The CAQ: Adoptees Have the Right to Know Their Origins

 

 31 March 2016

Since 2008, three bills were tabled at the National Assembly, aiming to modernise Quebec’s adoption system. Despite the promises made by the Minister of Justice, Stéphanie Vallée, to move forward, nothing has been done to assist adopted persons. They are still unaware of the circumstances of their adoption, accused the member for Borduas and CAQ critic for justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette.

Kathleen Weil, Jean-Marc Fournier, Bertrand St-Arnaud and all those who preceded Stéphanie Vallée, have initiated efforts in regards to the laws governing full adoption; a model unique to Quebec, to be modified with aims for adoption to be more open, and no longer founded on secrets. Accompanied by Caroline Fortin, the critic for a reunification organisation (Mouvement Retrouvailles) and other of its members, Simon Jolin-Barrette announced that it was time to give adoptees access this information, traditionally viewed as classified.

“Quebec’s adoption system today, is no longer up to date with the family and social realities. It is inconceivable in 2016, for individuals not to know the context of their adoption, nor to be denied access to their descent; social as well as biological. Adoptees must be able to obtain the medical history of their biological family, to safe keep against hereditary diseases, or simply to maintain proper health. Confidentiality of files are in direct breach with the right to identity; the need to know one’s origins is fundamental to a person’s character”, stated the CAQ critic, to the address of the Justice Minister.

Simon Jolin-Barrette highlighted that he has no intention to jeopardize the contact arrangements, the right to privacy, nor to force adoptees to meet their biological parents. The member for Borduas considers, however, that the current system has clearly failed to adapt to the evolution of Quebec’s society and modern family dynamics. Minister Vallée has the obligation to answer the needs, and legitimate concerns of adopted persons.

“In Juin 2014, upon her arrival in chambers, the minister asserted that she will not be comfortable to defer her predecessor’s bill on adoption, nor would she keep activities on the back burner. However, at the middle of her mandate, it appears that it is exactly what she has done. In March 2016, we are still waiting for her to take action. She has several bill drafts at hand. What is she waiting for? Adopted persons have the right to their origins”, stated Mr. Barrette.

 

Sale of St-Hubert: Another Sign of Our Economic Decline

 

 31 March 2016

After Provigo, Alcan, Astral, Cirque du Soleil and Rona, the family company St-Hubert, was next in line to be sold to buyers outside of Quebec. Meanwhile, the Philippe Couillard government sits idly and watches the quiet decline of Quebec’s economy. They have no solid plan of action to put an end to this, regrets the CAQ Leader and member for L’Assomption, François Legault.

The purchase of St-Hubert by Cara, an Ontario company, for 537 million dollars, is yet another sad update for Quebec, which is added to the list of Liberal economic failures, since 2003. Under the Liberal monopoly, Quebec is becoming a branch plant economy rather than an economy of owners.

“The quiet decline of Quebec’s economy continues under the Liberal reign. Slowly but surely, we will lose all of the major gains obtained by Quebec during the Quiet Revolution: The control over our economy. Once again, Prime Minister Philippe Couillard is too little too late, and there seems to be nothing left to do to for St-Hubert to remain the property of Quebec. It is of unspeakable sorrow, that Philippe Couillard has simply no will to defend our corporate head offices”, objected François Legault.

Much like during the sale of Rona, the CAQ Leader expressed his surprise to see how indifferent the Minister of Economy, Dominique Anglade, was on Thursday morning. Unlike her, Mr. Legault is very concerned about maintaining the jobs related directly and indirectly to St-Hubert.

Quebec’s Policy: No Decision-Making Jobs for Our Youth

 

 30 March 2016

Quebec’s Youth Policy disclosed on Wednesday by the Couillard government, contains elements that are rather unafavorable to the participation, involvement, and presence of Quebec’s youth in the key positions of our public institutions; said the member for Chambly and CAQ critic for youth, Jean-François Roberge, after the document has been tabled by the Prime Minister himself.

The CAQ has nevertheless presented, during the discussions that led to the Liberal report, some coalescing proposals. For example, to reserve one seat on the executive board of every Crown corporation in Quebec, for a young person of 35 years of age or less. This proposal was appreciated and supported by many organisations, such as the FJIM, the Saguenay Chamber of Commerce, the FCCQ, and Force Jeunesse (Youth Force).

