Quebec party leaders head to Gatineau to survey tornado-damaged areas
Damaged apartment buildings are shown after a tornado caused extensive damage to a Gatineau, Quebec neighbourhood forcing hundreds of families to evacuate their homes on Friday, September 21, 2018. Quebec's political party leaders are heading to Gatineau to survey the damage from a tornado that ripped through homes and sent several people to hospital on Friday night.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
September 22, 2018 - 11:30 AM
MONTREAL - Quebec's political party leaders set their political differences aside on Saturday as they headed to Gatineau to survey the damage from a tornado that ripped through homes and sent several people to hospital on Friday night.
On Day 31 of the election campaign, Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard, the Coalition Avenir Quebec's Francois Legault and Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee all cancelled their scheduled activities to meet those affected by the storm.
Couillard and Lisee could been seen walking side-by-side as they toured a neighbourhood in Gatineau.
Legault said Saturday morning that he planned to keep a scheduled meeting with a groups of mayors north of Montreal but had cancelled an afternoon appearance to head to Gatineau.
At a press conference, he said it wasn't a day to play politics.
"I think it's important that all the parties show their solidairity, support the premier and reassure the population, because there are people who have lost a lot materially and will need to be reimbursed if they're not insured," he said.
Legault said the Quebec government would be there to help the victims, no matter who was elected, and encouraged people to donate to help recovery efforts.
Quebec solidaire said co-spokespeople Manon Masse and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois were also headed to the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
Couillard announced Friday night that he would leave his campaign bus behind in order to visit storm-damaged areas in his role as premier.
"We're talking about hundreds of people who are in shelters," his spokeswoman Jocanne Prevost said by email. Far be it from us to politicize our passage in the Outaouais. "
Legault said that after his first meeting with the mayors, he would also ditch his bus and make his way to Gatineau in a personal vehicle.
Lisee said Saturday morning that he only made the decision to visit after consulting with Gatineau's mayor to ensure the visit was welcome.
He said he would have made the same decision whether there was a campaign or not.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2018