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Press release
24 February 2020

Internal Crisis at Quebec Government Office in Dakar: Minister Nadine Girault Must Intervene Immediately

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The Liberal Critic for International Relations, Ms. Paule Robitaille, asked the Minister of International Relations, Ms. Nadine Girault, to shed light on the unhealthy working environment in the Quebec Government Office in Dakar and on the significant expenses incurred by the new Agent General, Ms. Fatima Houda-Pépin.

Earlier today, Radio-Canada published a story on the working environment which is said to have been deteriorating since Ms. Houda-Pepin’s appointment on November 25, 2019.

The story also described excessive expenses incurred by the Agent, who prefers to live out of a hotel rather than official residence that is provided to her. In addition to paying for the cost of the residence itself, Quebec taxpayers must also pay the hotel bill. An unacceptable situation according to the MNA representing Bourassa-Sauvé.

It is the Minister of International Relations’ responsibility to both ensure a healthy working environment for all employees and ensure that public funds are managed appropriately. Ms. Girault must intervene immediately and get to the bottom of the many questions raised by Radio-Canada’s report.

Ms. Girault cannot remain silent faced with such a situation. She needs to tell us exactly what is going on. It’s the Minister’s job to protect employees who have a right to work in a healthy environment. She must also provide explanations for the expenses made by the new Agent, as they seem rather excessive. By all accounts, Ms. Girault is aware of the situation because more than one civil servant from her ministry has been dispatched to the location to meet with employees.

– Paule Robitaille, Liberal Critic for International Relations.