Aerospace Strategy: Zero Jobs Created in Ten Years


 31 May 2016

The Liberal government has not created a single job in the aerospace industry ever since the release of its first strategy report, in 2006; disclosed François Legault at the National Assembly on Tuesday. Despite this observation, the Prime Minister, Philippe Couillard, refused to table a plan of action that would quantify a job creation objective for the two upcoming years.

The CAQ Leader, François Legault, states that in 2006, at the moment when the Liberal minister Raymond Bachand presented his strategy, Quebec’s aerospace industry counted 40,000 jobs. Ten years later, the situation remains identical. “Meanwhile, the government’s speeches have multiplied, and the Minister of Economy’s new strategic plan for the industry includes no employment goals. Do you know how many jobs were created in the last ten years? Zero! Our economy requires more than just theory. To create jobs, corporate investments must be sought, one after the other. During the last 12 months, we have lost 9,500 jobs! We are ages away from the Liberal promise. We are suffering from a negative trend”, stated François Legault during the Question Period.

The member for L’Assomption criticized Philippe Couillard’s idleness in matters of economy. After two years in term, there is still no evident ambition for wealth creation. The aerospace strategy presented on Monday has no job creation target, and appears to be another admission of failure, regrets François Legault. “The Prime Minister may very well print papers and make mesmerizing speeches; but there are no results. Is he active or passive in matters of economy? The reality is that after ten years, the Liberals are still unproductive”, concluded the CAQ Leader.


When Will the SAQ’s Monopoly End?


 25 May 2016

In a report tabled on Wednesday, the General Auditor has confirmed the CAQ’s long-lasting suspicion: Quebec’s liquor board, the SAQ, has deliberately changed its business model to reduce affordable wines of $15 dollars and less; denounced the CAQ’s house leader, François Bonnardel.

Evidently, the SAQ is taking advantage of its monopoly status to make consumers pay more. François Bonnardel considers that the time has come to finally put an end to the sales domination of alcohol products in Quebec.

“Everyone knows that the cheaper the bottle, the less the government profits. In Quebec, the retail markup reaches up to 130%, while in Ontario’s LCBO it is only 71% for every bottle. It is a measured strategy, which clearly depicts the Crown Corporation’s mandate to continuously make more money at the expense of the consumer. This monopoly is very costly to Quebecers. It is urgent for the Minister of Finance to realize that he must open the alcohol market and put an end to the SAQ’s harmful monopoly”, stated François Bonnardel, while adding that the CAQ has recommended last January to reduce the SAQ’s markup to 71% for all of Quebec’s wines.

The member for Granby highlighted that Quebecers are paying 219 million dollars in excess, when indexed to Ontario’s prices. Meanwhile, if the SAQ’s monopoly was eliminated, Quebec’s consumers would have benefitted of a reduced price structure and an increased freedom of choice. Nonetheless, Minister Carlos Leitão is uninterested. He prefers for the money to be at the SAQ’s coffers rather than in the consumers’ pockets. “This monopoly has become detrimental; many of Quebec’s consumers are purchasing alcohol in Ontario. According to the General Auditor, the SAQ is losing 90 million dollars every year! The Minister cannot remain idle towards a faulty monopoly that lacks respect for the consumer. He must commit to open up the market and allow healthy competition”, exclaimed François Bonnardel.

Police Forces: The CAQ Tables a Bill for Municipal Autonomy


 24 May 2016

In order to promote municipal autonomy, the CAQ critic for municipal affairs and land occupancy, Mario Laframboise, tabled bill 690 on Tuesday at the National Assembly; aiming to facilitate service-sharing among police forces. The bill also states that the Minister of Public Security can authorize a municipality’s request to alter the services in provision by the Quebec Police Act.

