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.

Quebec’s CAQ government to present first budget March 21


 27 February 2019

Quebec’s Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) government will present its first budget on March 21.

The government said it will focus on health, education and the economy in order to reduce the tax burden.

“This is really in line with our priorities,” said Quebec Finance Minister Éric Girard, adding that there will be “good news” in these sectors.

Since being elected into power, the CAQ has dealt with various issues related to immigration, education and health.

To read the full article, click here.

CAQ wants to give more power to Quebec’s nurse practitioners


 20 February 2019

Quebec’s health minister wants to give more power to nurse practitioners as part of a plan to ease the backlog in the healthcare system.

Commonly referred to as ‘super nurses,’ nurse practitioners in Quebec aren’t able to use their skills to their full potential, the way they can elsewhere in Canada.

Health Minister Danielle McCann is set to change that.

“We’re the only province where this exists, where a nurse practitioner is not able to make a diagnosis,” she said. “And also they’re being supervised, so they have to refer to doctors regularly, to be supervised in the interventions that they’re doing.”

McCann wants to allow nurse practitioners to make diagnoses for chronic illnesses – something they’re already trained to do – without requiring the patient to follow up with a doctor.

“That’s something that would be very useful for us and for my doctor colleagues also,” said Mathieu Tancrede, a nurse practitioner at the CLSC des Faubourgs.

The CAQ said it wants to give Quebecers better access to healthcare overall.

To read the full article, click here.

40 minutes of recess to become mandatory in Quebec schools


 14 February 2019

It’s a proposal from the CAQ that’s sure to be popular with Quebec kids.

As of the next school year, a 40-minute recess will be a requirement in all schools – a move the CAQ promised in its election campaign.

The CAQ says a longer recess is key to better health for children and better performance in school.

Recess in Quebec will now be two 20-minute breaks.

Schools across Quebec currently average about 30 minutes a day, in two slots of 15 minutes.

The CAQ will now enforce a minimum of 40 minutes a day for schools — or two slots of 20 minutes.

To read the full article, click here.

CAQ government moves to offer pre-K classes across province


 14 February 2019

The Coalition Avenir Québec government is moving forward on its promise to extend kindergarten to four-year-olds in the province.

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge tabled legislation this morning ensuring that “all children having reached four years of age will be entitled to preschool education services” by the 2020-2021 school year, “regardless of the economic area that they live in.”

As it stands, pre-K classes are available in some schools in low-income areas.

Bill 5 would require the service to be offered by “all school boards according to the general framework provided for in the Education Act.”

Private schools will also be able to offer the pre-K service under the proposed changes.

Premier François Legault and Roberge will explain the plan during a news conference this afternoon.

The pre-K pledge was a key part of the CAQ’s election campaign, but school boards have argued it would be costly and difficult to implement.

To read the full article, click here.

CAQ calls for committee to study teen prostitution


 8 February 2019

The CAQ wants to create a committee at the National Assembly to study the issue of teen prostitution.

Former Montreal police officer Ian Lafreniere is spearheading the effort.

Lafreniere is now the CAQ MNA for Vachon.

CAQ MNA Lise Lavallee is also behind the initiative.

Lafrieniere says there’s a lack of understanding about the problem, and the government needs more information to be able to deal with it.

To read the full article, click here.

CAQ bill boosts power to verify values, French proficiency of immigrants


 8 February 2019

The just-tabled Bill 9 would also help eliminate the backlog of applicants — and give government the power to move them to the regions.

The immigration minister has tabled sweeping legislation designed to eventually increase his powers to verify the knowledge of French, Quebec and democratic values of new arrivals as was promised in the provincial election campaign.

And the Coalition Avenir Québec government is also seeking the power to trash a large chunk of the backlog of 18,000 immigrant applications it found sitting in government file cabinets when it took over from the Liberals rather than try to process them.

Quebec plans to refund the $1,000 application fee for anyone who applied to enter Quebec as an economic immigration before Aug. 2, 2018 under the Regular Skilled Worker Program. The move will cost the treasury about $19 million. Some of the applications date back six years.

Applicants will be informed of the decision and, if interested, may re-apply under the existing Expression of Interest Program, which matches the work skills of potential immigrants with employers seeking labour.

That reflects the CAQ approach to “marry the profile of workers and available jobs,” instead of the old first come, first served system, said Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette.

to read the full article, click here.