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Claire Samson and green plants

Green plants. Here we are already. During her last press conference at the National Assembly, on Thursday June 9, Claire Samson, 67, shocked many by declaring: ans. Le travail de députée dans mon bureau de comté, j’ai adoré ça. Mais de tous les emplois que j’ai eus –et j’inclus quand j’avais 17ans et que j’étais commis, ou quand j’ai été serveuse chez DaGiovanni–, le travail de députée à l’Assemblée nationale, c’est la job où j’ai travaillé le moins dans ma vie.”,”text”:”Des députés plantes vertes comme moi, ça n’a pas travaillé fort depuis deuxans. Le travail de députée dans mon bureau de comté, j’ai adoré ça. Mais de tous les emplois que j’ai eus –et j’inclus quand j’avais 17ans et que j’étais commis, ou quand j’ai été serveuse chez DaGiovanni–, le travail de députée à l’Assemblée nationale, c’est la job où j’ai travaillé le moins dans ma vie.”}}”>Green plant MPs like me haven’t worked hard for two years. Working as an MP in my riding office, I loved it. But of all the jobs I’ve had – and I include when I was 17 years old and I was a clerk, or when I was a waitress at Da Giovanni – the work of a member of the National Assembly, it’s here job where I have worked the least in my life.

In a soberly decorated apartment in the east end of Montreal, I meet Claire Samson, happy to be retiring. The first member of Éric Duhaime’s Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ), first elected under the banner of the CAQ in 2014, is relieved to leave a world where she felt cramped. There is not much room for real debates of ideas. Almost everything is scripted in advanceshe believes.

As a young girl, Claire Samson was fascinated by a deaf couple who took the bus at the same time as her. I found it so beautiful that I took courses to become an interpreter. She now proposes to volunteer and devote herself to this silent translation that she loves so much.

In the meantime, can she translate what she meant by: deputies green plants?

I’m going to tell you an eloquent anecdotesays Samson. : “Voici les questions que vous devez poser à la ministre en commission parlementaire”. Moi, comme législateur, je trouve ça insultant, cette pantomime de la joute politique.”,”text”:”Marguerite Blais, ministre des Aînés, dépose un projet de loi sur les proches aidants. Nous faisons alors partie de la même équipe politique. En commission parlementaire, je suis assise de son côté. Je me suis préparée, j’ai lu le projet de loi et j’ai révisé les autres lois que son projet modifie et j’ai des questions pour ma collègue. N’empêche, une fille arrive, je ne la connais même pas et elle me tend un papier et me glisse à l’oreille: “Voici les questions que vous devez poser à la ministre en commission parlementaire”. Moi, comme législateur, je trouve ça insultant, cette pantomime de la joute politique.”}}”>Marguerite Blais, Minister of Seniors, introduces a bill on caregivers. We are then part of the same political team. In parliamentary committee, I sit on his side. I have prepared myself, I have read the bill and I have reviewed the other laws that its bill modifies and I have questions for my colleague. Nevertheless, a girl arrives, I don’t even know her and she hands me a paper and whispers in my ear: “Here are the questions you must ask the minister in the parliamentary committee”. Me, as a legislator, I find it insulting, this pantomime of the political game.

Claire Samson also mentions the relationship with journalists in Parliament: The communications team gives us our lines. They tell us what to say to journalists and make us rehearse as we make actors rehearse textsshe quips.

Me, I did press relations for a large part of my professional life, I’m not afraid of that, journalists. Samson pauses, looks at me and adds with a smile: spin doctors [manipulateurs de l’information] qui les accrochent dans le corridor pour leur donner la nouvelle du jour ou celle qu’ils voudraient voir sortir”,”text”:”Faut dire que les journalistes de la Colline, c’est une espèce à part. Tous les partis ont des spin doctors [manipulateurs de l’information] qui les accrochent dans le corridor pour leur donner la nouvelle du jour ou celle qu’ils voudraient voir sortir”}}”>Must say that journalists from the Hill are a species apart. All parties have spin doctors [manipulateurs de l’information] who hang them up in the corridor to give them the news of the day or the one they would like to see come outshe says.

