QUEBEC CITY – He’s young, he’s smart and he knows his environmental files.
Former Parti Quebecois Environment Minister and party leader André Boisclair has been named special advisor to Liberal MNA for the Viau and current Environment Minister, David Heurtel.
“It shows that our government wants to do politics differently,” said Heurtel, Quebec’s current Environment Minister. “We’re not going to be blinded by partisan blinders, we’re going to use the best people we have and put them in the right place to help out with government objectives.”
Most importantly though, the Liberals said Boisclair’s nomination gives Quebec taxpayers more bang for their buck, as they expect him to work harder for his pay.
Boisclair is currently chair of Quebec’s Environmental Review Committee (COMEX) three days a week, a job that pays him $175,000 a year. That’s nearly double the salary of his predecessor.
“As a civil servant, he was working three days a week at a fixed salary, so for the same salary we’re going to use those extra two days to work on notably the fight against climate change,” said Heurtel.
The Liberals said they’re fixing a problem inherited from the previous PQ government.
Boisclair was Quebec’s delegate-general in New York before being dragged into a conflict with former Coalition Avenir Quebec MNA Jacques Duchesneau, who alleged a possible connection between Boisclair’s past drug use and the granting of a government subsidy.
Boisclair resigned from his post as delegate-general last November to fight the allegations and was placed, by the PQ, at the head of the COMEX.
“He will work full time. Three days for COMEX and two days with the ministry, I don’t have any problem with that,” said PQ Environment Critic Sylvain Gaudreault.
Liberal MNA Serge Simard added it was about optimizing the civil service, to the benefit of all Quebecers.
“One thing is for sure, his work week has filled up and that’s a good thing for all Quebecers,” he said.
In his new role, Boisclair, also a former lobbyist for the shale gas industry, will assist the Environment Minister as he struggles to find new and more socially acceptable sources of revenue.
Boisclair did not comment his extra workload on Friday.
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