Québec in 2011

Written by  //  December 14, 2011  //  Québec  //  No comments

Dossier Cyberpresse: Crise au Parti québécois
Plan Nord
The Plan Nord is the project of a generation. It first offered a perspective of sustainable development in Québec and is now one of the biggest economic, social and environmental projects in our time.
The Plan Nord will be carried out over a period of 25 years. It will lead to over $80 billion in investments during that time and create or consolidate, on average, 20 000 jobs a year, equivalent to 500 000 man-years. The Plan Nord will be to the coming decades what La Manicouagan and James Bay were to the 1960s and 1970s.

Fusion CAQ-ADQ: une identité à définir
Beaucoup de confusion persiste dans la population quant aux orientations de la Coalition avenir Québec, que François Legault a lancée il y a un mois. Un sondage CROP réalisé pour La Presse montre que les Québécois sont partagés devant sa promesse de ne pas travailler à la souveraineté une fois élu.
5 December
Premier Jean Charest’s Liberals won a by-election in Quebec on Monday night, piling even more pressure on Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois. Liberal candidate Damien Arsenault stormed to victory in Bonaventure with about 50 per cent of the popular vote.
1 December
Harper’s Pragmatism on Quebec
Calgary politician scientist Tom Flanagan says the Conservative government, in possession of a majority based on support from Ontario and the West, is freer now “to ignore demands from Quebec without fear of a politically costly backlash.
“The time when Quebec voters could drive the political agenda of the federal government is over.”>
20 November
Crime bill battle heats up in Quebec
Montreal defence lawyers deride Conservative senator’s stance on Bill C-10
(CBC) The trouble started when the Quebec Bar Association blasted the tough-on-crime legislation, saying it does not respond to the real needs of the justice system.
That prompted a response from [Senator Pierre-Hughes] Boisvenu— one of Bill C-10’s biggest supporters — who said the bar is made up of 80 per cent defence lawyers whose job, he said, is to defend criminals, and not victims.
9 November
Public inquiry given full powers
(The Gazette) Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier announced Wednesday that the public inquiry to look into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry will be re-constituted with the full powers of a public inquiry…
4 November
Defiant Quebec digs in against Harper’s plan to destroy long-gun data
(Globe&Mail) Quebec has escalated its feud with Ottawa over the Harper government’s controversial decision to shelve the long-gun registry, with the Charest government saying it will not bow to demands to destroy data on the province’s gun owners.
1 November
Quebec balks at Ottawa’s law-and-order agenda
(Globe&Mail) Quebec has opened up a second front in the fight against Ottawa’s law-and-order agenda, refusing to pay for higher prison costs flowing from a federal omnibus anti-crime bill and blasting the legislation as counter-productive.
26 October
Tasha Kheiriddin: Still doubt there’s corruption in Quebec?
This week Quebec Labour Minister Lise Thériault was threatened with having her legs broken if the government does not withdraw its new labour legislation, Bill 33, introduced this past Monday. The law would limit the power of unions to assign workers to construction sites, as well as change the rules on collective bargaining to give more weight to smaller labour organizations.
25 October
Quebec construction work stoppages enter 2nd day
Allegations of threats and intimidation rise
(CBC) Construction sites remained stalled and allegations of physical and verbal intimidation by union members continued across Quebec Tuesday, as the government proceeds with plans to reform rules for construction unions.
The sudden work stoppage by members of two major unions began Monday morning, sparking a war of words between the province, the two unions, and construction workers.
Bill 33 would limit union powers over job placement on construction worksites in Quebec, and it would force unions to open their books to outside audits and public scrutiny.
17 October
François Legault: New front man on political stage
(The Gazette) Université de Sherbrooke political scientist Jean-Herman Guay says in this month’s l’actualité that political parties are just no longer able to incarnate the values citizens hold dear. A CROP poll conducted for the magazine concluded 57 per cent of Quebecers don’t find anyone in the National Assembly who reflects their values.
Enter Team Legault with its message that it’s time to recapture the glory of the Quiet Revolution, save our youth, jump-start the economy to reduce the income gap between Quebec and the rest of the world, save Montreal, and cut waste and professional sloth in the public sector.
11 October
BENOIT PELLETIER: Why sovereignty is fading
What’s behind the crisis rattling the PQ and the Bloc
(The Gazette) Many people are trying to determine the source of the crisis shaking the Bloc Québécois and the Parti Québécois. Some point to the Jack Layton effect, which caused the collapse of the Bloc during last spring’s federal election, and to the poor leadership of Pauline Marois and a lack of discipline among PQ activists and MNAs. But these reasons do not explain the existential malaise that has gripped the sovereignist rank and file. I would like therefore to hazard my own guess as to the main causes of the setbacks experienced by the Bloc and the PQ.
