The Liberals and the PQ are stamping their feet for Quebec to announce an easing of health measures that would allow regions where community contamination is less severe to gradually reopen their economy after February 8.
The two political parties began their pre-session parliamentary caucus on Monday, while work is due to resume next week in Parliament. However, discussions among the leaders of all parties are continuing to determine whether Question Period will resume as scheduled on February 2, and what proportion of the proceedings will take place virtually.
In the meantime, the Parti Québécois invites the Legault government to create after February 8 – the current date of the end of the curfew – an “Est-du-Québec bubble”, as there was in the past a bubble formed by Atlantic provinces. A road check could even come back on Highway 20 from La Pocatière, believes the parliamentary PQ leader and MP for Matane-Matapédia, Pascal Bérubé.
According to him, imposing strict containment and the closure of all businesses beyond February 8 in regions less affected by the pandemic could have negative effects on the support of Quebecers for health measures. “From February 8, it takes a differentiated approach between the regions,” he said Monday, on the first day of the pre-session parliamentary caucus in Quebec.
“If citizens feel [qu’on leur en demande trop] given the figures available to them, that will create a negative effect. People will be less mobilized, ”said Mr. Bérubé.
The Liberal leader, Dominique Anglade, also believes that Quebec should “avoid wall to wall” when it comes to deconfining the province.
PHOTO PAUL CHIASSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS
The liberal leader, Dominique Anglade
“Obviously, we want to respect the rules of public health, but if there are regions, and in a safe manner, which are capable of respecting other rules, I think that must be considered,” said Mme Anglade. The Liberals are also holding their pre-sessional caucus until Tuesday.
It nevertheless calls on the Legault government to take its decisions “with caution” so as “not to end up in a situation where the rules have been changed” and that we then have to back down.
A resumption of debates
For meme Anglade, it seems “a little illusory” that all the work of the National Assembly will be held virtually from the resumption on February 2.
“It is obvious that there are portions of work that are very difficult to do outside the National Assembly, whether it be question periods or […] for commissions [parlementaires] “, She illustrated, adding that she has” a lot of questions to ask “François Legault about his management of the pandemic.
PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is also resistant to the idea of delaying the start of parliamentary proceedings. Democracy and parliamentarism are “essential” even in a pandemic, he said, and additional measures can be taken to ensure that MPs do their jobs safely.
Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon also believes that the budgets devoted by Quebec in advertising to fight against COVID-19 represent forms of propaganda.
“We must not be fooled by the fact that advertising, by definition, is a form of propaganda. So, when we have an unlimited propaganda budget to plant certain ideas in the minds of the population and the opposition parties do not even have the space to question certain aspects of the management of the pandemic, we has a democracy that is clearly weakened, ”he said.
“The new PQ leader unfortunately failed his credibility test with such assertions. I am comforted that he is not in charge of the state to manage this global pandemic with many repercussions, ”Environment Minister Benoit Charette replied on Twitter.
Québec solidaire will hold its pre-sessional caucus on Tuesday and Wednesday, and will be followed by the Coalition d’avenir Québec on Thursday and Friday.