At a press briefing, parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau−Dubois believes that in the context of the complementary in Jean−Talon, these platforms are essential for contacting voters. (Photo: 123RF)
Quebec — CAQ leader François Legault is asking Québec Solidaire (QS) and the Liberals to no longer buy ads on Facebook, even if he himself does not rule out the possibility of his party buying them.
Both QS and the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) have in fact decided to ignore the boycott of Meta platforms in which they have taken part since the summer in support of Quebec media, while the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Parti Québécois (PQ) continues this boycott.
In the current complementary election in Jean-Talon, QS and the PLQ paid for advertisements on the Meta group’s platforms to have their candidates elected.
“Our media are suffering because of Facebook,” recalled the Prime Minister in a press scrum on Tuesday, the day Parliament returned to Quebec.
“I think it’s important that all parties boycott advertising on Facebook,” he said, calling for fairness in Jean-Talon’s electoral campaign.
Because Meta is a “powerful tool” for contacting voters, recognized the CAQ leader.
“It makes no sense that there are two parties, the Liberal Party and Québec Solidaire, which use Meta, then that there are two others, the Parti Québécois and the CAQ, which do not use it. no, it’s really not fair.”
He said his party was going to have to “ask the question” because it was “really unfair,” in his words.
The boycott was launched following Meta’s decision to block the sharing of articles from Canadian media on its platforms.
QS had to defend itself on Tuesday for having spent on advertising on Meta platforms, after having nevertheless suggested in July that it was not going to encourage Facebook until further notice.
According to parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, in the context of the complementary election in Jean-Talon, these platforms are essential for contacting voters and symbolic gestures do not provide a solution.
“We will continue to place advertising (in Facebook), he said at a press briefing on the day of the start of the parliamentary term in Quebec. I think that all of this demonstrates that symbolic gestures will not solve our problem.”
This is how he was able to answer “no” to the question whether boycotts are useless, but at the same time affirm that they have their “limits” and do not provide a solution in this case.
The QS spokesperson also refuses to be given lessons by the Minister of Communications, Mathieu Lacombe, who sharply condemned the reversal of QS on Monday, as did the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM).
“There are interests that are greater than your party interest,” said the president of the CCMM, Michel Leblanc, in an interview with Quebecor.
“I tell you that finger pointing and symbolic manifestations have a big, big limit and that won’t solve our problem,” insisted Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.
The PQ, which continues its boycott of Meta, doubts the sense of ethics of QS and denounces its lack of solidarity.
“Our media are dying for lack of income, it is the pillar of democracy, then you have political parties which, to make a small gain of 1% or 2% in a partial election, are ready to abandon all their principles and then to abandon our Quebec media for the benefit of a multinational,” condemned PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, in a press scrum.
“I am talking particularly about Québec solidaire, in solidarity with the GAFAM multinationals. This is indefensible in my eyes. We must remain united and ensure that our Quebec media are viable in the face of unscrupulous giants.”
The PQ was also going to table a motion in the National Assembly in the afternoon to propose to elected officials to be “in solidarity with our national and regional media which have seen their advertising revenues be diverted for the benefit of Meta platforms”.
The motion asks parties not to buy advertisements or sponsor publications on Meta from now on, and not to use these platforms this Friday — a day of boycott organized by the Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec (FPJQ) and the Société québécoise des public relations professionals.
The Liberal Party of Quebec also affirmed that it was not going to end its advertising campaigns on Facebook until the complementary vote on October 2.
Interim leader Marc Tanguay argued that 88% of Quebecers are on Facebook and that it is important to be able to connect with these voters.
By Patrice Bergeron