New secularism bill tabled

 

 28 March 2019

The Coalition Avenir Québec government has tabled its promised secularism bill in the National Assembly.

Tagged Bill 21, “An act respecting the laicity of the state,” the legislation proposes a renewed commitment to the separation of church and state.

The bill includes a clause stating public servants in positions of authority — such as judges, prosecutors, police officers, prison guards and elementary and high school teachers — will not be allowed to wear religious symbols while on the job.

Those were the people on Coalition Avenir Québec’s list during the election campaign, but the bill adds many more including school principals and vice-principals, peace officers and court agents including clerks and sheriffs.

The speaker and deputy-speakers of the National Assembly also make the list, as do the commissioners and bailiffs at major public agencies such as the Régie du logement and the Quebec municipal commission.

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Premier Legault calls for calm as Quebec braces for new secularism debate

 

 27 March 2019

On the eve of tabling of a bill on secularism, Premier François Legault has issued an appeal for calm and respectful debate in the coming weeks.

“My objective with the bill on laicity is to achieve consensus,” Legault said Wednesday on his way into Question Period. “You will see tomorrow. I accepted to make certain compromises. What I want to do is rally the most Quebecers possible.

“I already told my MNAs and ministers that we have to maintain a respectful tone with our adversaries. I don’t want things to skid out of control, for people to be aggressive or arrogant.

“We need to be the least divisive possible.”

Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec government Wednesday gave formal notice of its intention to table the bill Thursday in the National Assembly. The bill will be called “An act respecting the laicity of the state.”

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What to look for in the first budget today

 

 21 March 2019

The Coalition Avenir Québec government has plenty of cash to work with as it tables its first budget today.

The province is armed with a surplus, estimated at somewhere between $1.65 and $4.6 billion, depending on whose accounting method you trust.

Either way, higher than expected revenues provide the CAQ government with leeway to follow through on some of its pricey campaign promises.

But not every pledge will be attainable, at least not right away — especially since the CAQ’s tax cuts will mean less money flowing into provincial coffers.

Here are a few things to watch out for this afternoon.

Lost revenues
The CAQ government has already tabled legislation to meet one of its key election promises: the harmonization of the school tax rate.

The promise will mean a $900-million reduction in government revenues annually — and considerable savings for some property owners.

To read the full article, click here.

The Lion Electric Co. Launches All-Electric Class 8 Urban Truck

 

 11 March 2019

It is with industry and market leaders, the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Benoit Charette, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region, Sylvie D’Amours, that The Lion Electric Co. (Lion) unveiled its first all-electric Class 8 urban truck this morning. The Lion8 will be commercialized this Fall and the first vehicle will be delivered to Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ).

“Transportation electrification is part of a solution package to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop our economy, and create permanent, sustainable jobs. I congratulate The Lion Electric Co. and its partners whom, thanks to their bold vision, are now positioned to conquer the electric truck market. It is with the help of innovative and pioneering companies like the Lion Electric Co. that Quebec continues to transition to a low-carbon future. Our government will continue to promote this promising industry as part of its efforts in the fight against climate change.”, announced Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change.

Lion’s ambassador, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, had the honor of unveiling the all-electric truck. Laurent is an NFL football player for the Kansas City Chiefs, medical graduate and is also President of the Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Foundation, which has been traveling onboard Lion’s zero-emission school buses to visit schools all over Quebec during its GET MOVING WITH LDT! tour.

“The government is pleased to have contributed $8.6 million to the success of this promising initiative and to have contributed to the electrification of transportation in Quebec. The Lion Electric Co. and its partners TM4, AddÉnergie Technologies, and Solution Centum Adetel Transportation have combined their efforts and expertise to develop a zero-emission heavy-duty truck that demonstrates Quebec’s leadership in innovation and sustainable development. We are proud to prioritize greenhouse reduction projects in Quebec.”, said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region.

“We can witness first-hand today what a forward-thinking Quebec company can achieve with employees and partners that share its vision. We should be proud to have a leading technology firm within the transportation electrification field right here in our own backyard. The environment is a pressing issue, and we fully support every step made as part of the effort to reduce our carbon footprint. I’d like to congratulate The Lion Electric Co. for manufacturing an all-electric truck.”, said Sylvie D’Amours, Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region.

The Myth Becomes Reality
Until recently, the idea of an all-electric Class 8 urban truck was still a crazy idea; a dream that the experts at Lion have now turned into reality. The Lion8 is designed, created, and manufactured to be electric and has a range of up to 400 kilometers on a single charge. The elimination of noise pollution, optimization of visibility, and unparalleled turning radius make the Lion8’s driving experience safe, enjoyable, and incomparable.

Lion also benefitted from the Quebec Government’s support to develop this innovative technology. In fact, the Lion8 is a result of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan whose budget is derived from the Green Fund.

“We are very proud that The Lion Electric Co. is ready to commercially launch its first all-electric Class 8 urban truck now. Day after day, the expertise, passion, and vision of our partners, suppliers, and employees continues to impress me. Thanks to them and the industry that fully supports the electrification of transportation, we were able to make possible what everyone said was impossible!”, told Marc Bédard, Founder and CEO, The Lion Electric Co.

“SAQ is proud to be the first company that will operate innovative vehicles on our roads. This purchase is completely in line with our transportation sustainable development plan that aims to reduce greenhouse gases.”, declared Édith Walcott, Manager for SAQ’s Montreal and Quebec City Distribution Centers.

Lion8 Key Benefits:

  • Zero-emission solution: 40% of GHG emissions in Quebec come from transportation, specifically from heavy-duty vehicles;
  • No noise pollution;
  • 80% energy cost reduction;
  • 60% operational cost reduction: Lion8 components require very little maintenance and further minimize its total cost of ownership;
  • Lowest total cost of ownership;
  • Oil-free operation, with very few moving parts, and brakes that last longer thanks to a regenerative braking system;
  • Custom-built and engineered in Quebec to withstand North American weather and road conditions.
  • The market has been waiting for it
  • Although Lion just launched its Lion8, the company already has orders and committed buyers – a clear sign that the market has been waiting for an all-electric urban truck. In fact, SAQ has already placed an order.

Quebec reveals updated plans for new Ile-Aux-Tourtes Bridge

 

 7 March 2019

Ile-Aux-Tourtes Bridge – It has been known for quite some time that the Ile-aux-Tourtes Bridge, built in 1965, is in bad shape and in dire need of replacement. The previous Liberal government did have the project listed as ‘under study’ in their plans, but nothing had been confirmed by the time they were voted out of office. An inspection done by engineers under their watch in 2017 had already revealed cracks in the structure, posing a serious risk of falling concrete – resulting in lanes often having to be closed for urgent repairs. With over 80,000 cars using the bridge to and from the West Island every day, the building of a new structure can no longer be delayed.

Last December, the CAQ announced the bridge would be replaced with a new one, as the costly upkeep and repairs of the bridge have been constant – but they have yet to offer a timeline or an estimated cost.

To read full article, click here.

Quebec warns of cancer risk from textured breast implants

 

 6 March 2019

The Quebec Health Ministry wants all women in the province who received textured breast implants since 1995 — and there are estimated to be thousands of them — to be contacted and advised of a possible cancer risk.

The ministry has contacted all health centres to ask them to reopen their patient files, identify those who received reconstructive breast surgery and notify those with these specific implants.

The ministry’s decision follows an update published by Health Canada in mid-February noting an increase in the number of cases detecting the presence of anaplastic large cell lymphoma linked to textured breast implants in Canadian women.

To read the full article, click here.