Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Motion to abolish the function of lieutenant governor

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François Legault answers questions from the opposition at the Salon bleu of the National Assembly (Photo archives).

The Canadian Press

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from a written text.

The day after the appointment of the first Indigenous person to occupy the position of lieutenant governor in Quebec, the National Assembly voted unanimously for the abolition of this function.

Administrator and former Mi'kmaq leader Manon Jeannotte therefore receives a clear message upon her arrival in office, barely 24 hours after being appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to replace J. Michel Doyon.

The office of lieutenant governor has no democratic legitimacy, says the motion tabled and read Friday by MP Sol Zanetti, from Québec solidaire (QS).

Its origins remind us of a colonial period in our history which no longer has any anchor in modern Quebec, he continued, specifying that it is with all respect for the person who occupies this position.

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The new lieutenant governor of Quebec, Manon Jeannotte, will take office in January, succeeding Michel Doyon, who held this position since 2015. (File photo)

The wording also underlines the weak attachment of Quebecers to monarchical institutions.

Finally, Parliament calls for the replacement of this function by a democratic institution.

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The 100 MPs from all parties present at that time in the House, after the question period, all voted in favor of the motion, without abstention, without debate.

QS and the Parti Québécois (PQ), the two independence parties, of course voted in favor, as did the CAQ, but even the Liberals, although federalists, voted for.

The role of lieutenant governor is largely symbolic these days. He is the representative of King Charles III in Quebec.

Among other things, it is he who is called upon to dissolve Parliament, at the request of the government, to trigger elections, and to sanction the bills, so that they officially come into force.

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The Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, with the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, J. Michel Doyon. (Archive photo)

In addition, it is he who officially appoints the Prime Minister, but also his ministers, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

In addition, the Minister of Transport of Quebec, Geneviève Guilbault, tabled a bill on Friday to improve road safety, and thus implement her Action Plan in road safety announced earlier this year.

Minister Guilbault had already revealed in August the broad outlines of her plan, which provides for the addition of photo radars, as well as a limit of 30 km/h in school zones.

Fines for offenders in these zones will also be increased. The plan also included measures to better protect road construction workers.

Quebec also wants to make more photo radars available for municipalities. The government has set aside $180 million for the implementation of the plan.

In a press release, Minister Guilbault said she wanted to bring about a cultural change in road safety.

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Minister Geneviève Guilbault wants to bring about a cultural change in road safety. (Archive photo)

Our government is taking a decisive step with the tabling of this bill with a view to implementing certain flagship measures of our Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2028, she underlined.

Legislation is an essential tool to bring about change sustainable behaviors, especially when combined with awareness and control activities, added Éric Ducharme, president and CEO of the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec.

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