Legault relaunches Quebec blending in a country style
In a speech to open a new session of the National Assembly of Quebec on Tuesday, Premier François Legault sounded as if he was launching his electoral platform, saying he wants “a more prosperous Quebec, a greener Quebec, (and) a more proud Quebec. “
Unlike the Federal Parliament and other provincial legislatures, Quebec has replaced the Speech from the Throne – which is delivered by the Queen’s Representative – with brief remarks by the Lieutenant Governor, followed by a speech by the Prime Minister.
Legault’s speech on Tuesday lasted an hour and 14 minutes.
During it, he shaped Quebecers as being resilient during the pandemic, praising them for coming together, working and shopping from home.
“We have been successful in keeping our economy open,” said Legault. “Quebecers are working. In fact, Quebec is establishing a higher growth rate than the rest of Canada.
He also noted that Quebec has kept its schools open longer than elsewhere in North America, cared for the sick and achieved a high vaccination rate, adding that he is convinced that the worst of the COVID crisis -19 has passed.
The pandemic has been “the battle of our lives,” the Prime Minister said.
Like other jurisdictions, Quebec has been under emergency ordinance to deal with the pandemic since its start in March 2020. The emergency will be lifted once children aged five and over are vaccinated in early 2022, a declared Legault. The Quebec public health institute says that more than 87% of Quebecers aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated against COVID.
Legault also lamented Quebec’s health care system – criticizing the way it relied on fax machines during the pandemic – and called for high-speed internet to be implemented across the province by the end of this year. its current mandate.
The next Quebec elections will take place no later than October 3, 2022.
Legault even channeled John F. Kennedy, reusing the famous words of the former president from his 1961 inaugural address to ask Quebecers, “What can we do for Quebec?”
“And I am convinced that it is time for Quebec to project itself into the future,” said the Premier.
Legault said he plans to create a new government department for cybersecurity and digital affairs, to create the concept of “digital citizenship”, allowing Quebecers, using a driver’s license or card health care, to have direct access to online government services.
He also proposed to decentralize the health system of Quebec and rather to make the regions responsible, because of the “dysfunction” of the current system.
Quebec plans to increase home care for seniors, a priority shared by the newly re-elected federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Ottawa, however, should not get involved in the management of Quebec’s health care system, said Legault, who has vowed to continue asking the federal government to increase health transfers to the provinces.
As Tuesday marked the start of a new session of the Assembly, all remaining laws from the previous session were reintroduced by a government motion.
This includes Bill 96, affirming that French is the official and common language of Quebec, and rekindling the concerns of English-speaking Quebecers.
Speaking in English, Legault reassured Quebec’s “historic English-speaking community,” a term limited to those eligible for education in Quebec in English.
“You are an integral part of Quebec,” said Legault, noting that “as a historic community, you have your own institutions, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, the media”.
Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade called Legault’s comments “condescending,” saying the Prime Minister was “oblivious” to the concerns of Anglophones and should instead focus on how Anglophone Quebecers can work with the majority. French “to build a better Quebec together.” “
Gabriel-Nadeau Dubois, head of the Quebec solidaire caucus in the Assembly, noted that it took more than 50 minutes for Legault to speak of climate change, and that the Prime Minister offered “slogans”, but no news measure to achieve zero net emissions.
Joël Arseneau, the leader of the Parti Québécois caucus, called the speech “political marketing”, noting that Legault did not mention the problem of compulsory overtime for nurses in Quebec, which led many to resign.