PQ hopes to pass key bills before summer break

QUEBEC CITY – The Parti Quebecois is hoping the third version of the Quebec Mining Act will pass in the House before the end of the parliamentary session.

After blocking two previous Liberal versions of the bill, the PQ now finds itself dependent on those same Liberals to pass its proposed changes.

“What we want is more transparency, more transformation, better discussion with all communities and better protection of the environment,” said Natural Resources Minister Martine Ouellet. “I hope they will say yes to this bill.”

It’s far from a done deal. Ouellet’s political adversaries have been rattling their sabres, threatening to block at least four major bills, including two key components of the PQ’s economic strategy: Bill 34 on the budget and Bill 36 creating an economic development bank.

“It’s a fiasco,” said Liberal opposition leader Jean-Marc Fournier. “They should stop repeating in the House and applauding themselves that they are so good in economy when there’s a consensus in Quebec there’s a big problem in Quebec about our economy.”

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Bill 14, the PQ’s language bill, is also in peril. It’s slated to be adopted in principle on Thursday, but the rest of the work is being pushed back to the fall.

The CAQ did not want to say on Wednesday whether they would vote to pass the language reform.

“We’ll need to have changes before answering your question about will we vote for or against, we want to see the amendments,” said CAQ leader François Legault.

Also being pushed back is the PQ’s proposed “Charter of Quebec Values”. Amir Khadir observed that for the most part, the PQ has been incapable of rallying the opposition. “It’s a very weak, undecided, hesitant government because there is a lack of leadership, a lack of vision,” Khadir told reporters.

“The opposition is very closed, very very closed,” remarked Economic Development Minister Élaine Zakaïb. “But I’m not throwing in the towel just yet.”

Members of the National Assembly break for summer on June 14th.

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