Opposition to Bill 15 mounts amid fear closure could be invoked to end debate

Click to play video: 'Opposition warns health-reform bill shouldn’t be rushed through'
Opposition warns health-reform bill shouldn’t be rushed through
WATCH: Opposition to Bill 15 continues to mount. The proposed legislation seeks to overhaul how health care is managed in Quebec. And now, opposition parties fear closure will be invoked to end debate at the National Assembly. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports. – Nov 30, 2023

Opposition MNAs in Quebec are concerned about the Legault government invoking closure to end debate on the controversial Bill 15 — proposed legislation to overhaul the health-care system.

The bill would create Santé Québec — a new organization that would centralize a lot of decision-making under one umbrella. The bill contains more than 1,200 articles and have been amended hundreds of times.

Health-care critics, opposition MNAs and English-speaking communities fear Santé Québec will create too much bureaucratic power in one system and remove local control from hospitals, clinics and other health institutions.

“I don’t know what kind of health minister you are if you don’t at least listen to those groups and say, yeah, okay, I’m going to take a few more weeks, a few more months, whatever it may be and actually listen to the people,” André Fortin, the Liberal health critic said during a Thursday press conference.

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An online petition has attracted thousands of signatures from people calling for more consultations and more amendments.

And last month six former premiers wrote a joint letter to current Premier François Legault warning Santé Québec could  “move dangerously away from the objective of the envisaged reform, which is to make the health and social services system more efficient.”

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“We’ve never seen such a huge piece of legislation being changed so much and that’s where we need to take a small bite at a time in order to be able to digest the whole thing,” said Joël Arseneau, the PQ MNA for les Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Health Minister Christian Dubé wouldn’t reveal his intentions on possible closure.

“We have a very good collaboration from the opposition and we will continue to work together,” he said.

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The current legislative session breaks for Christmas on December 8th.


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