Quebecers signaled a major change on October 1, when they elected a majority government Coalition Avenir Québec, led by François Legault.
It was the first time since 1966 that Quebec voters elected a government that was neither Liberal nor a Quebec party.
François Legault’s CAQ took 74 of Quebec’s 125 seats, ousting the province’s Liberal government — which won just 32 seats — and reducing the PQ to just nine seats in Quebec’s National Assembly.
A fourth party, Québec Solidaire, finished ahead of the PQ with ten seats – the party’s best win.
Ungava, the constituency that includes Nunavik, followed suit on October 1 and elected its first CAQ candidate, Denis Lamothe, a former Sûreté du Québec officer who worked for a time in Kuujjuaq and Kuujjuarapik.
The race in Quebec’s northernmost riding was by any standards a nail-biter.
Incumbent Liberal MNA Jean Boucher held a healthy lead for most of the night, but gradually slipped to third place.
Lamothe won the riding with 26.5 percent support and just 45 more votes than PQ candidate Jonathan Mattson. It was unclear as of late Oct. 1 whether Mattson planned to request a recount.
Alisha Tukkiapik, the Kuujjuaraapik-based community worker who ran for Québec Solidaire, won 16.5 percent of the vote.
Legault, a former PQ minister, formed the CAQ in 2011 to bridge the gap between federalism and Quebec nationalism.
He campaigned on cutting immigration, taxes and school boards in Quebec.
The party also promised to start school a year earlier, at four years; to raise the legal age of marijuana use to 21 and to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
(More to come)