“The government has given birth to a mouse. Instead of reverent hopes, we must undertake constructive measures to integrate our youth into society. Yet, the Liberals are failing once again to lead by example. The Prime Minister is satisfied with diffident positioning, sitting idly and hoping for strategy to appear, instead of assertively taking charge and leading the way. Mr. Couillard says that he wants to take an example from the young chambers of commerce, but he is scared to move forward quickly. What a lack of coherence!” regretted Jean-François Roberge.

The Liberal party has no excuse for its self-neglect and let go, said the CAQ member. “The Prime Minister had a chance to send a strong message, by presenting a policy that would place our youth at the heart of public matters. Rather, he has opted for empty rhetoric and narrow measures. It is unusual to see so little ambition for our youth’s future”, highlighted Jean-François Roberge.

François Legault’s Statement on the Plane Crash in Îles-de-la-Madeleine

 

 29 March 2016

The tragic plane crash that occurred in Îles-de-la-Madeleine has taken the lives of seven passengers, including politician Mr. Jean Lapierre and his spouse, Mrs. Nicole Beaulieu. The Coalition Avenir Québec Leader and member for L’Assomption, François Legault, was keen on making the following statement:

“I was deeply saddened to learn about the death of the seven passengers and crew members, who were on board of the plane headed to Îles-de-la-Madeleine. In the name of my political party, I extend my deepest condolences, to the families and loved ones of all the victims of this terrible plane crash. Among the passengers that lost their lives, were Jean Lapierre, and his wife, Nicole Beaulieu; two individuals for whom I had a great deal of esteem. We have spent unforgettable evenings together, and losing them has affected me on the deepest level.

In addition to leading a distinguished career in media and politics, Jean Lapierre was a proud father, grandfather, and family man. Accompanied by his wife, two brothers, and sister, he was headed to spend time with his mother, following his father’s recent death. This tragedy is of endless grief, and I haven’t the words to express the sorrow that apprehended Isabelle and myself; once we heard the news.

Jean Lapierre was a great Quebecer, with remarkable personal and professional attributes. His good humour and joie de vivre were literally contagious. For the people involved in media and politics, he was far more than a fierce commentator: He was a confidant, a great listener, and a reliable companion. Everyone wanted to speak to Jean Lapierre, and he was happy to interact with all. I find it hard to digest that his famous -Hello, hello! – will never again be heard in the early morning hours. Quebec’s politics will never be the same.

Dear Jean, Quebec as a whole is thanking you today. We will never forget you, and forever miss you!”

Photo: Jean Lapierre, one of the 7 victims of the plane crash.

Quebec Gun Registry: Legault Announces Free Vote for MNAs

 

 24 March 2016

In order to fairly reflect the opinions of citizens from all of Quebec’s regions, François Legault announces that the MNAs of the CAQ will have the right to a free vote on the final version of bill 64, tabled by the Couillard government and aiming to create a gun registry in Quebec.

According to François Legault, it is essential for the regions of Quebec to have a voice in these matters, much like the urban areas. For this reason, the CAQ’s MNAs will be able to vote in the best interest of their citizens, he explains.

“In all honesty, Quebecers have had enough of partisan alignment. Montreal has its take, and the regions each their own. It is normal to have a discrepancy, and I believe that expressing these differences is a strength. It makes Quebec stronger! I believe that in the moment of truth, the MNAs will make the right choice. Some of the old fashioned politicians may scold this approach, but I believe that true leadership lies in empowering our elected officials”, stated Mr. Legault, accompanied by the CAQ’s house leader François Bonnardel; chair of caucus, Nathalie Roy; and critic for security, André Spénard.

The CAQ Leader emphasizes that the groups invited to take part at the parliamentary committee are at the mere introductory stages of this prevalent matter. It is thus too early to tell how bill 64 will shape for its final version. Careful scrutiny of the bill needs to take its course, unaffected by the MNAs voting their conscience. In any event, individual positions will be divulged only upon the completion of the parliamentary committee and careful examination of all amendments, he adds.

