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Opposition parties blame Simon Jolin-Barrette for dysfunctional national assembly

The National Assembly’s fall session comes to a close
WATCH: It's been a long fall at the National Assembly and while the end of the session is within grasp, MNAs from all parties are leaving unhappy. They say work is not getting done. As Global's Raquel Fletcher explains, opposition parties say the house leader is to blame for this dysfunctional parliament.

The end of the national assembly session has MNAs from all parties leaving unhappy — they say work is not getting done.

Opposition parties blame one person for a dysfunctional parliament: government house leader Simon Jolin-Barrette.

The government house leader is in charge of organizing legislative work and ensuring all parties cooperate to pass bills, but opposition MNAs say Jolin-Barrette is not doing his job.

READ MORE: Raucous week has some wondering if question period in Quebec is out of control

“It was better with the Liberals,” Pascal Bérubé, PQ Interim Leader.

“He’s so in a hurry to apply his policies that he’s forgetting that parliamentary debate is not a problem, it’s not an obstacle to a government governing,” said Quebec Solidaire Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

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Opposition parties say the Coaltion Avenir Québec (CAQ) government is rushing through bills and making a lot of mistakes. This year it’s had to backtrack on things like reforms to an immigration program which brought university students educated in Quebec to tears.

READ MORE: ‘It’s my mistake’: Simon Jolin-Barrette apologizes over failed immigration reform

“I hope Mr. Simon Jolin-Barrette is going to make a big wish to Santa Claus: give me some ears, give me some heart, and I will do better,” said PQ Martin Ouellet.

Premier François Legault said his government hasn’t been going too fast and showing a lack of humanity.

“No, I think when we had to make adjustments, we did it,” he said.

“We have to work better together and that’s what I want to do for 2020, but it’s the first time in 30 or 40 years that we have four parties at the national assembly and that’s a new dynamic,” Jolin-Barrette said.

But he says he — and his government — get the message.

“I learned that I have to consult more,” he said.

READ MORE: Quebec immigration minister says documents reportedly stolen from car have been returned

The national assembly will sit all day Saturday because the government has invoked closure to finish the work on a bill to freeze hydro rates, but Legault has a new year’s resolution to make the legislature run better. He’s given Jolin-Barrette the additional task of modernizing the legislature and they hope for cooperation of opposition parties.

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