28 September
Charest hints Quebec corruption inquiry could happen after all
Mr. Charest informed the legislature Wednesday that he will consider a proposal by the province’s anti-collusion watchdog.
That proposal from Jacques Duchesneau is for a two-phase inquiry: the first part would be held behind closed doors, where witnesses would testify about cases of corruption. The second step – to be held in public – would hear witnesses propose solutions to the problem.
16 September
Leaked report reveals widespread corruption in Quebec construction contracts
Quebec media have obtained a leaked report that outlines a system of collusion, corruption and illegal practices in the awarding of construction contracts in the province.
(Globe & Mail) The report, obtained by Radio-Canada and La Presse, contends that the practices are so widespread that they threaten the foundations of certain government duties.
Police investigators uncovered that organized crime, biker gangs, construction businesses and engineering firms conspired to inflate the cost of road-building projects, devising a scheme that also involved kickbacks to political parties. Top civil servants described “cartels” that were engaged in eliminating the competition and were involved in collusion activities.
According to the report engineering firms have [been] given major responsibilities over the years to plan, estimate the costs and oversee the road construction projects. The secret report stated that by contracting-out the planning of road construction to private firms the Ministry of Transportation had lost the expertise to exercise any supervision over the projects, which allowed for collusion and influence peddling to become rampant. Pressure grows on Charest for public inquiry to root out corruption
7 September
Quebec Premier Jean Charest shuffles cabinet
Sam Hamad jumps from transport to economic development
6 September
Normandeau sixth minister to quit Quebec cabinet since Liberals re-elected
She was once considered a potential successor to Premier Jean Charest, but Nathalie Normandeau, the province’s deputy premier, has quit politics, saying it’s just too demanding a profession.
With Mr. Charest at her side, Ms. Normandeau, the 43-year-old Minister of Natural Resources, told a news conference Tuesday that she has devoted 13 years to provincial politics, the last eight as a cabinet minister, and wants to concentrate on her private life.
30 August
Succès et échecs québécois
La brique de 118 pages s’appelle «Indicateurs de suivi de la stratégie gouvernementale de développement durable 2008-2013». Elle a été publiée dans l’indifférence générale, vendredi dernier, par le gouvernement du Québec. Avec un titre aussi rébarbatif, pas surprenant qu’elle n’ait pas suscité beaucoup d’intérêt. Je suis tombé dessus par hasard en butinant sur la Toile.
Wow, chers lecteurs, quelle mine de renseignements! La recherche déborde largement des questions strictement environnementales et brosse un tableau remarquable de points forts et de points faibles qui influencent directement la qualité de vie des Québécois (1).
23 August
Le PQ rejette l’appel à l’unité
Le Parti québécois rejette l’idée de conclure des «ententes stratégiques» avec les autres formations souverainistes, nommément Québec solidaire et le Parti indépendantiste, en vue des prochaines élections générales.
Dimanche, l’instigateur du Nouveau Mouvement pour le Québec (NMQ), Jocelyn Desjardins, a conclu la première assemblée du groupe en lançant un «appel à l’unité» aux trois partis souverainistes. Ils doivent selon lui «s’unir», «s’élever au-dessus de leurs divergences» et conclure des «ententes stratégiques» à temps pour le prochain scrutin.
18 August
Landry s’intéresse au Nouveau Mouvement pour le Québec
Bernard Landry «regarde avec intérêt» la naissance du Nouveau Mouvement pour le Québec (NMQ). Certes, le groupe a utilisé un «vocabulaire un peu dur» à l’égard du Parti québécois dans son manifeste. Mais «si ça provoque des ajustements qui relancent l’indépendance, c’est parfait», a-t-il lancé en entrevue à La Presse, mercredi.
17 July
Réal Séguin: Ex-PQ minister new champion of a third way for Quebec
(Globe & Mail) It was only a few months ago that François Legault, shortly after leaving the Parti Québécois, gathered a few thirty-something political junkies to discuss launching a new political party.
Since then, Quebec politics has been in ferment. Voters decimated the federal separatist party in May and show signs of demanding changes at the provincial level, as well. Mr. Legault’s group still isn’t a formal political party, yet it tops the governing Liberals and the opposition PQ in opinion polls.
27 June
Charest heads to Europe to promote Quebec’s Plan Nord, business opportunities
(iPolitics) Charest will visit England, Belgium and Germany between today and Friday, meeting with politicians and business leaders. He made a similar trip to New York earlier this month and is planning to visit China and Japan later this summer. Charest announced the plan last month, and political observers say it’s part of an attempt to build his political legacy. The plan to develop Quebec’s north … centres around the mining and energy sectors.