“Allowing free vote, is refusing to muzzle our elected officials by a single approach. However, this doesn’t mean that they will not reach a consensus after the bill has been amended; in correlation to the good faith and willingness of the government to adopt changes to the bill. Let us believe in our MNAs; in their ability to evaluate and judge. This will also be a concrete measure to fight cynicism”, concludes the CAQ Leader.

The Budget Is a Hoax

 

 17 March 2016

At the Liberals’ announcement of the new budget, François Legault and François Bonnardel regretted how little was done to alleviate Quebecers’ financial burden.

“The Liberals have taken nearly $750 from every Quebecer, and now they are giving back a tiny $25 gift card. In addition, Quebecers are expected to thank the Liberal government for its generosity. It is quite clearly a hoax. This will not be the year for Quebecers to get financial comfort; nor relief facing an increased cost of living”, explains François Legault.

The CAQ Leader denounces the absence of an economic recovery plan. Scattering the resources does not guarantee economic success. A considerable amount of measures were announced, none of which resolve the most troublesome fact in the budget for 2016: A growth projection of 0% for private investment in companies. Quebec’s economic growth has been anemic since the election of the Liberal party”.

As Quebec’s economy remains persistently weak, dark days are ahead for taxpayers and social programs. Moreover, this budget clearly shows Quebec’s growing dependence on federal transfers. The budget overlooks the fact that a lowered equalization would harm Quebec’s public finances in the upcoming years.

François Bonnardel sees Quebec’s darkest days at the horizon, in matters of healthcare. “A health expense increase of 2.4% is clearly insufficient to tackle our aging population and homecare service needs”, he asserts.

 

UPAC Arrests: PM Must Apologize and Repay

 

 17 March 2016

Following the arrests on Thursday morning by the Permanent Anticorruption Unit (UPAC), the CAQ critic for integrity and member for Montarville, Nathalie Roy, asked the Prime Minister, Philippe Couillard, for a formal apology in the name of the QLP, as well as a solid commitment to repay all the illegal money collected. The CAQ considers this scandal to be far worse than the Liberal sponsorship scandal.

“During the last elections, we have warned Quebecers that a victory for the Liberal party would make for a worse tomorrow. This morning, everyone in Quebec woke up hungover. The UPAC arrests on Thursday are disturbing, the criminal charges are very serious and will entail dire consequences. We ask the Prime minister to take an oath that no other members of the Liberal party will be charged with corruption”, stated Nathalie Roy.

The CAQ member added that Nathalie Normandeau was not just another Liberal minister, but the Deputy Premier who sat at the Priority Committee of the previous Liberal government. In addition, Philippe Couillard’s current Council of Ministers still counts 13 people who chaired with Mme Normandeau. “As the Liberal Leader, Philippe Couillard needs to show that his party today is above reproach, but he may not dissociate from the times when the reproached facts indeed happened. He was a Liberal minister between 2003 and 2008, and the money collected illegally between 2000 and 2012 is still in the Liberal party’s coffers! In order to act in good faith, the money should be reimbursed. I remind you that in the Liberal sponsorship scandal, the LPC put aside money in a trust and then refunded every last penny to make sure that they are not campaigning with tainted money”, recalled Nathalie Roy.

The PQ’s Hands Are Also Dirty 

The critic for integrity emphasized that two former employees of the PQ were equally subjected to the same charges. “For this reason, we are equally asking the PQ Leader, Pierre Karl Péladeau, to apologize and to warrant a refund for all sums collected through any corrupted ploy”, concluded Nathalie Roy.

 

 

Academic Freedom is Trivial to the Liberals

 

 16 March 2016

Quebec’s Liberal party denied the CAQ’s motion, on Tuesday, requesting the National Assembly to recognize that it is unacceptable for schools to put pressure on their teachers to make more room for political Islam in their educational program.

MNA Jean-François Roberge considers that the Liberals are limiting our educators’ academic freedom.

The member for Chambly is shocked and saddened by a television report, which stated that several teachers in Rosemont College are troubled, as they are compelled to include cultural and political concepts of Islam in their curriculums.

“By denying our motion, the Liberal government clearly validates that it considers our teachers’ academic freedom trivial. After recent events at our colleges and universities, I find it tragic that the Minister for Higher Education has not accepted to support us. How can we tolerate that teachers are urged to impart concepts of political Islam out of fear of displeasing? Philippe Couillard’s troops have proven yet again that Quebec’s identity and values come last on their priority list”, concluded Jean-François Roberge.

