Coronavirus: Quebec MNAs make virtual return to National Assembly to question ministers

Coronavirus: Quebec government pushing to reopen schools, economy
WATCH: After weeks of self-isolation and social distancing, the government’s plan to gradually re-open schools and the economy is being met with some resistance. But leading by example, ministers made their virtual return to the National Assembly on Friday. Global’s Raquel Fletcher has more.

In Quebec, opposition MNAs plan to delve into COVID-19-related topics with the province’s economy and labour ministers on Friday during the first two virtual debates organized by the National Assembly.

Throughout the novel coronavirus crisis, only journalists have been able to publicly ask Premier François Legault and Health Minister Danielle McCann questions. The provincial legislature is currently closed to MNAs.

READ MORE: Quebec’s health-care network missing 9,500 workers amid coronavirus crisis, premier says

The hour-long daily press conference with Legault has satisfied Quebec’s opposition parties, which demanded — and were eventually granted — their request for a virtual resumption of the National Assembly.

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The parties have agreed on periods of exchange with ministers through virtual parliamentary committees to be held from April 24 to May 1.

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On Friday afternoon, elected officials will log on to their computers to meet with Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon followed by a virtual meeting with Labour Minister Jean Boulet.

READ MORE: Quebec’s National Assembly to remain closed until May 5 due to coronavirus pandemic

The exchanges will be broadcast on the National Assembly’s television channel and online.

Liberal MNA Dominique Anglade said the tone will be cordial. She added that the goal is not to attack ministers, but instead to obtain the best possible answers to enlighten the public during the crisis.

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