“The cost of municipal police services is not a new topic of debate. The municipalities are constantly seeking to reduce this expense, without harming the population’s security. The CAQ is proposing a tangible and realistic solution today, to facilitate police service-sharing. Currently, the Minister of Public Security makes the final decision, alone and without elaborating on his motives; regarding the support and emergency services that are to be shared among municipalities. This manner is outdated. At the CAQ, we believe that the cities must take charge of this reform, for the betterment of their own citizens”, declared the member for Blainville.

Mario Laframboise also highlighted that the new Act would allocate an adapted police resource to municipalities in need. Bill 690 will enable each municipality of over 50,000 residents, currently run by the SQ (Sûreté du Québec), to decide whether it wishes to be served by a municipal police force. In some cases, the Minister of Public Security’s consent will not be required.

This reform aims to increase Quebec’s safety facing the crime present in each of the cities, declares Mario Laframboise. “If a municipality wishes to offer its citizens an altered police service, it will have to justify its decision in a report, that will be rendered public, and which will include an evaluation of the delinquency present within its boundaries. The municipality will need to address matters clearly, and to provide proofs to the Minister. It is elementary to the safety of all Quebecers”, insists Mario Laframboise.

Digital Strategy


 20 May 2016

What should have been a real strategic plan to boost Quebec’s digital turn, is but a road map with low ambition, observed the CAQ critic for innovation, André Lamontagne.

Even if the document tabled by the Minister of Innovation, Dominique Anglade, provides a correct diagnosis, it contains very few solid and effective measures to accompany and support Quebec’s businesses into their inevitable digital reform.

“Once again, the Liberal government is clearly lacking ambition towards this 21st century challenge, the emergence of a digital economy. After Uber, it is the next victim of the Liberal innovation failure. The government does not display a serious understanding of the digital reality. The traditional silos are getting in the way of a global approach to improve Quebec’s digitalization”, stated André Lamontagne.

The member for Johnson rests uneasy, especially since the Minister of Innovation has confirmed the consultation details, even though debates were already taking place since the Ideas Forum 2014. “After two years of work with community players, the time for great speeches is over. It is time to take action. #ToutResteÀFaire. #QuébecNumérique?” concluded André Lamontagne.

MRIs and CTs: Waiting Lists Are Exploding in Many Regions


 20 May 2016

The CAQ critic for health, François Paradis, revealed new and disturbing data regarding the waiting lists for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination and computed tomography (CT scan). The CAQ member uncovered the latter in an interpellation to the Liberal Health Minister, Gaétan Barrette, at the National Assembly on Friday.

The figures that were gathered by the CAQ, show that despite the promises made by Mr. Barrette, the waiting lists have been growing in 12 regions for MRIs, and in 7 regions for the CT scans. In total, nearly 70,000 patients are presently waiting for an MRI exam, be it an increase of 25,000 Quebecers since March 2012 (+55%), while the waiting lists for CT scans are stagnating at 32,000 patients (+2% for the same time period).

“For MRIs, the waiting lists are exploding in many regions. In the Capital alone, the delays have increased by nearly 522%! For the CTs, 7 regions in Quebec have experienced an increase since March 2012, and Estrie has the most detrimental situation, at 1,218%! It is a notice of failure for the Minister, as thousands of patients have been waiting for well over three months throughout Quebec; missing by far every target that Gaétan Barrette has set for himself. Under the Liberal monopoly, the access to care is inequitable; it varies according to the region of residence”, regrets François Paradis. He highlights how crucial these tests are, since they help detect cancers and various anomalies in patients.

Yet Another Broken Promise

The member for Lévis recalls that during the last election campaign, Gaétan Barrette committed to refund entirely all charges for ultrasounds, MRIs, and CTs; to patients who choose to attend private clinics, effective immediately upon his coming into office. Two years later, this promise is visibly a broken one. “In light of the figures revealed by the CAQ, the Minister is forced to take action. It is simple, he is asked to stand by his words!  Today, the Health Minister is doing absolutely nothing to moderate the waiting lists, thus leaving thousands of Quebecers in uncertainty. Mr. Barrette, you are failing to deliver the goods”, concluded François Paradis.