Claire Samson lights another cigarette. The photographer Ivanoh Demers also offers to do her portrait while she smokes. ans que je n’ai pas fait de photo de fumeur”,”text”:”Cela doit faire au moins 20ans que je n’ai pas fait de photo de fumeur”}}”>It must be at least 20 years since I last took a picture of a smoker.he said to him.

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Claire Samson agrees to be immortalized as she smokes a cigarette.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers

It’s true, no one dares to be immortalized with a cigarette in the mouth anymore, but Claire Samson, 67, assumes – in fact, she assumes everything and says it with a frankness that astonishes, even detonates, in our political landscape.

no bull shit“,”text”:”Avec Claire, y a pas de zone grise. C’est noir ou blanc. C’est du no bull shit”}}”>With Claire, there is no gray area. It’s black or white. It’s due no bull shitsummarizes Natasha Barnes-Crépeau who was his political attaché for more than three years, when Samson was still a member of the CAQ.

A colorful character, therefore, and which has caused a lot of ink to flow.

In the spring of 2021, the 67-year-old woman already knows that her stay in politics is coming to an end. She has just undergone a third brain operation to ward off pituitary cancer. péter au frette. Des opérations au cerveau, c’est pas, mettons, comme avoir un ongle incarné.”,”text”:”J’avais déjà décidé de quitter la politique. Je veux vivre un peu avant de péter au frette. Des opérations au cerveau, c’est pas, mettons, comme avoir un ongle incarné.”}}”>I had already decided to leave politics. I want to live a little before fart at fret. Brain surgery isn’t, say, like having an ingrown toenail.

Adrien Pouliot, former owner of the TQS television network (now Noovo) with whom she worked when she was the station’s big boss in the mid-1990s, contacted her. The man led the Conservative Party of Quebec from 2013 to 2021 before giving way to Éric Duhaime last year. Like everyone else, Claire Samson knows this Quebec radio star by name, who would very much like, Pouliot explains to Samson, to meet her. Éric was very transparent, he wanted to recruit a deputy who would give him access to the National Assembly.

Claire Samson talks about three rather nice encounters, including one where Éric Duhaime’s dog is present. Mia is a very friendly pitbull and my cat Coucoune loves her very much, notes the MP who loves animals. Claire Samson also owns two horses and teaches riding to hearing-impaired children every Saturday. But it wasn’t just their shared love of animals that convinced Samson to change stables…

The rest of the story is known. In mid-June 2021, Claire Samson was expelled from the caucus of the CAQ for having made a donation to the Conservative Party of Éric Duhaime. The next day, she officially joined this party, thus allowing Duhaime access to the National Assembly.

Since this coup, Claire Samson has often been caricatured by comedians, in particular by the actor Marc Labrèche who imitates her and her boss in facebook live improbable where Samson not only smokes, but drinks a glass of wine. This too, the one who made her career in the world of television assumes it very well.

If you’re not worth a laughing stock, you’re not worth anything. »

A quote from Claire Samson

The only thing that bothers her: Marc Labrèche suggests in his imitation that she is drunk when she participates in these discussions. I have a little drink in the evening at home, but I’m never drunkshe says.

His departure from CAQ and his support for Éric Duhaime surprised many in the ranks of François Legault’s party. I never thought she would go this farsummarizes Natasha Barnes-Crépeau.

It’s no secret that Claire Samson was very disappointed not to be appointed, in 2016, Minister of Culture in the Legault cabinet when she was acting as a critic in the field when the CAQ was in opposition. She does not hesitate to express a severe opinion on the CAQ record in this area. It’s really not strong the place that the CAQ did to culturesummarizes Samson.

