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QS demands a right to visit public establishments

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MP Christine Labrie regrets not having been able to visit the Estrie Youth Center.

  • Alexandre Duval (View profile)Alexandre Duval

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Visiting public establishments, such as a youth center or a hospital, should be a right for deputies of the National Assembly, regardless of whether they are in government or in opposition. At least this is the opinion of Québec solidaire (QS), which will table a bill to this effect on Thursday.

As a member of Parliament for Sherbrooke, I have never managed to visit the Estrie Youth Center, deplores Christine Labrie, who is carrying the bill entitled An Act mainly aimed at strengthening the control of government action by a deputy by granting him a right to visit administrative institutions.

When we judge that there is a problem or that there is a problem; we hear about it, for example, from employees, from people who have frequented the establishment, we should be able to verify what it is with our eyes, judges Ms. Labrie.

Within her political party, she is not the only one to have suffered refusals. His colleagues Alexandre Leduc and Guillaume Cliche-Rivard have already been refused visits to the Leclerc women's prison and the Laval Youth Center, respectively.

Although she cannot demonstrate that these refusals are attributable to political intervention, Ms. Labrie notes that ministers have access to buildings to which we do not have access as [opposition] MPs. .

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Even if we are sometimes given other pretexts to refuse, I have seen situations which lead me to believe that it is because of our role we are refused visits, when it is precisely our role which should authorize us to go.

A quote from Christine Labrie, MP for Sherbrooke and spokesperson for Quebec in solidarity for the Treasury Board

When we don't have access to public establishments, it really limits our ability to take note of what is happening in our establishments and to hold the government accountable, maintains Ms. Labrie.

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Christine Labrie, MP for Sherbrooke

With her bill , QS therefore hopes to mark out this right of access. Would it apply only to visits already planned, by appointment, or would it also extend to surprise visits, like those sometimes made by the Minister of Health?

For the moment, Ms. Labrie refuses to specify it. However, she indicates that MPs should be able to carry out visits in the company of members of their staff and even journalists who, themselves, sometimes struggle to have real access to certain establishments.

I find it important that we can be accompanied on these visits because we have a role to make the work we do public in a transparent manner.

A quote from Christine Labrie, MP for Sherbrooke and spokesperson for Québec solidaire for the Treasury Board

MPs should also be able to be accompanied by certain experts, adds Ms. Labrie . We can think, for example, of supporting a person who comes to observe mold in an establishment to see what comes out.

Even if she is fully aware that the opposition parties' bills are rarely studied and even more rarely adopted, the supportive MP believes that it is important to stimulate the debate around this question.

I hope that he will be able to move forward, but at the same time, submit a project of law, this is an opportunity to send a message too, says Ms. Labrie.

Questioned by Radio-Canada, the CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS confirms that it did not allow Christine Labrie to visit its youth center as it does this for all external visitors in order to respect the confidentiality of the young people who reside there.

However, the member for Sherbrooke had the opportunity to visit a temporary unit before young people moved there in order to allow her to fully appreciate the places in which young people evolve, adds Éliane Thibault, media relations manager. /p>

The CISSS de Laval also gave similar explanations to explain its refusal to offer the visit requested this month by MP Guillaume Cliche- Rivard.

Given the current circumstances, it is essential to preserve peace and protect the private lives of young people.

A quote from Marie-Ève ​​Despatie-Gagnon, communications advisor at the CISSS de Laval

We do not want to disrupt the Center's workers or harm the quality of care. A ministry investigation is now underway and all visit requests will be refused, adds Ms. Despatie-Gagnon.

However, Radio-Canada was able to become aware of email exchanges between Mr. Cliche-Rivard's office and the CISSS de Laval which demonstrate that this establishment had first agreed to organize a visit for the deputy, but on a date other than that initially proposed.

A few hours later, the CISSS indicated that after consulting the authorities responsible, the deputy's request was ultimately refused.

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