Quebec post 2014 elections

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‘Canada is back’: Al Gore praises Quebec for $25.5 million contribution to tackle global climate change
Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore expressed his deep gratitude to Quebec on Saturday for what he called its leadership role in tackling global climate change.
Gore was at the United Nations climate conference in Paris alongside Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, who announced the province will contribute $25.5 million over five years to help French-speaking developing nations fight climate change.
“Premier Couillard and his team have long since established fantastic leadership in the world community, in humanity’s effort to solve the climate crisis,” Gore said.
Couillard said $18 million of the funds will be used to support international projects that will capitalize on Quebec’s expertise in energy and clean technology.
3 December
Quebec Liberals have proposed a compromise on school boards
(Montreal Gazette) The government won’t abolish school board elections entirely in legislation to be tabled on Friday.
Unable to convince the English-speaking community to surrender its constitutional right to control its school boards, the government has come up with a compromise “parallel system” that will be included in the new bill introduced in the National Assembly, sources told the Montreal Gazette late today.
School boards remain, but their councils of commissioners would be transformed into school councils, composed of parents, school personnel and members of the community.
Each school board currently has a council of elected commissioners that oversees board operations.
The olive branch to anglophones is that parents would have the option of launching elections to vote in part of the new school councils, notably the members of the community, although they wouldn’t be obliged to exercise that option. That’s where the government’s compromise “parallel system” comes in. Those options would exist in both French and English school boards.
24 November
Charbonneau commission report: A deeper look at the recommendations
Political financing, ethics and whistleblower protection highlighted in corruption inquiry’s findings
Take a closer look at nine of the key recommendations and why they matter in the context of combating corruption and collusion:
1. Create a provincial public works authority
The commission recommends creating a new body to oversee the awarding of public contracts, which would supervise the process, identify issues related to fraud and collusion and intervene when required. This new central body would be made up of existing resources within the provincial Treasury Board, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
Why: The commission found a number of vulnerabilities in the system that opened the door for collusion and corruption, including the autonomy of those involved in the contract-awarding process, a lack of internal expertise and an inability to analyze the market properly and identify misspending.
Charbonneau commission finds corruption widespread in Quebec’s construction sector
Commissioners split on issue of link between political financing and granting of contracts
In a prepared address in Montreal, Charbonneau said the commission, which investigated the awarding of government contracts and influence peddling in the construction sector, found that organized crime had indeed infiltrated the industry.
A look back at inquiry’s explosive testimony and key witnesses
Corruption not limited to Quebec: Philippe Couillard
She said the government must do everything it can to put a stop to that and protect the legal economy. She said the impact of allowing it to continue would be devastating long term.
The 1,741-page report contains 60 recommendations for the Quebec government. … The report recommends enacting a law similar to New York State’s False Claims Act, under which companies and individuals who defraud the government may be found liable and whistleblowers are eligible for compensation for their efforts.
10 November
Quebec byelections: Liberals keep 3 seats, PQ 1
Provincial byelections maintain the status quo as Liberals and PQ keep seats
Adam Daifallah comments: The return to the status quo doesn’t mean everything will stay the same. There is a good chance that Dominique Anglade will be offered a cabinet position in a future shuffle. The newly elected MNA was formerly the President of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), the second opposition party in the National Assembly. Until now, she was the President and CEO of Montreal International, an organization that helps bring business to Montreal. Prior to that, she was a senior consultant at McKinsey, and had prior jobs at Procter & Gamble and Nortel. Of the four new MNAs, she will be the one to watch.
4 November
Quebec MPs given prominent posts in new Liberal cabinet
Stéphane Dion gets Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly named Minister of Canadian Heritage
Plus Marc Garneau, Transport; Jean-Yves Duclos, Families, Children and Social Development; Diane Lebouthillier, National Revenue; and Marie-Claude Bibeau, International Development and La Francophonie.
