazed, interrupting Roy to continue with a claim that unspecified “projections” for future population sizes definitively prove the importance of the third link. After a moment’s pause, Legault continued with the real kicker:

“Montrealers must stop despising the people of Quebec and Lévis,” he exclaimed, without any context or follow-up. Galipeau continued with his traffic questions, but it’s hard to ignore such an objectively amusing statement.

Where is he from? Which group of Montrealers is Legault referring to? Could it be a legitimate feeling of superiority that hides behind the construction of additional bridges in Montreal?

It is naturally difficult to guess what was going through the head of the CAQiste leader at that time. Obviously, there are unresolved challenges between Montrealers and other Quebecers. Dividing the province along the lines of bridge privilege in an election – a time when we should come together to choose our collective future – is indeed an interesting strategy.

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