A Summary of the Hard Facts:

MRIs, since March 2012 :
– An increase of 24,900 patients: + 55 %
– Longer waiting lists in 12 out of 15 administrative regions:
o National Capital: + 692 %
o Montérégie: + 391 %
o Estrie: + 172 %
o Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean: + 161 %
o Bas-Saint-Laurent: + 72 %

CT scans, since March 2012 :
– An increase of 850 patients: + 2 %
– Longer waiting lists in 7 out of 15 administrative regions:
o Estrie: + 1,218 %
o Montérégie: + 329 %
o Abitibi-Témiscamingue: + 233 %
o Outaouais: + 177 %
o National Capital: + 152 %
o Lanaudière: + 52 %
o Bas-Saint-Laurent: + 51 %

Bill Against Uber: The Liberals Refuse to Go Back to the Drawing Board


 17 May 2016

Economic experts and militants from his own political party are trying to persuade the Minister of Transport, Jacques Daoust, to regulate commercial ride-sharing. Yet, despite the hand that was being extended to him to reach a compromise, he refused to go back to the drawing board, upon the CAQ’s demand on Tuesday.

Bill 100, that was tabled last week, is regressive, anti-innovative, and deliberately drawn to break the Uber business model, denounced the CAQ critic for transport, Claude Surprenant. The MNA urged Minister Daoust to fix his mistake and to present a responsible bill that will provide a logical regulation for Uber. “Instead of adapting our laws to the reality of the 21st century, the Minister of Transport has decided to throw Uber out of Quebec. Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and 28 American states have already successfully regulated commercial ride-sharing. Why is Quebec unable to do so? Uber assumed their part in the responsibility. They are willing to reach a compromise. The Minister must request for Uber to pay their taxes, and to implement a healthy competition between commercial ridesharing and taxis”, stated Claude Surprenant.

The Uber file is but a test for the Liberal government, warned the member for Groulx. Québec cannot permit itself to simply close its doors to innovation. “Legislators must put the consumer at the heart of our concerns. The consumer’s interests must be weighed in, for today and for the future. Yet, bill 100 disregards consumers. Quebecers should be entitled to choose between Téo, Uber, Car2go, Communauto, Turo, etc. Free choice and free market still mean something in Québec!” concluded Claude Surprenant.

History Courses Postponed: Proulx Cannot Act Unilaterally


 13 May 2016

The lack of stability, characteristic to Liberal education ministers, is hindering the government’s decision making process, observes the CAQ critic for education, Jean-François Roberge. The Minister of Education, Sébastien Proulx, announced on Friday that he will be postponing, yet again, the implementation of the new high-school history program. In fact, history is a fundamental component of Quebec’s identity; it is outrageous for a Liberal minister to decide alone what will be taught to young Quebecers.

The member for Chambly, fails to understand this withdrawal by the Liberal government; the content of the course was approved by Quebec’s history teacher association (SPHQ), which counts many accomplished historians. Moreover, this is not the only sizeable support that the reform has seen: Proulx’s predecessors, Yves Bolduc and François Blais, have both backed the project, highlights Jean-François Roberge.

“We are very concerned with this about-face. We will not allow the Liberal government to change unilaterally the content of our schools’ new history course, especially since it reached consensus. Sébastien Proulx must show transperancy; he must disclose what he altered in the content, and the reasons for this morning’s announcement to further postpone the course’s implementation. Did Mr. Proulx surrender to pressure, by lobbyists or other groups of interest? Our questions deserve his answers”, insists Mr. Roberge.

History education is a delicate topic, which deserves more than the Liberal improvisation. History is an elementary component of a people’s identity; as a nation, we owe it to ourselves to teach it in an impartial and neutral manner, highlights the CAQ member. “Ever since the Liberals got elected, a sheer improvisation is dictating the government’s vision in education. The Liberal grasp is unclear, and they are unable to see through the necessary reforms, within the set time limits. Sébastien Proulx needs to demonstrate more transparency, and to answer the questions”, concludes Jean-François Roberge.

