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Westmount-Saint-Louis MNA Jennifer Maccarone denounces former Liberal government’s cuts

Premier Philippe Couillard, centre, introduces new Liberal party candidate for Westmount - St-Louis Jennifer Maccarone, left. (Global News / Phil Carpenter).
Premier Philippe Couillard, centre, introduces new Liberal party candidate for Westmount - St-Louis Jennifer Maccarone, left. (Global News / Phil Carpenter).

Liberal MNA for Westmount-Saint-Louis Jennifer Maccarone surprised many Tuesday evening when she criticized “cuts” made to Quebec’s education system that were imposed by the former Liberal government.

Maccarone was participating in the parliamentary commission in charge of studying Bill 3, which aims to establish a single school tax rate. She was sitting next to the Liberal’s former finance minister, Carlos Leitao.

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Before expressing her opposition to the bill, Maccarone introduced herself as a newly elected member of the National Assembly and explained she was a former president of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA). She then qualified the proposal as unfair because it would take revenue from school boards.

She reminded those in the room that school boards recently went through cuts imposed by the former Liberal government.

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“My position then was, I received cuts and those cuts had a real impact on the services school boards offered in our schools, such as libraries, access to transportation,” she said.

“We’re no longer subsidizing transport after school hours. There is an impact on graduation rates, especially for boys. There’s an impact on the dropout rate. To take more money away from this network, I’m scared,” Maccarone said.

In 2015, Philippe Couillard’s Liberal government imposed austerity measures to achieve a balanced budget.

However, Quebec Liberals have always denied such measures. They say they slowed down expenses.

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In January, the MNA for Saint-Laurent Marwah Rizqy stirred controversy by suggesting her team apologize to the people of Quebec for the years of budgetary austerity imposed under Couillard’s government.

— Translated from French Canadian Press