30 October
Aislin lobster in the pot _city_referendum-17Quebec referendum anniversary: Memories still raw 20 years later
Key players in 1995 referendum look back at Quebec history’s most ‘nail-biting, exhilarating’ time
(CBC) Twenty years later, the [the massive federalist rally, days before the 1995 vote on Quebec sovereignty] remains one of the most controversial events in the dying days of the referendum campaign.
… For the former Quebec premier and life-long sovereigntist [Bernard Landry], it was another sign the federal government was not respecting spending limits during the emotional campaign.
“It was part of the wrongdoing, because it was done with my money, with my taxes,” he told CBC News this week.
“That referendum was stolen because the federal government wasn’t fair,” Landry added.
He said the bitter disappointment was keenly felt the night of the vote, with the Yes side losing by a razor-thin margin: 50.6 per cent to 49.4 per cent.
But Landry also sees hope in the results of the last referendum. He said that hope endures 20 years later, even though the sovereigntist movement is reeling after a drop in popular support for the Bloc Québécois, and the Parti Québécois is once again confined to the opposition benches at the National Assembly.
Favourite sketches from the 1995 Quebec referendum by the Montreal Gazette’s Aislin (video)
TIMELINE: The 1995 Quebec Referendum: 20 years later
Canada came to the brink of breakup on Oct. 30, 1995: The final count was No: 50.6% vs. Yes: 49.4%
19 October
Stunning Liberal gains in Quebec as Trudeau wins majority government
Liberals make major comeback in the province, stealing away seats from NDP
The Liberal Party has made gains in Quebec not seen since the Jean Chrétien era, as a red wave carries leader Justin Trudeau to Ottawa with a big majority.
By early Tuesday morning, the party had been declared the winner in 40 Quebec ridings.
In his victory speech at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth hotel, Trudeau addressed Quebecers directly, saying they had made the decision to re-engage with Canada.
“We have chosen to trust one another and to invest in our future,” Trudeau told the crowd in French.
“We beat negative politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together.”
Soon after the polls closed, Trudeau was declared the winner in his own seat, the north end Montreal riding of Papineau.

The Liberals have won back seats from the NDP in several Montreal ridings that have traditionally voted red, including two West Island ridings and Honoré-Mercier in the northeast.
Tonight’s results represent a stunning gain in Quebec for the Liberals, who took just seven seats in the province in 2011.
It appears the party has finally overcome the voters’ backlash from the sponsorship scandal, which has haunted the party in Quebec since it surfaced ahead of the 2006 federal election campaign. The party dropped from 21 to 13 seats in that election and hasn’t had more than 14 since.
2 June
Drawing “Monsieur” — Aislin remembers Jacques Parizeau

Aislin Parizeau 1994Hubert Bauch: Former PQ leader Jacques Parizeau dies at 84
It might make him spin in his grave if it were carved on his headstone, but Jacques Parizeau was undeniably one of the great Canadians of his day.
Maybe not a good Canadian. He considered himself exclusively Québécois and his greatest desire was to break up the country.
But Parizeau, who died Monday at age 84, was nonetheless a man of greatness: great ambition, great works, great erudition, great dreams, great schemes, great wit, great appetites, great presence.
And great was his fall when it came.
Jacques Parizeau: the sovereignty movement’s poet
‘He was, finally, the only PQ strategist worth the name.’ Paul Wells on the movement’s clumsy and ardent heart
His speech on the night of the referendum was disgraceful. I’m glad he never won the fight that mattered most to him. But watching him in action was always fascinating. He was the sovereignty movement’s lion, its best mind. The sovereignty movement’s problem is not that he is gone, but that, in half a century of trying, they couldn’t produce another like him.
Why Parizeau is mourned as an elder statesman
By Patrick Lagacé, columnist for Montreal’s La Presse.
Quebec Liberal Premier Philippe Couillard has announced that former Parti Québécois premier Jacques Parizeau will be granted a state funeral and that the headquarters of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will be named in his honour.
It’s a fitting tribute for a man hailed as one of the architects of modern Quebec, who came of age as a public servant obsessed with creating wealth as the province was going through its Quiet Revolution.
