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Press release
1 March 2019

The Honeymoon Is Over for the CAQ

Quebec, February 28, 2019. – The Coalition Avenir Quebec’s honeymoon was short-lived. Premier François Legault is tabling one botched makeshift bill after another and continues backpedalling. We’re calling on the government to demonstrate rigour and take action instead of criticizing. Quebecers elected them to govern, after all.

Stakeholders have been filing into parliamentary committee since last week to denounce Bill 9, the government’s proposed reform to immigration. When it comes to the Premier and Minister of Immigration, Mr. Simon Jolin-Barette, the experts’ views seem to be falling on deaf ears.

This morning at the Rendez-vous annuel des gens d’affaires in Quebec City, Vice Premier Ms. Geneviève Guilbault’s speech mentioned that her government was a beacon of hope for Quebec’s workforce shortages. What gall to talk about hope when her government is effectively compromising the dreams of thousands of immigrants by refusing to process 18,000 pending files.

When the Premier was part of the opposition, he was relentless about clients having overpaid Hydro-Québec, and demanded a full refund on their behalf. At the time the MNA for Saint-Hyacinthe even launched a petition asking for the reimbursement. Now that Mr. Legault is in power, he commends our government’s decision regarding the overpayment. He has broken his promise to refund Quebecers.

During the election campaign, Mr. Legault promised to tear up the agreement with doctors in order to recover 1 billion dollars. Yet another promise that has gone up in smoke.

For four years the Minister for Government Digital Transformation, Mr. Éric Caire, was outraged, claiming that the government’s management of computer resources was scandalous. Now that he is a minister, Mr. Caire is far quieter. He even mentioned that a parliamentary committee on the computer chaos was no longer necessary, a committee he had called for loud and clear as a member of the opposition.

Clearly, the Coalition Avenir Québec was better at criticizing than it is at governing. In fact, the Premier is so comfortable in the critic role that he just keeps on doing it. Day after day, he continues to blame the previous government. Mr. Legault and his team should be focusing on tabling bills that hold water and especially on respecting their election promises. The population is no one’s fool; people are realizing that Mr. Legault is having problems transforming his words into actions.

– Pierre Arcand, Leader of the Official Opposition