25 June
Chantal Hébert: In Quebec, sovereignty going way of the Church
It was not so long ago — only a few decades — that devout Quebecers took to the streets in droves on June 24 to celebrate their Catholic faith on the name day of Saint Jean-Baptiste, the patron saint of French-Canadians.
Then, in a matter of only a few years in the ’60s, Quebec took the Catholic Church down from its pedestal, consigned its cardinals and bishops to their altars and moved on with a collective single-mindedness that caused that period to go down in history as the Quiet Revolution.
A half-century after that seismic shift, the Fête Nationale weekend finds the high priests (and priestesses) of the sovereignty movement scrambling to deal with a similar exodus from their various chapels.
22 June
Duceppe worries Quebecers will be assimilated
(CBC) Former Bloc Québécois leader calls on sovereigntists to unite in exclusive interview (Globe & Mail) Mr. Duceppe repeatedly said he fears that Quebeckers will assimilate into the North American majority in coming decades if they don’t secede from Canada.
Montérégie: Québec permettra la reconstruction en zone inondable
(La Presse) Les inondations de mai et juin ont endommagé 3000 résidences. Québec fait l’objet de pressions importantes de la part des maires, qui «veulent maintenir l’occupation de la zone inondable par leurs citoyens en autorisant la reconstruction des résidences détruites».
En permettant la «reconstruction» des résidences principales dans une zone qui risque fort d’être de nouveau inondée dans les 20 prochaines années, Québec ouvre aussi la porte à une répétition du cauchemar de mai dernier. Surtout, il risque d’être de nouveau forcé de payer la note. (CBC) Quebec adjusts rebuilding rules for flood victims — People will not be allowed to rebuild in the most vulnerable area, called the zero-to-two-year zone, where homes are expected to flood at least every two years.
10 June
Breaking away from the Parti Québécois
By Martin Patriquin
What the resignations of four high-profile members of the Parti Québécois—over a hockey arena, no less—says about the sovereignist movement
(Maclean’s) … there is little surprise that the party, which hasn’t had a decent psychodrama since then-leader André Boisclair resigned in 2007, should see four of its prominent MNAs publicly bolt from the party over a matter of principle. No surprise, that is, until you consider the principle in question isn’t one of independence or tongue, but a Quebec City hockey arena that hasn’t even been built yet. Paul Wells: The ego behind the exits at the PQ … Jacques Parizeau lives to undermine leaders who don’t share his reckless passion for sovereignty.
9 June
Antonia Maioni: Sovereigntists in search of identity
(Globe & Mail) Today, the Bloc is a spent force after being decimated in the federal election, and the PQ’s internal turmoil is common knowledge. The defection of four sovereigntist stalwarts to sit as independents this week may have been due to their opposition to the party line imposed over the Quebec City arena bill, but the rancour that has been unleashed suggests the underlying causes run much deeper.
7 June
Hébert: Election set off first wave in Quebec’s political turmoil
(Toronto Star) Until Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Québécois were wiped off the federal map last month, it was still possible for sovereignist activists to believe that the march toward a winning referendum would resume with the return of the PQ to power in Quebec in the next provincial election. The seasoned Bloc leader was always expected to make up for the leadership shortcomings of his PQ colleague.
6 June
Harper tours Quebec flood zone, meets residents
Prime Minister Stephen Harper travelled to Quebec’s flood zone Monday, where he surveyed the damage and announced some financial help. It’s the first visit he’s made to the area since the flooding started in April.
30 May
André Pratte: La vague orange: les Québécois ne regrettent rien
Depuis le séisme politique du 2 mai dernier, plusieurs se demandent si les électeurs, en particulier les Québécois qui ont infligé une défaite cinglante au Bloc québécois au profit du NPD, ne regrettent pas leur choix. Voulaient-ils vraiment ramener le Bloc à 4 députés et envoyer Gilles Duceppe à la retraite politique? Étaient-ils conscients de l’inexpérience des candidats néo-démocrates? Le jeu de cache-cache auquel s’est livré le NPD pour protéger la nouvelle députée de Berthier-Maskinongé, Ruth Ellen Brosseau, leur a-t-il fait réaliser leur «erreur»? Il semble que non, si l’on en croit un sondage réalisé pour la Presse Canadienne auprès de 2000 Canadiens entre le 12 et le 22 mai, par la firme Harris-Decima.
3 May
Duceppe quits after BQ crushed in Quebec
(CBC) The Bloc Québécois is suffering heavy casualties in Quebec: the party that has dominated the province for almost two decades has been reduced to a handful of seats.
16 April
Pauline Marois gets 93.1 per cent in confidence vote on her PQ leadership
Marois, who has been leader since 2007, will now be able to concentrate on hammering away at the governing Liberals, who were last elected in December 2008.