The CAQ’s New Website Against Barrette’s Parking Fees

 

 14 March 2016

Coalition Avenir Québec has launched an online campaign aiming to persuade Gaétan Barrette to put an end to the unfair and abusive parking rates at the hospitals. The party’s new website: www.lesticketsdebarrette.com, was created for aggrieved citizens to run the Minister’s electronic inbox with the details of their parking expense.

After receiving thousands of calls, emails and social media messages, the CAQ’s health critic and member for Lévis, François Paradis, sees this measure as “giving Gaétan Barrette a taste of his own medicine”, through a signed petition and the details of events on the field. The CAQ’s internet campaign allows the public to email the Minister directly about the costly bills.

“Upon my speeches at the National Assembly, a great number of you called, wrote and informed about your concerns and anger, which are legitimate. It is known that parking rates in hospitals are excessive: 12 hospitals in Quebec, 9 out which are in Montreal, charge at least $15 per day. This unfounded practice affects all Quebecers, but especially the elders, the chronically-ill and individuals with reduced mobility. Instead of helping these people, who are in need for care several times every week, by providing affordable parking in proximity, the Liberal party stands idle as the hospitals exploit them. I want all Quebecers to give the Minister an account of what they have to pay. I want him to understand that his parking fees constitute a barrier to healthcare access”, stated François Paradis, while inviting Quebecers to visit www.lesticketsdebarrette.com.

MNA Paradis, repeats that his political party has advanced many proposals to put an end to these abusive fees; measures such as the first two hours free, and a daily maximum rate ranging between 7 to 10 dollars (at facilities where the daily maximum rate is higher than these amounts). François Paradis also demands reduced rates for patients who attend facilities on a regular basis. “I am convinced that Quebecers will support our efforts. Health Minister Gaétan Barrette needs to realize that the patients, and their families, are not attending hospitals for fun, but out of necessity. Make him reconsider: Send your bill to Barrette!” concluded the member for Lévis.

Quebec Is Canada’s Bankruptcy Champ

 

 11 March 2016

Quebec recorded nearly 6,000 more bankruptcies and settlements last year than in 2010. This is yet another harmful economic impact of the Liberal monopoly, revealed the CAQ critic for finance and member for Granby, François Bonnardel, on Friday.

The MNA, who urged for immediate tax cuts to be implemented in next week’s budget release, is truly outraged that bankruptcies in Quebec apportion 54% of the Canadian statistic. There is no surprise in this sad observation; Couillard’s Liberals have been refusing, since their election, to table any solid plans for economic recovery, François Bonnardel says regretfully.

“The figures released are appalling: in comparison to 2010, there have been 5,934 more bankruptcies and settlements last year. Meanwhile, there has been a decrease of 16,684 bankruptcies in Ontario, and 13,399 elsewhere in Canada. In 2015 alone, there were 3,770 more personal bankruptcies in Quebec than Ontario, despite the fact that our population is lesser by 5.5 million people. How can the Liberals tolerate to see Quebec in such a frail state? For a party claiming that our economy is their priority, they are failing miserably. We have everything necessary in Quebec to create wealth, and make our people wealthier. We are asking the government to take measures for growth, yet they are acting adversely. It is sad to see our entrepreneurs, in a struggle to build a wealthier Quebec, pay the price for the Liberal lack of ambition”, said the CAQ’s house leader.

Unwarranted Absence

For the second time in a row, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão, refused to answer the call of François Bonnardel to discuss economic matters. Yet, the discussion has clearly been on the program of the National Assembly since last February. The MNA feels that the Finance Minister is evading his parliamentary duty, and is ridiculing the fundamental beliefs of the National Assembly.

“It was clear this week, with Philippe Couillard in chambers, that we are witnessing an increasing arrogance by this government. The Liberals would definitely prefer not to have any opposition, but that isn’t the case in Quebec. The government must account and respond for its actions at the National Assembly. Carlos Leitão’s absence today, for the second time, clearly illustrates the disregard they have for Quebec’s democratic institutions”, spoke out François Bonnardel.