Many Canadians will associate Mr. Parizeau with that fateful night when, almost 20 years ago, he came close – within 54,000 votes – of fulfilling his lifelong dream: Quebec’s independence and, thus, the breakup of Canada as we know it. No doubt, Monsieur (his nickname being a tip of the hat to his aristocratic demeanour) will forever be associated with the sovereigntist movement, which he joined in 1967.
But Quebec sovereigntists and federalists today are mourning the man because, regardless of what one thinks about the idea of Quebec independence, Jacques Parizeau was widely respected by members of both groups.
Jacques Parizeau Was One of the Foremost Builders of Modern Quebec
By Patrick White, Managing Editor of HuffPost Québec,
He was a brilliant, forward thinking man, an unparalleled brainiac. Jacques Parizeau is one of the architects of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution (Révolution tranquille) during the first half of the 1960s. He was one of Premier Jean Lesage’s advisors, and he was — alongside René Lévesque — on every front to transform Quebec into a modern state, whether it was nationalization of hydro power, or the creation of the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec (Quebec’s massive public pension fund manager) and the Régie des rentes du Québec (Quebec Public Retirement Fund). He helped most French-Canadians becoming master of their economic destiny.

Jacques Parizeau, former Quebec premier, dead at 84

Former head of Parti Québécois spent years battling unidentified illness  Monsieur photo by Jacques Grenier Photo Jacques Grenier
Jacques Parizeau, the man who nearly led Quebec to sovereignty in 1995, has died.
He was 84.
The death was announced on social media by Lisette Lapointe, his wife and former Parti Québécois politician. Lapointe said Parizeau died around 8 p.m. Monday [June 1] night, surrounded by loved ones. Lapointe also confirmed the death to CBC/Radio-Canada.
Considered one of the province’s most respected economists, Parizeau was best known as the Parti Québécois premier during the sovereignty referendum of 1995, decided by a razor-thin margin.
His supporters hope Parizeau’s legacy will overshadow his infamous speech blaming the referendum’s outcome on “money and the ethnic vote.”
Jacques Parizeau, former PQ premier, remembered as ‘formidable opponent’
Tributes pour in for former Premier Jacques Parizeau; flag at half mast at National Assembly ; CTV coverage
7 May
Anglos need more support to help prevent exodus: official languages commissioner
English-speaking Quebecers and English-speaking immigrants’ contributions aren’t always fairly perceived in Quebec, according to Canada’s commissioner of official languages.
In his annual report, Graham Fraser argues that the Quebec government doesn’t provide the necessary resources to organizations able to provide support to English-speaking immigrants.
Sylvia Martin-Laforge, director-general of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), welcomed Fraser’s report, but noted that he raised similar concerns in his 2008-2009 report.
1 May
May Day protests: Banks and cost-cuttting measures targeted in Montreal
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Montreal and elsewhere in the province Friday to mark International Workers Day, with the main focus on big banks and the Quebec Liberal government’s cost-cutting measures.
READ MORE: May Day protests: Montreal schools protest cuts to education
Alexa Conradi, president of the Quebec Federation of Women, said the Couillard government hasn’t taken into account any of the proposals presented by social groups.
“Instead, what it’s doing is causing cuts to education…in public services, in health care and in the regions.” she said.
16 April
Cirque du Soleil to be sold to American, Chinese private equity firms
Co-founder Guy Laliberté tells employees they’ll be 1st to know about any company sale
(CBC) The owner of Cirque du Soleil will not confirm multiple media reports that the sale of the entertainment company has been finalized.
Co-founder Guy Laliberté sent an email to staff on Thursday saying that he had not yet wrapped up the company sale, after CBC/Radio-Canada and other media outlets reported American private equity firm TPG Capital and China’s Fosun will buy majority shares in Cirque du Soleil.
15 April
Quebec premier distances himself from ex-colleague accused of fraud
(Canadian Press) He called a news conference Wednesday to address “false allegations” and “accusations of guilt by association” by the opposition regarding two separate incidents.
