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Session report in Quebec: the flaw

The federalist wing of the CAQ found that the Drummondville convention looked like a party péquiste”,”text”:”party péquiste”}}”>party pequist. And those who took the floor to raise the red flag, in the council of ministers and in the caucus, are especially the regulars of the prize list like the Dubé, Girard, LeBel and Boulet. All federalists.

The announcement of the return to politics of the ex-sovereignist Bernard Drainville came later. A real electric shock in the ranks of the Caquists. It is the great silence, said a deputy, who wonders why it was necessary to recruit him.

As power is a powerful cement, the federalists worried about the future of the party and the deputies nervous about their future took the road to their constituencies, perplexed, for a vacation before the electoral appointment of the fall.

The stars of the session

The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, who is also a maple syrup producer in his spare time, delivered the goods. His bills on access to family doctors and on the end of the health emergency have been adopted. His plan to renovate the health care system has been well received and, to top it all off, his maple syrup, which he named “Cuvée Libârté”, is bottled and ready to be tasted.

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé

Photo: The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson

The very federalist Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, is an important link in the coalition of François Legault. He is nice and his colleagues adore him. Moreover, the four budgets he presented during his mandate crystallized his credibility in public opinion.

The turnaround was spectacular for the minister responsible for seniors, Marguerite Blais. After being heavily attacked on social media during the pandemic, she was fully rehabilitated by coroner Géhane Kamel, who praised her for her testimony during her inquest into the deaths in the CHSLD. She also passed her bill to counter elder abuse. She is now setting off, relieved, aboard the RV she has just acquired with her husband.

The good moves

The Minister responsible for the French Language, Simon Jolin-Barrette, succeeded in the first reform of Bill 101. With the adoption of the law on secularism, he established himself as the manitou of François Legault’s nationalism. The next term, however, could be different as his ambitions for the highest office are known. We want to see him more often on the pitch in order to humanize him a little.

The Minister of Culture, Nathalie Roy, who had a horrible mandate, was able to emerge at five minutes to midnight. She managed to pass the Status of the Artist bill, which brought some shine back to her faded star. His name is now in play for the presidency of the National Assembly.

The big heads

It is often said that the worst pitfall that lies in wait for politicians in power is arrogance. If it were a contest, we would immediately give the palme d’or to the Quebec caucus.

Deputy Prime Minister Geneviève Guilbault, sitting on the fence in the tram file, only made people unhappy. The honeymoon with the new mayor of Quebec only lasted for a walk in high heels on Promenade Samuel-De-Champlain. Very active in the field and in social media, Ms. Guilbault began to feel the pulse with advisers to prepare for her future race for the leadership of the party, which was not well received.

Minister Éric Caire, very nervous about the rise of Éric Duhaime’s Conservatives, got the very popular mayor of Quebec pumped up by declaring that he polluted the lives of motorists with its tramway project. His gaffe cost the government dearly. He had to apologize from the bottom of the heart to his prime minister.

Éric Duhaime, leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec

Photo: Radio-Canada

The third minister in the capital, Jonatan Julien, also added his two cents by declaring that the tramway project should have the support of 50% + 1 of the population. His statement was quickly and firmly contradicted by François Legault.

It is here that we make a parenthesis to salute the “prickly” of the government who had to pass the “mope” more often than not to try to reframe the message in the media. Ewan Sauves (Prime Minister’s Office) remains the ace of communication. Marjaurie Côté-Boileau (Health) and Florent Tanlet (Education) deserve a tip of the hat.

The blunderers

The Minister of Transport, François Bonnardel, generally very efficient, did not have his best session. After defending the third link project by pointing to the nebulous PPM index – for bridges per million inhabitants – he called urban densification a fashion. His regional travel plan, with plane tickets capped at $500, was badly put together.

Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon almost managed to get through a session without making waves. He convinced Moderna to move to Montreal. And then, oops! he is still in the hot seat at the end of the session for having had supper with a lobbyist. Cynical, he posted a photo of himself and his team on Twitter with the caption: Guess who I’m having dinner with tonight?

Mathieu Lacombe, at the Family, had a bumpy session. We do not really know how many places have been added (or not) in the daycare network. Maybe he had his mind elsewhere.

Impossible not to mention the Minister of Forests, Pierre Dufour. Its management of woodland caribou has complicated relations with Ottawa and made headlines for the wrong reasons. It was the government’s chief firefighter Sonia LeBel who picked up the file and softened the tone.

Opposition parties

Dominique Anglade’s liberals experienced the session as a perpetual roller coaster ride. The left turn of the party did not stick well and its result in the by-election in Marie-Victorin was catastrophic.

Andrés Fontecilla, housing solidarity manager

Photo: Radio-Canada

The language debate sparked the revolt of the traditional clientele of the QLP. Two English-speaking parties have decided to put themselves on the track to cut the Liberals short. Not to mention that the leader will present a whole new team while half of the elected Liberals leave politics.

The theme of sovereignty, brought back into the news by the Prime Minister, was perceived in the caucus as an unexpected gift left at the doorstep of the Liberal leader. Three months before the elections, Dominique Anglade’s political pif will be put to the test.

Québec solidaire and its leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois like to be designated as the main adversaries of François Legault. We have seen the party’s efforts to become more professional, but the leader’s team must take into account its militant base, which resists and wants to be part of the decisions.

It must be recognized to QS the merit of having succeeded in imposing the question of housing. A work tied up in the shadows by the deputy Andrés Fontecilla. A real team player, says a supportive advisor, always ready to help and asking for nothing in return.

The star of the opposition therefore goes to deputy Andrés Fontecilla.

What about the Parti Québécois? Hard to hit someone who’s already hurt. After losing Marie-Victorin and Véronique Hivon, the party must live with the declarations of its new mother-in-law, Lucien Bouchard.

Nevertheless, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon finds the courage to compare himself to Rocky in the fourth film of the saga, where the boxer ends up, despite everything, by winning against Drago.

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