But, in addition to his disappointment, Samson explains his defection from the CAQ by a deep unease about the exercise of power. : Ça ne se peut pas que la CAQ soit couronnée sans partage aux prochaines élections. Il faut donner des options aux Québécois, des contre-pouvoirs.”,”text”:”Pendant la pandémie, on a assisté à l’affaiblissement des oppositions, ce qui est malsain pour la démocratie. Je me disais: Ça ne se peut pas que la CAQ soit couronnée sans partage aux prochaines élections. Il faut donner des options aux Québécois, des contre-pouvoirs.”}}”>During the pandemic, we have witnessed the weakening of opposition, which is unhealthy for democracy. I said to myself: “It can’t be that the CAQ be crowned unchallenged in the next elections. We have to give Quebecers options, checks and balances.”

The day after his sensational departure from the party, François Legault had declared, with a smirk, to wish good luck to Éric Duhaime, implying that Samson was not easy to live with. Me, I’ve always had a pig’s head. I didn’t make the career I did being a yes-man. Samson laughs.

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Claire Samson in 1988 when she was in charge of press relations for Société Radio-Canada.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Archives

The Claire Samson syndrome, from career woman to frustrated backbencher

In 1976, barely speaking English, Claire Samson left Montreal to settle in New York. She studied law there and began a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) at the prestigious NYU Stern School of Business.

However, Samson comes from a modest family. My mother had a third year because my grandmother, who lived in squalor in downtown Montreal with her nine children, had to send her to work in a sausage factory in Chinatown.she explains.

Claire Samson’s father was a Beauceron who repaired televisions and radio sets at RCA Victor and who greatly encouraged his children to learn.

Back in Quebec in the early 1980s with her diploma in hand, she worked at the defunct CKAC radio station where she aspired to a sales position. boss m’a dit: “Non. Il n’y a pas de femmes aux ventes”. J’ai démissionné sur le champ. C’était pas vrai qu’un homme allait me dire ce qu’une femme peut ou ne peut pas faire”,”text”:”Un de mes boss m’a dit: “Non. Il n’y a pas de femmes aux ventes”. J’ai démissionné sur le champ. C’était pas vrai qu’un homme allait me dire ce qu’une femme peut ou ne peut pas faire”}}”>One of my boss told me: “No. There are no women in sales”. I resigned on the spot. It was not true that a man was going to tell me what a woman can or cannot doremembers Samson, lighting a new cigarette.

A few days after leaving CKAC, Samson was recruited by Radio-Canada, where she rose through the ranks to become director of communications for French-language television services. In 1989, the newspapers announced his departure for what was then called Télé-Métropole.

The Chagnon family wanted to change the image of the channel which was made fun of by calling it, tele-metro-poor, remembers Samson who becomes vice-president of communications. Michel Chamberland, who was vice-president of programming at TVA at the time, remembers a dynamic, determined woman. We went to look for her at Radio-Canada because she was hard-working, positive, capablesays Chamberland, 30 years later.

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Portrait of Claire Samson in the “Arts and shows” section of “La Presse”

Photo: Radio Canada

In 1993, Claire Samson returned to Radio-Canada, where she took over the duties of general manager of communications. Then, Samson will become the big boss of TQS, then will direct, before making the leap into politics, the Association of Independent Producers of Quebec.

In her career, Claire Samson had therefore already read reports, expressed opinions, made decisions. In many articles written about her when she was an essential character in the world of television, her professional qualities, her dynamism, her audacity were praised. The back seats of the Blue Lounge are not made for everyone. Before her final retirement from public life, Claire Samson will give Éric Duhaime a hand during the election campaign. Then she will fetch a dog from the SPCA and intends to try to quit smoking.

Claire Samson also wants to take care of her green plants and her flowers, while she humorously predicts that if the trend continues and the CAQ made a full record of deputies: There will be many unhappy people at the CAQ.

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