A Montreal newspaper reported that a former colleague of his has been accused of financial fraud. Couillard denied he has anything to do with the fraud allegations against Hans Peter Black, an ex-colleague on the board of directors of a medical research company called Amorfix Life Sciences. (reddit translation) A company formerly ran (sic) by Couillard mixed with an alleged securities fraud … one of those who had invited him to sit on the board of the public company, the Montreal financier Hans Peter Black, is now accused of embezzling tens of thousands dollars from the company’s shareholders, therefore, right under the nose of Mr. Couillard.
Amorfix seeks to develop new diagnostic tests and treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s.
26 March
Quebec budget 2015: The breakdown
How will the 2015-2016 Quebec budget impact you?
Tyler Meredith, Research Director at Institute for Research on Public Policy (video)
Debra chats with Tyler Meredith, Research Director at the Institute for Research on Public Policy, about how the Liberal’s (sic) budget affects you.
The Quebec budget starts the structural reform the province needs
From fixing the ‘bad habit’ of special tax credits to removing roadblocks to growth, the Quebec budget gets a lot of things right
27 February
Yves Bolduc turns his back on politics, heads back to medicine
If Bolduc, who quit politics Thursday to return to doctoring, was accident prone, so are a lot of others and Premier Philippe Couillard knows it.
That explains his decision this week to read them the riot act about the government speaking with one voice — not 26.
And by personally provoking Bolduc’s departure — as he did by refusing all week to say he has confidence in him and cutting off all communication — Couillard hopes the public relations pox Bolduc carries leaves the government at the same time.
6 February
Hôpital général juif: la direction soupçonnée d’avoir bloqué l’enquête
Un récit assermenté de 57 pages rédigé par une enquêteure fiscale rattachée à l’Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) pour justifier une série de perquisitions en octobre dernier raconte ainsi comment les autorités ont été alertées sur les problèmes de l’Hôpital général juif.
Après la parution d’un article dans le Journal de Montréal en septembre 2013, qui soulevait des doutes quant à des conflits d’intérêts de cadres de l’établissement, la direction de l’hôpital avait demandé à son coordinateur des relations de travail, Yves Lemay, de mener une enquête interne, avec l’assistance de la firme de juricomptables Navigant.
« L’enquête fut positive », a raconté M. Lemay à l’UPAC par la suite. Selon lui, un problème de corruption a effectivement été décelé dès cette époque.
Mais selon lui, il a été forcé d’arrêter subitement l’enquête à la demande de sa supérieure immédiate, le 28 novembre 2013


Lise Thibault, ex-Quebec lieutenant-governor, pleads guilty to 6 charges
Thibault offers to pay back $310K of money she’s accused of misspending after switching plea
11 November
Why We Need To Resist Liberal Austerity in Quebec
Jeff Begley, President of the Fédération de la santé et des services sociaux (FSSS–CSN)
(HuffPost) Workers on the front lines see the deterioration in the quality of services. These workers in health care, social services and child recognize that the quality of services is declining, despite their superhuman efforts day in and day out. And it’s extremely draining for them to see this when they are doing the best they can. The resources that are available are clearly not adequate to improve the situation. Furthermore, our members are often ill at ease when they have to share these realities with the people who receive the services.
18 September
Medical specialists accuse Quebec health minister of negotiating in bad faith
Negotiations between Quebec City and the province’s medical specialists are in danger of flat lining.
The health minister, Gaétan Barrette, previously criticized the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec for allegedly making “veiled threats” that they would ramp up the pressure if they didn’t get their way in a dispute over a planned salary increase.
However, the leader of the FMSQ told the Gazette that the organization representing 11,000 doctors wouldn’t resort to pressure tactics that might harm patients.
4 August
Don Macpherson: July wasn’t a good month for Philippe Couillard
… there was political news; and it was bad news for the new government.
It raised doubts about the government’s moral authority to impose sacrifices on others with its austerity program, as well as the commitment to the higher standards of ethics and civility that Couillard had promised.
It also raised doubts about whether Couillard has the political instincts to lead what is already a difficult province to govern, even before it faces the financial choices that his government says can no longer be put off.
