July 8, 2014 4:42 pm
Updated: July 9, 2014 5:10 pm

Bolduc controversy: What’s the big deal?


MONTREAL — Quebec’s Minister of Education, Yves Bolduc, has come out swinging after questions over his ethics.

Sorry, who?

Yves Bolduc is currently the education minister for Quebec’s Liberal Party. Between 2008 and 2012, he served as Quebec’s health minister.

What’s the problem?

After losing to the Parti Quebecois in 2012, the former Liberal health minister returned to his medical practice for 19 months, taking on 1,500 patients.

So, what’s the problem?

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He collected $215,000 in premiums by earning a bonus of between $100 and $200 per patient.

Sorry, still don’t see the problem…

He was an elected MNA, and served as a health critic in the official opposition during that time, earning at least $103,443. The bonus was in addition to his salaries as a doctor and an MNA.

A man’s gotta eat, right?

Indeed. It certainly helped that the program that awards Quebec doctors a bonus for taking on extra patients was one that Bolduc created in November 2011 when he was health minister.

Is the scheme still in place?

When the Parti Quebecois came to power, the bonus system was capped, so that doctors could only add 150 extra vulnerable patients — but not before Bolduc took on his 1,500 patients.

But isn’t that unethical?

Well, former Quebec health ministers Claude Castonguay and Réjean Hébert think so. They are calling on Bolduc to resign and return the money.

But not everyone feels the same way.

Watch: Quebec’s Health Minister on Bolduc controversy

What does Bolduc have to say?

“I never missed a session of a parliamentary commission, a question period or a caucus meeting and I was always available to answer questions to the media. I probably worked 25-30 hours per week, every week [as a doctor]. I had the right to charge for this salary, and I did it.”

Is he going to resign then?

Bolduc said that he will reimburse the government if the Régie de l’assurance-maladie du Québec (RAMQ) tells him to, but he has no intention of resigning.

What about his patients?

We’d love to hear from you.

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