RONA’s Shares Sold: Legault Exposes Couillard’s Indifference


 3 June 2016

The CAQ Leader, François Legault, along with his house leader, François Bonnardel, have been pursuing the Liberals for a second day in a row; in regards to Jacques Daoust’s role in Investments Quebec’s (IQ) RONA share sale. During the Questions Period at the National Assembly, the CAQ Leader exposed Prime Minister Philippe Couillard’s laxity and indifference towards a most significant matter: The sale of a major Quebec company.

In chambers, the Prime Minister stated that he doesn’t consider necessary for his government to be consulted about key transactions, such as RONA’s share sale. “Quebec has lost a major company and, once again, the PM remains unaffected. The less he knows, the better he goes. He is just like his Minister of Transport! The Prime Minister must care about the ownership of Quebec’s companies!”, voiced the CAQ Leader.

“His memory gaps would have made the Minister of Transport an excellent witness at the Charbonneau Commission. The Minister has to resign!”, added the CAQ’s house leader. He also insisted for the old and new CEOs of IQ, for the spokesperson of the organization, and for Jacques Daoust’s former chief of staff (Pierre Ouellet), to attend a parliamentary committee.

The CAQ Demands Minister Jacques Daoust’s Resignation


 2 June 2016

The Coalition Avenir Québec is demanding Jacques Daoust’s immediate dismissal as a Minister in the Couillard government; in light of a report by the Auditor General that states -beyond a shadow of a doubt- that he has personally authorised investments Quebec (IQ) to sell RONA’s shares in December 2014. Last February, he declared the opposite to journalists on the Parliament Hill.

The CAQ also opposes Sam Hamad’s return to the Council of Ministers. The report has not absolved the former Minister, who was discharged due to questionable interactions with Marc-Yvan Côté.

“The Minister of Transport has lied to Quebecers regarding his involvement in this transaction”, accuses the CAQ house leader, François Bonnardel. In fact, the CAQ member recalls that in a press conference that took place on February 3, Jacques Daoust stated that he was not advised of the share sale, given that it was an independent decision that was taken by IQ’s executive members.

Taken by surprise, during the Question Period, Jacques Daoust briefly said that he would like to read the report by the AG to remember whether he indeed authorised IQ to sell their RONA shares. “He has nothing left to do, but to resign”, said François Bonnardel in a press conference, right after the Question Period at the National Assembly.

Sam Hamad Is Not in the Clear

Moreover, the CAQ house leader stated that Sam Hamad is not out of the woods, considering the AG’s report. “Sam Hamad and the Liberal apparatchiks were early to celebrate in the media. The AG clearly stated this morning that this report is strictly administrative. The Minister may be cleared as far as the processes undertaken by his ministry; but he is absolutely not so for his questionable activities beyond the administrative process. These actions, namely his breakfasts with Marc-Yvan Côté and the information he disclosed to Premier Tech, are the reasons for his discharge from his function as a Minister”, explains Mr. Bonnardel. The member for Granby even considers that the report raises new concerns, such as the undocumented and sudden increase in the amount granted in subsidy.

ER: Quebec Holds the Poorest Record in the Western World


 2 June 2016

Quebec displays the worst performance in the western world, for waiting time in emergency rooms.

This unfortunate observation was revealed by the Health and Welfare Commissioner, Robert Salois, before he was relieved of his duties by the Health Minister, Gaétan barrette.

According to his report, more than 45% of the visits to the ER in 2015-2016 have exceeded the maximum delay standards that were set by the health ministry.

The average length of all visits to the ER, ambulatory and on- stretcher, is of approximately nine hours. It is over twice longer than the international standard, says Robert Salois to La Presse.

Oil and Gas in Quebec: Couillard’s Green Shift Harms the Industry


 1 June 2016

It is time for Philippe Couillard to acknowledge that his words weigh more than he realizes. Although Squatex estimates that the soil of Mitis contains over 52 million barrels of oil, the extraction will not start anytime soon. The main reason: Since last December, the Prime Minister’s statements and intrusions have been scaring away local and foreign investors.