23 July
Fête Nationale not the celebration the Parti Québécois wanted: Hébert
The sovereigntist movement is more unpopular than ever and the two parties with the most support are the NDP and Coalition Avenir Québec
If a federal election had been held this month, more than 80 per cent of Quebecers would have cast a ballot for a federalist party.
The pendulum has swung decisively away from sovereignty and there is no guarantee it will swing back.
15 June
Lise Ravary: L’arrêt de mort du Bloc Québécois
(Journal de Montréal) Lecteurs souverainistes, expliquez-moi: quelle mouche a piqué les supporteurs du Bloc ? Après le camouflet infligé au Parti Québécois et à «l’option» le 7 avril dernier, voilà que les membres du Bloc Québécois élisent comme chef un radical intolérant, doublé d’un clown. On ne peut pas être plus loin de l’intelligence d’un René Lévesque que Mario Beaulieu. Et de celle de Lucien Bouchard, fondateur du Bloc ou de Gilles Duceppe, un des politiciens les plus intelligents, les plus dignes et les plus efficaces de l’histoire récente du Québec.
Bloc Québécois takes hard line under new leader Beaulieu
(Globe & Mail) the former head of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, a pro-sovereignty organization, faces a huge challenge trying to reignite the flame of separatism among an unreceptive Quebec electorate. Visite guidée pour dénoncer l’anglicisation de Montréal (40 minutes)
31 May
Leitao’s ‘transition budget’ sets table for tough choices
On Wednesday, finance minister will begin effort to rein in Quebec’s spending
(Montreal Gazette) Finance Minister Carlos Leitao describes the 2014-2015 Quebec budget he will present next Wednesday as a “transition budget.”
The newly-elected Liberal government must set out its plans to allocate public spending for the fiscal year that began April 1, but Premier Philippe Couillard promises a whole new approach in his government’s next budget, for 2015-2016, that Leitao will present in March 2015.
That budget will tackle Quebec’s “structural deficit,” caused by years of spending beyond taxpayers’ means, on social programs among the most generous in North America, from subsidized daycare to parental leave, public pension plans that are underfunded, to costly medical procedures paid by the provincial health insurance plan.
But, written by the same finance department experts who prepared the February budget of Parti Québécois finance minister Nicolas Marceau, Leitao’s budget will likely resemble the Marceau budget.
29 May
SNC-Lavalin’s $191M McGill hospital bill snubbed by Quebec
SNC-Lavalin seeking money for ‘extras’ on McGill University hospital deal
(CBC) Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette is balking at a request from scandal-plagued SNC-Lavalin for an additional $191 million to complete the McGill University Hospital Centre in what was supposed to be a $1.343-billion fixed-price contract.
24 May
Opponents rally against end-of-life care bill
Groups opposed to resurrected Bill 52 plan to challenge constitutionality of the legislation in court
22 May
Couillard’s ordinary agenda means big changes for Quebec
(Globe & Mail) For a premier who just handed separatists a historic beating, this was noticeably a speech lacking in discussions of Quebec’s place in Canada.
But he presented a different image of Quebec, where global-minded, technologically-connected young people are the future, and where people don’t expect the state to fix all of society’s problems. It was about expecting less of the state. …
He laid out a case: not only that the public finances are in danger of falling off a cliff, but that the province is poorer because of that, and the tax burden. He argued the size of the state is out of whack: Quebec has 23 per cent of Canada’s population, but only 20 per cent of its economy – and yet 27 per cent of the country’s provincial spending.
He called for spending control, and bureaucracy cutting, but also an attitude change about what government does…. he presented a different image of Quebec, where global-minded, technologically-connected young people are the future, and where people don’t expect the state to fix all of society’s problems. It was about expecting less of the state.
It’s going to hurt: Philippe Couillard warns of Quebec’s turbulent economic transition onto austerity track
Stéphane Dion: Why Maxime Bernier is Consistently Wrong
If Maxime Bernier had called on Quebeckers to focus all their efforts and talents on making Canada a better place rather than to waste some of those efforts and talents on trying to separate from the country, two hands would not have been enough to applaud him. But he couldn’t resist tainting his appeal with a sour partisan and ideological scent. He portrayed Canada as a right-wing project, and Quebec as a leftist drift gone bad.
