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The parliamentary session in 13 highlights

By collecting tricky polls, François Legault imposes a key word on his team: discipline. During the winter, the CAQ leader significantly reduced his interventions with the parliamentary press. In the latest Léger poll published on Wednesday, the CAQ saw a slight increase, prompting Jean-Marc Léger to say that the less we see the CAQ leader, the better he performs.

During the Quebec Liberal Party’s (PLQ) back-to-school caucus, the Liberals want to talk about the economy, but it’s ultimately Denis Coderre who marks the hallway talk. A few days earlier, La Presse had revealed that the former Montreal mayor was planning to join the party leadership race. MP Frédéric Beauchemin is already planning to participate. Charles Milliard and Antoine Tardif are interesting and being considered, while the name Karl Blackburn is also circulating.

François Legault announces that the CAQ renounces popular financing, in the context in which his party is embroiled in a controversy, because delegates suggested to the voters, but also to the mayors, that they could meet with ministers to advance files by participating of paid activist cocktails.

Finance Secretary Eric Girard submits a budget in dark red ink. Quebec’s deficit explodes, reaching 11 billion for the year 2024-2025. To absorb it, the major financier announces that it will completely clean up tax credits, as well as the expenditure of ministries and organizations.

Solemn moment in the National Assembly with the visit of French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal. The latter, seen in France as a potential successor to President Emmanuel Macron, delivers an impassioned speech in favor of secularism, much to the delight of François Legault.

Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon promises that Quebec will see “a third referendum on Quebec independence” by the end of the decade. Spurred by successive polls that put him in the top spot, he says Quebecers will have to choose between “decline” and their “disappearance” if they remain in Canada, or “finally become the majority.” Despite all this, support for sovereignty is stagnant at almost 35%.

Lightning strike in Quebec. The leader of the government, Eric Lefebvre, leaves the CAQ and announces that he will run for Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative Party in Ottawa during the next federal election campaign. This dismissal has shaken the mood since Mr. Lefebvre was responsible for discipline in the caucus. In the weeks that followed, François Legault also lost four colleagues in his office.

Former Biron Groupe Santé boss Geneviève Biron has been named president of Santé Québec, the new agency created by Christian Dubé to manage the health network’s operations. She earns a base salary of $567,000, plus a 15% bonus for two years. Businesswoman Christiane Germain was later appointed chairman of the board of directors. She will receive $173,000 annually, which is four times higher than expected.

Two days after the resounding resignation of Québec Solidaire’s female co-spokesperson, Émilise Lessard-Therrien, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois clarifies his “pragmatic” vision of the future of his political party and links this transformation to his own political future. It asks for the support of its members. After weeks of crises and other resignations, he won his bet a few weeks later during the QS National Council in Saguenay.

Transportation Minister Geneviève Guilbault has introduced the bill establishing Mobilité Infra Québec. The new agency will be responsible for coordinating the development of public transport. Only problem: the tens of billions of dollars needed to implement the projects under investigation have still not been found. Earlier this spring, she also sparked controversy by telling mayors that managing trucking company deficits is not the state’s responsibility because “everyone (…) has to manage their own boat and find their own solutions.”

The Minister responsible for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, who has reduced the scope of rental transfers over the winter, admits that her brand new law is not enough to protect tenants from evictions. A new bill, which was finally passed last Thursday, imposes a three-year moratorium on evictions, as well as other specific measures for seniors, as demanded by Québec Solidaire, among others.

Jean Boulet succeeded in implementing the most important reform of the construction sector since 1993. When he introduced his Bill 51, he had unions and employer organizations ready to fight. The expected war ultimately did not take place. The reform makes possible, among other things, a greater division of tasks between the construction sectors.

Pierre Fitzgibbon submits his energy bill at the very end of the session. It opens the door to the modulation of electricity prices for residential customers from 2026. The minister wants to force the debate: should a consumer who heats his swimming pool or uses energy-consuming appliances during peak periods pay more, in a context where energy demand will increase if consequence of decarbonizing Quebec?

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