Alex Tyrrell runs for Greens against Philippe Couillard
Battle of party leaders in Outremont by-election
by John Symon
Alex Tyrrell, 25, the new leader of the Quebec Green Party (PVQ) announces that he will be running as a candidate in the Outremont By-election scheduled for December 9, 2013. The Outremont by-election was called as a way for Liberal leader Philippe Couillard to be elected to Quebec’s National Assembly. Apparently, neither of the other two main parties–the Parti Québécois (PQ) and the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ)–plan to present candidates against Mr Couillard. Another by-election will also be held on the same date in Viau.
“I’m running because I believe Couillard doesn’t deserves a seat in the National Assembly” Tyrrell told The Times on November 13 as he stood in front of St. Mary’s Hospital on Lacombe Street. “We believe that he will use his position to continue to the privatization of health care that he started when he was the Minister of Health.” Joining Tyrrell was Morgan Crocket, 20, the PVQ’s candidate in Viau.
Tyrrell, who ran as a candidate for the PVQ in the Jacques-Cartier (Pointe Claire) riding in the 2012 provincial election, was elected leader of the Greens in September. He beat out three other contenders for the leadership job: Marc-André Beauchemin; Patricia Domingos; and Pierre-Étienne Loignon. Jean Cloutier had been serving as the interim leader of the PVQ since the resignation of former leader, Claude Sabourin, in February, 2013.
“I am the youngest party leader among all of the major parties in Quebec today; Mario Dumont, however, was younger [when he became leader of Action démocratique du Québec in 1994],” Tyrrell continued. “I ran my campaign for the Parti vert du Québec (PVQ) leadership based on uniting the party behind progressive ideas. We want to present a strong option for the people of Quebec and defend the views of voters.” Tyrrell was studying environmental science part-time at Concordia University before dropping his courses to concentrate on the PVQ leadership. He grew up in Beaconsfield.
Liberal leader Philippe Couillard, meanwhile, underlines his connections to Outremont where he was born and went to college. The 56-year-old doctor and neurosurgeon points out that he studied at the Université de Montréal, where earned a Doctorate in Medicine in 1979 and a diploma in neurosurgery in 1985. Couillard was elected leader of the Quebec Liberals in March, 2013, beating out Raymond Bachand and Pierre Moreau for the job.
“For more than a year, the PQ government has driven down the economy and divided the people of Quebec in order to further its political agenda. At the upcoming by-election, the people of Outremont will have the opportunity to send a clear message to the PQ government: Quebec is facing an impasse; it’s time to present Quebecers with a new vision,” Couillard concluded.
Tyrrell expects that another smaller party, Québec Solidaire, will also field a candidate in the Outremont by-election. Although Outremont is a Liberal stronghold, he points out that it elected a New Democrat, Thomas Mulcair, federally and that he believes the Greens also have a chance. “Quebec’s voting patterns are very volatile,” he noted.
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