Quebec politicians back to work Tuesday under new CAQ government
The 42nd legislature of Quebec’s National Assembly will be the first with a Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government.
Politicians will sit for the next two weeks in a mini-session before the Christmas break, beginning Tuesday afternoon.
The government says it will start tackling its campaign promises, like raising the legal age of cannabis to 21 and lowering school board taxes so that property owners pay the same rate across the province.
The Liberal Opposition is concerned the new government has made too many promises and will have trouble balancing its budget.
“The government promised many things on public infrastructure spending and at the same time, they said they would not raise the overall level of public investment. Well, that doesn’t work out,” said Liberal finance critic Carlos Leitao.
Some groups say the government’s top priority needs to be re-investing in public services.
The CAQ has promised to slash 5,000 public sector jobs. The SPGQ (Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec), a union representing specialized government workers says its members are already overworked to the point they worry about making mistakes on the job.
“That they could leave people in prison that should not have been detained this weekend — because they are probation officers.
Or they were so rushed to complete a file that maybe a delinquent is outside and threatening the security of their neighbours,” said Richard Perron, SPGQ president.
There will now be three opposition parties holding the government to account on both cost-cutting measures and over-spending.
Last week, all parties agreed to give Québec Solidaire and the Parti Québécois official status even though they only have 10 seats each when normally they would need 12.
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