Quebec’s parliamentary session ends with quest to reclaim powers from Ottawa

Click to play video: 'Winter session wraps up at Quebec’s National Assembly'
Winter session wraps up at Quebec’s National Assembly
WATCH: Quebec's National Assembly is wrapping up its winter session and it was not an easy one for François Legault's CAQ government. Global's Gloria Henriquez recaps the highs and lows of each party and what lies ahead after the summer break. – Jun 7, 2024

Quebec’s national assembly winter session is coming to a close.

It was marked with issues in the health-care system such as longer and longer wait times, crumbling infrastructure exemplified by the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge and tense relations with Ottawa over the number of asylum seekers entering the province.

Amid all the controversy of the past few months, Quebec Premier François Legault says there are things to celebrate.

“I want to celebrate the economic results we’ve had since five years; it’s incredible that we did a lot better than the rest of Canada. I’m talking about the GDP per capita, I’m talking about the average salary,” Legault said during his end-of-session press conference.

Legault says he wants more wins.

The premier announced he is setting up a committee of experts that will look into what powers Quebec can reclaim from Ottawa.

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The Quebec Liberal party calls the move a distraction from this session’s bad record and “picking up another fight with the feds.”

“Where’s the beef? Where are the results? Nothing. Failures,” interim Liberal leader Marc Tanguay said.

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But the Liberals aren’t problem-free either.

Their popularity remains low as they are finally about to embark on their leadership race in January 2025.

They’ve been without a leader since October 2022.

Tanguay vows the race won’t be a distraction in the new session.

Click to play video: 'Curb your consumption: What Quebec’s new energy bill could mean for consumers'
Curb your consumption: What Quebec’s new energy bill could mean for consumers

Québec solidaire has also dealt with its own leadership problems.

Its co-spokesperson Émilise Lessard-Therrien quit last April, citing a clash of visions with Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

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“I think it would be foolish trying to hide the fact that there were ups and downs for us,” Nadeau-Dubois said.

Despite that, Nadeau-Dubois says he’s proud of the passing of Quebec’s bill imposing a three-year moratorium on evictions, a file that the party had been championing for years.

“It was rocky but we delivered,” he said, adding that next session, they will continue to fight for housing and tenants’ rights.

Unlike the other parties, the Parti Québécois is leading in the polls.

Leader Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon says he is most proud of what his small team has achieved without the resources others have.

Not long ago, he says, the party was near bankruptcy.

“In four years we’ve done such a change in financial health that we’re capable of doing the first publicity campaign since Jacques Parizeau,” St-Pierre-Plamondon said.

He’s speaking about an advertisement pitching sovereignty to English-speaking Quebecers, a first.

The province will continue contract negotiations with doctors and nurses over the summer.

The fall session will see major debates over what Quebec’s energy transition should look like, all as the province seeks to obtain more powers and independence from Ottawa, something that will be discussed Monday in a meeting between the premier and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


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