Nearly one year after its election, the Coalition Avenir Québec is still trying to figure out how to implement the string of promises they made. The only problem is that they don’t have a clear plan to do so. A number of the government’s hot-button issues are moving forward, but without prior reflection. The Official Opposition seized the opportunity presented by Question Period to demonstrate just that.
4-year-old kindergarten is the perfect example to illustrate this lack of rigour. Each day brings more confusion about the cost of rolling out these classes. During the election campaign, François Legault estimated the cost of a class at $122,400. Today he confirms that the average cost is $800,000. The Premier misled Quebecers knowing full well that this estimate was unrealistic.
As for the environment, the CAQ has shown no leadership. François Legault began his mandate refusing to attend the COP24 and we have just learned that he intends to ignore New York’s Climate Week as well. The International Congress where possible solutions for climate change are being discussed simply doesn’t seem to interest him. The theme of environment is entirely lacking in the CAQ’s rhetoric.
Health care promises multiplied during the election campaign. We are still waiting for them to materialize. Minister McCann committed to eliminating mandatory overtime for nurses within the first year of her mandate. As of today, nothing has been done. The Minister said that we would see in the fall … fall is right around the corner.
Yesterday the Premier made demands to the federal government about the election. He didn’t ask about taxing Internet giants despite Quebec’s media experiencing an unprecedented crisis. The CAQ waited until the Groupe Capitales Media was on the brink of bankruptcy before assessing the extent of the issue. The CAQ government is hiding behind the federal government to justify its inaction.
Now that the cameras have panned away from the municipalities affected by this spring’s flooding, citizens are left to their own devices. Fall is at our doorstep and many still don’t know what will become of their properties. They are still waiting for the inspection reports. Municipalities are also left in the dark as they have not been involved in Minister Andrée Laforest’s search for solutions.
Finally, when it comes to immigration, the Official Opposition regrets that the government has decided to place a moratorium on the International Student Program. It is an odd decision in the current context where Quebec is faced with an unprecedented labour shortage. Being a student is the best way to integrate oneself in society and develop a network of contacts.
The François Legault government gives the impression that they are solving problems. Over the last year, the CAQ accused the former government of all kinds of shortcomings. Soon they will be celebrating their first anniversary at the head of the government. It’s time for them to govern and tell the population about the concrete action they have planned. The campaign is over.
–Pierre Arcand, Leader of the Official Opposition