Exchanges have become tenser in Question Period with some Quebec MNAs turning to personal attacks. The debate has been particularly heated over calls for an independent inquiry into pandemic deaths in long-term care homes.
Thursday, the Liberal leader Dominique Anglade broke down in tears when she explained her very personal reason for fighting so hard.
For weeks, opposition MNAs have risen in Question Period to demand the government account for thousands of tragic deaths in long-term care homes. They even formed a common front to demand an inquiry — similar to the Charbonneau Commission — but to investigate what happened in CHSLDs during the pandemic.
“We need to know. We were the jurisdiction in Canada that was the most impacted. We lost 10 000 people. I mean, they’re not dead for nothing,” Anglade told reporters.
The Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) says the Anglade has gone too far in her comments, and in her accusations that the government is hiding something. During Wednesday’s Question Period, she asked Premier François Legault how he could not have been aware that CHSLDs had become “slaughterhouses.”
Thursday, Liberal and CAQ house leaders appealed to the speaker to restore order in the National Assembly. Each accused the other of breaking the rules of conduct.
However, Anglade explained this issue isn’t just about politics for her — it’s personal.
“I know what it’s like to lose somebody you love in a terrible situation. What I can tell the people that lost family members is I can relate, and I know how it helps to know the truth,” she said.
She lost both her parents in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. She said reading the final report about what happened to them is what gave her closure.
“It’s not necessarily something you really want to find out. But when you do find out, you’re capable of moving on,” she said.
The government says an independent commission isn’t necessary because there are two other ongoing investigations: one by the coroner and another by the health commissioner.
Opposition parties say they do not have the same scope as a public commission would.