Per se, Canada and Quebec are neither left-wing nor right-wing. They are what their citizens and governments choose to make them. Be they on the left, right or centre, it is in the best interest of Quebeckers to stay united with other Canadians to develop Canada’s huge potential.
If Maxime Bernier had merely expressed the wish that we Quebeckers may one day be able to dispense with equalization payments and to help other Canadians with the same generosity that donor provinces are showing us today, it would have been a show of lofty ambition. What he showed instead was condescension and contempt, declaring, according to the Canadian Press: “I’m not proud to be a Quebecker when we are a poor province!”
21 May
Coyne: A provocateur gets it right on Quebec’s future
What a pleasure it is, then, to see him back in form, via Tuesday’s speech in Montreal on “how to reclaim Quebec’s place within Canada,” in which he took issue with just about everything the province’s politicians — federal or provincial, separatist or federalist — have done for the past fifty years.
There is, to be sure, plenty to take issue with in the speech. The gratuitous swipes at the other federal parties for their alleged “centralizing” tendencies were unhelpful. The claim that the Fathers of Confederation meant to establish “a decentralized federation,” of the kind Mr. Bernier favours, while often heard, is no less fictitious for that. The description of the province as constantly “begging” (“quêter”) for money from the rest of Canada was more inflammatory than it was worth. Maxime Bernier: Quebec needs to embrace Canada
5 May
A bit frothy, but nonetheless some interesting and highly relevant facts
Hélène David: l’élégance de la bûcheuse
(La Presse) Hélène David est peut-être la première ministre de la Culture qui arrive dans la grosse machine gouvernementale avec une précieuse expérience de sous-ministre. Et bien qu’elle ne veuille pas se prononcer sur aucun dossier précis, elle semble avoir une idée très claire de la ministre qu’elle sera: «Une ministre qui va se battre pour les sous et pour tous les créateurs». Elle ajoute: «C’est vrai que l’ensemble de l’appareil gouvernemental est en difficulté, mais ce n’est pas vrai que la culture va prendre le bord. Je veux être au premier rang pour faire en sorte qu’on ne touche pas à la culture. Je veux être une battante de la culture malgré les problèmes de surenchère, malgré le fait que certains déplorent qu’on forme trop de comédiens, trop d’artistes visuels ou de musiciens. J’ai connu ça ailleurs dans d’autres domaines. D’une part, je crois à la sélection naturelle et de l’autre, je crois qu’une formation littéraire, théâtrale ou musicale ne sera jamais perdue même si on finit par travailler dans un autre domaine.»
28 April
Céline Cooper: It’s time to repair the social fabric
(Montreal Gazette) It is now our job as citizens to ensure that talk of inclusiveness is not just rhetoric, but a real commitment to moving forward
Ever since Premier Philippe Couillard introduced his cabinet on Wednesday, much has been made of the appointment of N.D.G.’s Kathleen Weil to a rejigged post of minister of immigration, “diversity and inclusiveness.” The new title, of course, is a not-so-subtle acknowledgement that the Parti Québécois’s proposed secularism/values charter, Bill 60, is officially and blessedly kaput.
25 April
Québec devrait privatiser en partie la SAQ et Hydro, selon des experts
(La Presse) Le gouvernement Couillard doit envisager de privatiser partiellement Hydro-Québec et la Société des alcools (SAQ) pour remettre le Québec sur le chemin de la santé financière, selon deux experts.
Ces derniers, Luc Godbout et Claude Montmarquette, ont tracé vendredi un portrait extrêmement sombre de l’état des finances publiques, dans un rapport commandé par le gouvernement avant même d’être officiellement en fonctions. (Global) Quebec economists suggest selling part of Hydro-Quebec and the SAQ
24 April
Philippe Couillard’s priorities are the economy, transparency
Quebec’s new premier says tough choices lie ahead, and it’s necessary “to get to work”
After his first meeting with his cabinet, Premier Philippe Couillard … vowed to make his agenda public when the session at the National Assembly begins May 20.
