The candidate who will succeed Pierre Arcand rejected the “division” of nationalist subjects

The Liberal candidate, who will succeed Pierre Arcand in Mont-Royal, quickly jumped into the fray: Michelle Setlakwe condemned from the outset the ban on religious symbols and the reform of Bill 101 initiated by the Legault government.

• Also read: Pierre Arcand retires after 15 years with the Liberals

Dominique Anglade presented Setlakwe Monday morning, 24 hours after the announcement of the departure of Pierre Arcand, one of the pillars of the Quebec Liberal Party, elected at Mount Royal since 2007.

Michelle Setlakwe, a lawyer by training who worked at Norton Rose, will therefore be running in this liberal castle in next autumn’s elections.

In her opening statement, the new candidate made it clear that the Legault administration’s policies pushed her to enter politics.

“In my opinion, nationalist, identity-based issues that divide us shouldn’t take up as much space in the public debate,” she said.

According to the candidate, the energy of elected officials would be better harnessed if it was used to “create prosperity across Quebec while protecting the environment.” “This will allow us to improve and modernize our infrastructures and programs so we are better prepared for what the future holds for us,” she says.

Michelle Setlakwe believes the State Secularism Act and ongoing Law 101 reform “go too far, encroaching on the individual liberties of certain communities and some of our fellow citizens.” She also denounces the use of the derogation clause in both cases.


In the revision of Law 101, Setlakwe particularly deplores “the quotas” that will be imposed on English-language CEGEPs, which will limit the total number of students admitted.

The candidate, who is perfectly bilingual herself, believes learning multiple languages ​​would be beneficial for young Quebecers.

“Of Armenian and French-Canadian descent,” according to the press release, Michelle Setlakwe completed her primary education in English before pursuing secondary and tertiary education in French.

Despite everything, beset with questions, Mme Setlakwe acknowledges that French is on the decline in Quebec. “The French language must be protected, I mentioned that in my speech. Yes, there is indeed a backlash. French must be protected. French, we all recognize that it needs to be protected and it’s endangered,” she says, while arguing for a “balance.”

Michelle Setlakwe is from Thetford Mines and has lived in Mount Royal for thirty years. She is the wife of Michael Fortier, former Conservative minister under Stephen Harper and current head of the Royal Bank of Canada.

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