Unless a reversal in the last minute, the government Legault will be unable to accelerate the construction of 202 infrastructure projects this summer, due to fears of the opposition about the wide powers that are to be associated.
The three opposition parties in Quebec have refused to consent to the adoption of the principle of the bill 61 Thursday, a step that is usually a formality in the blue Room. “The principle of this bill, this is the following: to grant extraordinary powers to the government, is abusive, according to several of our guard dogs institutional”, has summed up the parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, to justify its refusal.
The positions of the government and opposition are so remote that the bill has virtually no chance to be adopted by the end of the parliamentary session on Friday.
Filed last week for an adoption, full steam ahead, the legislative measure was aimed at accelerating the recovery of the québec economy, which is suffering from the pandemic of COVID-19, placing 202 projects on the fast track. Despite a twenty amendments submitted in the morning, the president of the treasury Board Christian Dubé has not managed to reassure the opposition parties, who see it as a way to circumvent the rules of sound management.
Mr. Dubé notably proposed to replace article 50, which allowed Quebec to bypass the bidding process, by another which would have given a similar latitude to the municipalities. Another amendment would also put an end to the state of health emergency on the 1st of October next, rather than to prolong it indefinitely as provided in the first draft.
Avoid losing the summer of 2020
For the prime minister-François Legault, the goal was “not to lose the summer of 2020”, by launching quickly the above-mentioned projects. If he refuses the adoption of the legislative measure under gag order this spring, the measure is not excluded next fall.
Christian Dubé, him, deplores the fact that the projects are delayed. Bill 61, he says, would have helped to accelerate the expropriation process, particularly for the blue line in Montreal. An owner would not have been able to challenge its expropriation, but only the amount of compensation. “There, it is frozen for three, four years,” said Mr. Dubé.
For its part, the liberal critic for Gaétan Barrette has repeated for several days that the government’s draft bill Legault is not necessary to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure identified. “The CAQ has a need for infrastructure for its electoral programme”, he taunted.
What they said:
- “They come to say no to Quebecers, for Quebecers who are unemployed, who know that we are working for three months on an extraordinary crisis.” – Christian Dubé, president of the treasury Board
- “The reality is that the government has “botché his” work session. There, he got his note, and he is not happy. He was just returning to do his homework and then we come back with a clean one, something on which we could work.” – Vincent Marissal, QS
- “We do not understand […] why the government wishes to declare a health emergency for four months.” Martin Ouellet, the PQ
- “This is what happens when we want to go too fast and turn corners. The CAQ has only itself to blame. The government should consult further in order to establish a real social dialogue in order to have a true economic stimulus that elicits the adhesion of all the social actors of Québec’s economic.” – Daniel Boyer, president of the FTQ
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