He added that new finance minister Carlos Leitao will table a budget in June, with the goal of attaining a balanced budget in 2015.
“We will use all the tools at our disposal to achieve this important goal, except increase the tax burden of Quebecers and decrease critical services,” Couillard said, adding that an early look at the books indicates Quebec’s deficit is more than $3.1 billion — rather than $2.5 billion as was previously being reported.
“These are structural problems that go beyond changes in government, and it is especially necessary to get to work.” Couillard said.
23 April
Philippe Couillard unveils new Liberal cabinet
Philippe Couillard becomes 31st Premier of Quebec, names cabinet of 26
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard unveiled his cabinet of 26 ministers Wednesday afternoon, naming … Gaétan Barrette to Health and Social Services and Lise Thériault to Public Security — making her the first woman to be named as head of that ministry.
Couillard looks to political rookies to give Quebec cabinet fresh start — The economic trio includes Carlos Leitao, an economist and former banker, as Finance Minister. Martin Coiteux, another economist, was named President of the Treasury Board, and Jacques Daoust, former head of the government’s venture capital body, Investissement Québec, was appointed Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports.
Philippe Couillard’s priorities are the economy, transparency — Quebec’s new premier says tough choices lie ahead, and it’s necessary “to get to work”
LYSIANE GAGNON: Stars align for Péladeau’s leadership ambition
It’s hard to believe, but true: Pierre Karl Péladeau, the Quebecor press baron turned politician, is well on his way to becoming the next leader of the Parti Québécois.
The party apparatus is in the hands of his partisans, which will give him a handsome lead over the other contenders in the leadership race that will officially kick off in June.
9 April
Lysiane Gagnon: Scenes from a PQ defeat: A party in denial, a province in rebellion
The final picture is of a Quebec solidly anchored to Canada, firmly encamped on the centre-right.
Even before Pauline Marois had announced her resignation (after losing in her own riding while leading her party to its worst score in the popular vote in 41/2 decades of existence), three high-profile possible contenders, including media baron Pierre Karl Péladeau, preceded her to the podium
Mr. Péladeau and former star ministers Jean-François Lisée and Bernard Drainville took turns at the microphone praising Ms. Marois – then successively launched into long stump speeches that sounded awfully like the first chorus of a leadership race. …
8 April
Quebec Liberals already challenged by cloud of suspicion
Normal government business quickly shunted aside divisive identity issues as incoming premier Philippe Couillard returned to the Quebec capital to begin his transition to power.
In the grand entrance of the Quebec National Assembly, Mr. Couillard said on Tuesday he will use the Liberal majority to revive a right-to-die bill, to draft a limited secular charter, to bring public finances under control and to ramp up infrastructure spending to boost the provincial economy.
But while the premier-designate emphasized unity and reconciliation and described himself as calm and serene in victory, a dark cloud was forming 250 kilometres up the highway in Montreal, where the Charbonneau Commission laid the groundwork for more possible Liberal embarrassment.
The corruption inquiry started mapping how provincial government construction contracts intersected with the financing of all of Quebec’s major political parties, especially the Liberal Party, which was in power for most of the time under examination. … Mr. Couillard said he hopes to use models from the Obama administration and Scandinavia to introduce new levels of transparency to the Quebec government, from putting expense accounts online to publishing accounting information for infrastructure projects while they are still under way.
Philippe Couillard pledges transparency, integrity — Quebec Liberal leader and premier-designate says he will ask auditor general to look at books
The PQ’s story may not be over, but it feels like Quebec has turned the page
“There was a realignment of the political forces in Quebec, what I called a moving of the tectonic plates,” Mr. Couillard told reporters in Quebec City. People in the francophone regions and younger voters — two groups that have typically favoured the PQ — embraced the Liberals.
“Both regionally and in terms of generations, a significant change in politics is happening in Québec, and it’s not over,” Mr. Couillard said. “I think this will carry on in the coming years, so politicians better be realigning themselves to the new reality.”

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