Earlier on Saturday, PQ members endorsed Marois’ strategy of not getting boxed into any specific timetable for holding a sovereignty referendum.
They approved a plan for a PQ government to study reports on the impact of sovereignty, as was done in advance of the 1995 referendum.
Delegates also passed a resolution that would make French the mandatory language of instruction for immigrants and francophones who attend junior college.
15 April
Crise à Montréal: le ton monte à Québec
(La Presse) Furieux de ne pas avoir été prévenu que l’escouade anticorruption allait enquêter sur Montréal, le maire Tremblay a de nouveau réclamé l’enquête publique que demandent depuis deux ans le PQ et l’ADQ. Son appel a galvanisé l’opposition péquiste hier. Pour la chef péquiste Pauline Marois, le premier ministre Charest «est en partie responsable du pourrissement de la situation à Montréal. Il refuse la tenue de cette commission d’enquête, alors que Montréal crie au secours depuis des mois», a-t-elle lancé hier. Elle a ajouté que le mandat de l’Unité permanente anticorruption est avant tout «une manoeuvre de diversion» après l’escouade Marteau qui depuis un an «sert de paravent au premier ministre».”
14 April
Harper pledges boost to rural economic development
(Toronto Sun) Conservative Leader Stephen Harper pledged Thursday to bring an economic boost to Quebec’s rural regions by moving a federal agency.
Harper told some 50 party faithful gathered at a noon event in Beaupré, Que., northeast of Quebec City, that he would relocate the administrative offices of the Quebec economic development agency to an as-yet-unnamed rural region of the province.
It’s currently headquartered in Montreal, a Liberal and Bloc Quebecois stronghold.
13 April
François Legault lance ses idées pour l’éducation, qui sont déjà contestées
(Presse canadienne) La coalition de François Legault propose l’abolition des commissions scolaires et une remise en question de la sécurité d’emploi des enseignants. Ceux-ci seraient même évalués selon la réussite de leurs élèves.
En revanche, leur salaire serait haussé de 20 pour cent.
C’est tout un changement de culture que propose la Coalition pour l’avenir du Québec, de l’ancien ministre péquiste de l’Éducation François Legault, dans le premier de quatre documents thématiques qu’il vient de rendre public.
MONTREAL, April 12 /CNW Telbec/ – The founders of the Coalition for the Future of Québec, François Legault and Charles Sirois, along with Chantal Longpré, presented a position paper today containing the Coalition’s proposals in the field of education. Coalition members are hoping the province of Québec will be endowed with one of the best education systems in the world by 2020. The ideas expressed in the Coalition’s discussion paper will serve to initiate a dialogue with Quebecers on the subject of education. Following its series of discussions with the population, the Coalition plans to submit an action plan by the end of the year summarizing the measures that need to be undertaken to get Québec moving forward. More
15 March
Bouchard says Quebec shale-gas industry moved too fast, was ‘shock’ to citizens
(Globe & Mail) The former premier, and champion of Quebec’s independence movement, is now handling public relations for the province’s embattled shale-gas industry.
8 March
Quebec halts shale gas exploration
Shale gas exploration in Quebec has been put on hold until a full environmental study can be done on a controversial drilling technique.
(Globe & Mail) The provincial government announced the decision Tuesday just minutes after an environmental assessment board called for a full evaluation of potential risks involved in the drilling and extraction of natural gas from the shale rock formation near populated areas along the Saint-Lawrence River.
21 February
Francois Legault unveils Coalition for the Future
(CTV) After months of speculation former PQ cabinet minister Francois Legault has finally launched his Coalition for the Future of Quebec.
Legault and his partner Charles Sirois officially presented the manifesto for what they are calling a political group Monday morning in Quebec City.
Despite the fact Legault has become one of the most popular political figures in the province ever since his announcement that Quebec should have a new right-of-center party, the pair say they are not yet willing to make the jump to officially becoming a political party.
A wake up call for Quebec
By Beryl Wajsman
Conservative MP Maxime Bernier’s weekend comments calling Bill 101 unnecessary are a clarion call of courage and candour. We should be rallying around those sentiments. Bernier spoke truth to myth and emerged as a new patron saint of reason. He should be lionized not vilified as he has been in much of the Quebec press. He has opened the door to a much needed debate on a heretofore taboo subject. It is a wake up call for this province and perhaps a last chance to turn Quebec toward the politics of respect, justice and equality.
3 February
Police crack down on Quebec’s construction industry
Officers with Quebec’s anti-corruption task force — also known as Operation Hammer — are making arrests and conducting searches around the province.
Jean Charest’s government has given Operation Hammer a multimillion-dollar budget to investigate and clean up the province’s construction industry.

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