The CAQ critic for energy, Chantal Soucy, has welcomed Squatex’s business development manager, Mario Lévesque, to the National assembly on Wednesday. He explained to the MNA how hard it is for his company to find a single financial partner, since the vast majority of the oil and gas sector believes that investing in Quebec is risky.

“According to the results of recent studies, the soil of Mitis may contain nearly 10 million barrels per square kilometer. It is twice greater than the potential assessed on the Anticosti Island! The company is referring to one of the most important discoveries made today. It is looking for financing, and is getting shunned because it is located in Quebec, under a Liberal government; with a Prime Minister who has the reputation of being against oil and gas extractions. The consequences of the Prime Minister’s words and actions are clear: We are being avoided, like a plague”; expressed regretfully Chantal Soucy, during the Question Period.

Notwithstanding global context and the market energy price, the member for Saint-Hyacinthe asked the Minister of Energy to reassure the industry, by declaring loud and clear that Quebec is interested in oil and gas investments. Pierre Arcand refused to make the statement. “It is no longer a secret, that the economy is trivial for this government. It stands against Anticosti and Old Harry. The Liberals are harming the business sector. Mr. Arcand, you are the Minister of Natural Resources, not a delegate for the environment. It is time to take the reins of your ministry. The companies are seeking international financing. When will you finally open the door to our economy?” inquired Chantal Soucy.

RLTCC: One Bath a Week Is Not Enough, Condemns Paradis


 1 June 2016

The MNA François Paradis is asking the Health Minister to have some compassion; and to listen to the population’s clear message to the government, about a review of the frequency of weekly baths provided to patients that are staying at the Residential Long-Term Care Centers (RLTCCs).

A survey conducted by the firm Léger for TVA, reveals that 92% of Quebecers believe that a single bath or shower a week is insufficient. 81% of respondents equally believe that Quebec should invest between 20 to 30 million dollars more, to secure yet another bath or shower to the elders in the RLTCCs.

Unlike Minister Barrette, who supports that « cleaning someone with a washcloth is just as effective as a bath », the CAQ considers that providing two baths a week should be the “national standard” in the RLTCCs. “The population is demanding loud and clear for a minimum of two baths, and to invest in our collective tomorrow. The public has spoken: Please, let us sympathize and understand the reality of the people in the RLTCCs”, states regretfully François Paradis to the Journal de Montréal.

Couillard Is Unaware of Wage Gap for Quebec and Ontario Doctors


 1 June 2016

Philippe Couillard was unable to quantify the current wage disparity between Quebec’s and Ontario’s doctors, nor for the two provinces collective salaried workers, regretted the CAQ Leader, François Legault.

The CAQ Leader recalls that when he was at the head of the Health ministry, he accepted to reduce the gap over several years, from 40% to 15%. Out of parity, he wanted the wage gap between doctors from Quebec and Ontario, to be equivalent to that of other sectors (assessed to be 15% at the time). However, it seems that the Liberal government has gone too far, with excessive increases to doctor remuneration, highlights Mr. Legault.

“Over the last 8 years, the Liberal government increased doctor remuneration by 72% for general practitioners, and 102% for specialists. This increase costed 3 billion dollars. It is completely unfair for the Quebec-Ontario doctor wage gap, to be lesser than that for other sectors. Meanwhile, RLTCC patients are fighting to get a second bath per week in Quebec. We need to find out the true salary gap between doctors in Quebec and in Ontario”, insisted François Legault, falling on the PM’s deaf ears.

The member for L’Assomption understands that daily matters are trivial to Philippe Couillard, but Quebecers should not have to pay for his negligence. “I cannot believe that the Prime Minister is unaware of this! 3 billion dollars is not catching up, but messing up. What is the Quebec-Ontario doctor salary gap today?” stressed François Legault, while encouraging the Prime Minister to take advantage of the current doctor salary negotiations, for a review of the doctor remuneration method.