Quebec Liberals unveil new candidate for Mont-Royal—Outremont stronghold riding

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Michelle Setlakwe will be the next Quebec Liberal Party candidate for the Mont-Royal—Outremont riding in Montreal. The longtime MNA for that riding, Pierre Arcand, has announced that he will not seek re-election.  (Quebec Liberal Party - image credit)
Michelle Setlakwe will be the next Quebec Liberal Party candidate for the Mont-Royal—Outremont riding in Montreal. The longtime MNA for that riding, Pierre Arcand, has announced that he will not seek re-election. (Quebec Liberal Party - image credit)

A day after one of its most trusted veteran politicians confirmed he would not run again, the Quebec Liberals introduced new blood to the party.

Michelle Setlakwe, a lawyer who spent five years in municipal politics, will be the party's next candidate for the Mont-Royal—Outremont riding, a Liberal stronghold.

Pierre Arcand, who has been the MNA for the Mont-Royal–Outremont riding for 15 years, announced Sunday that he will be leaving politics.

"I am sincerely honoured to be a candidate for Mont-Royal–Outremont riding. Frankly, this riding is tattooed on my heart," said Setlakwe at a news conference on Monday alongside Arcand and Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade.

Setlakwe is a former municipal councillor in the Town of Mount Royal. Last fall, her run for mayor in that municipality fell short of victory. She garnered 44.5 per cent of the votes to Peter Malouf's 55.5 per cent.

"By taking a step back, and in light of the numerous issues that we are confronted with, I realized that the time to make the jump to provincial politics had come," she said.

Among her priorities, Setlakwe listed climate change, the cost of living, the labour shortage and youth protection.

She also said she wanted to help protect the French language while promoting inclusion.

In an apparent swipe at the Coalition Avenir Québec government, she said nationalist and identity politics "that divide us should not take up so much space in public debates."

Setlakwe also echoed her party's position on several controversial bills, criticizing Quebec's religious symbols law, also known as Bill 21, as well as Bill 96, the CAQ's plan to bolster the French language.

Arcand, who has been the MNA for the area since 2007 — when it was simply known as the Mont-Royal riding — said it was time to end his career in politics and make room for a new generation.

He is the 11th Liberal MNA to announce plans to step away from politics before the next election, slated to take place this fall.

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