Photo Radars: Public Rights Are Infringed


 13 May 2016

The MNA Simon Jolin-Barrette demands for the rights of citizens to be respected when they contest photo radar tickets.

The CAQ critic for justice reacted to a report by the Journal de Montréal, showing that a judge refused to hear a couple that wanted to contest their fine.

It is to note that 102,817 people who contested their notice of offense since 2009, were unable to get acquitted.

“The article clearly demonstrates a phenomenon that hinders the public’s trust in the justice system. The Minister of Justice needs to consider contacting the chief judge of the Court of Quebec regarding these matters. There is a separation of powers, but the Minister’s role is to ensure that the people’s rights are respected. It is outrageous for a judge to refuse to hear a citizen”, he supports.

Municipal Enactment Rights: Couillard Refuses to Honour His Commitment


 12 May 2016

For a second day in a row, the Prime Minister has avoided saying whether he was going to grant municipalities enactment rights for collective agreements, as he committed to do last February. The CAQ Leader, François Legault, considers that Philippe Couillard has proven, once again, that the government’s promises are insignificant.

By retracting the signature he placed on the fiscal agreement last September, Philippe Couillard is pushing the municipalities over the edge, thus forcing them to increase their tax accounts; warns Mr. Legault. The result: Taxpayers will be footed the bill, once again, for empty Liberal promises.

“According to the government, the salary of municipal officials is 39% higher than the salary of officials in the public service. Who is paying for the difference? The taxpayers, again! It is becoming obvious that the Liberal government places very little worth in its promises. The situation has peaked with the statements made by the Minister of Municipal Affairs. He said: “The means will remain the means, these means will be the best possible means”. I have never heard a university professor utter such cant. The Prime Minister must respect his obligation, and accord elected representatives, as a last resort, the power to enact the working conditions of their employees”, demands François Legault.

The member for L’Assomption notes that by choosing to grant the influence to a mediator instead of municipal officials, Philippe Couillard is increasing taxpayers’ financial burden. “The Prime Minister fails to understand that taxpayers are suffocating. After two years in power, he is still clueless about what is needed, and he governs through trial and error. Wandering and fumbling are not appropriate for a person fulfilling his function. Does the Prime Minister trust our elected municipal officials? If so, he needs to honour his commitment!” Concludes François Legault.

“Parents Until the End” : Minister Barrette Denies the CAQ’s Motion


 12 May 2016

There are no guarantees that the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, will keep his word and help families with children who have a severe disability. At the National Assembly, the Liberals did not support François Paradis’ motion; aiming only to reaffirm Barrette’s solemn commitment, made on the program Everyone Is Talking about It (Tout le monde en parle).

He committed to take action, in the next two months, to address the legitimate claims of the group “Parents Until the End” (Parents jusqu’au bout). Yet, the deadline for this is May 15, be it this Sunday, highlighted the CAQ critic for health.

“Gaétan Barrette promised, hand on heart, that he will provide fast access to a permanent financial aid, to all families with children who have severe and visible disabilities. The statements made on television by the Minister, were remedial to the struggling parents. The clock is ticking, and the government has until Sunday to deliver. These parents have a great deal of worries; the last thing they need is a broken promise. The minister’s lack of clarity is inappropriate and unhealthy. I am calling upon his better judgement, and asking him to reassure our parents immediately”, stated François Paradis.

The CAQ’s motion reads as follows:

“For the National Assembly to remind the Minister of Health and Social Services his solemn commitment, made on the program “Everyone Is Talking About It”, to address the legitimate concerns of the association “Parents Until the End”;

To remind him that he promised to follow up on these matters within two months, and that the deadline is on May 15, 2016;

That the government must grant fast and permanent access to financial aid by the province, to all families providing care to a child suffering from a severe disability.”