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Press release
6 December 2019

Official Opposition: an Effective Defence

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This fall the Official Opposition demonstrated just how effectively it defended Quebecers’ interests. Thanks to the Liberal team’s work, François Legault’s government was forced to backtrack in certain files and enhance the bills it tabled so that they were more beneficial to citizens.

This session, which is about to close, is quite like the one we experienced last spring. The government multiplied the number of ill-conceived bills it presented, bills that were improvised and for which no one was consulted.

Reforms made to the Programme de l’expérience québécoise were, without a doubt, the most glaring example of improvisation and lack of sensitivity. Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette drafted reform without consulting anyone. The Official Opposition’s work shed light on the impact that this proposal would have on thousands of students and workers. Faced with public pressure, the Premier had no choice but to intervene and put the reform on hold.

Rather than accusing the Opposition of obstruction, François Legault should sit down with his team and better prepare parliamentary proceedings. The Premier should also demand more rigour from his ministers when it comes to the quality of the bills that are tabled.

No less than 107 amendments were submitted during the study of Bill 27, which mainly concerns government organization pertaining to economy and innovation. That is a testament to the fact that the bills tabled by the CAQ lack the proper upstream study. 

The Official Opposition is not the only one to see the improvisation and lack of rigour. Many citizen defence groups who took part in parliamentary committee proceedings have warned the government. Each time, no one was listening.  

Bill 34, which aims to simplify the process for establishing electricity distribution rates garnered unanimous opposition. The government stubbornly plowed ahead without listening to anyone.

The fact that the Premier keeps repeating that too much time is dedicated to parliamentary committees is in large part due to the fact that his ministers obstinately refuse to demonstrate openness and good faith.

We are looking to enhance, not block, projects that are beneficial to the population. That being said, it is normal that we convey our reservations about the CAQ’s rather embryonic ideas. It is worth questioning the gravitas demonstrated in the bills drafted by this government. We have a knack for detecting inconsistencies and cut corners… Something to which this government has made us accustomed. We want the government to demonstrate more rigour in 2020 and to listen to people who do not necessarily share their point of view.

– Pierre Arcand, Leader of the Official Opposition

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