OTTAWA — The Conservatives, NDP and Liberals don’t usually agree on much, but Monday’s decisive triumph by a unabashedly federalist leader in Quebec was a development to which they would all surely raise a glass.
The trickier issue — keeping Quebecers interested in Canada and its federal parties over the long term — is something they’ll have to reflect on long after the champagne has gone flat.
But on Monday night at least, Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard was a popular guy in Ottawa.
“I am proud that my fellow Quebecers have chosen unity and acceptance as we move forward together,” Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said in a statement.
“As a Quebecer, I am thrilled that my province will be represented by as dedicated a leader as Philippe Couillard. I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to his entire team. I look forward to working alongside them to help bring about economic growth and a strong, thriving middle class.”
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, whose party holds the most federal seats in Quebec, also wished Couillard hearty congratulations.
“The NDP has taken note of the people’s desire to end the old quarrels, and the new premier can count on us to promote Quebec’s interests in Ottawa, as part of our effort to build a more just and prosperous Canada for all,” Mulcair said.
“Having sat alongside Mr. Couillard in cabinet, I can attest to his competence and his commitment to Quebec and its institutions. In the name of all New Democrats, I would like to wish Mr. Couillard all the best in his new role.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was also expected to release a statement later Monday.
The Canadian Press