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  • David Boudeweel-Lefebvre

Québec news in brief

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Now that the members of the National Assembly have deserted the halls of the National Assembly to return to their constituencies, the Québec Now team brings you a final roundup of this year's Québec news. Don't worry, our team will be back in force in 2024 to break down all the news that will rock the Belle Province in the year ahead. Happy reading, and Merry Christmas to all!

Public sector: an indefinite general strike looming

Despite the appointment of a mediator to try to break the deadlock, the Legault government and the Front commun syndical - which represents 420,000 public sector employees in the province - have been unable, at the time of writing, to reach an agreement on the renewal of collective agreements. After holding strikes lasting a few days in the fall, then a week in mid-December, the unions have warned that the next step could be a prolonged general strike, which could occur as early as January 2024.

Millions to welcome the Los Angeles Kings to Québec City

Barely a week after presenting his economic update and warning that the province's economic leeway had been significantly depleted, Minister Éric Girard announced a subsidy of between $5 and $7 million to host a Los Angeles Kings game at the Centre Vidéotron in Québec City. Far from having the desired effect, this announcement sparked an outcry from several political and economic players considering the bleak economic climate.

Tuition fees for foreign students: a revised governmental proposal

The Legault government is proposing a new tuition fee schedule for students from outside Québec. Canadian students would see their tuition fees increase by 33%, instead of the 100% previously proposed. The bill for international students would remain double as announced earlier this Fall. Sherbrooke's Bishop’s University is likely to be exempt from this reform.

Health reform adopted under a gag order

As expected, the Legault government has finally resorted to the exceptional gag order procedure to push through Health Minister Christian Dubé's imposing reform of the healthcare network (Bill 15). The Minister will now be able to focus on setting up the Agence Santé Québec, which will manage the operational aspects of the health network. This agency should be operational by as early as next spring.

Legislation: a busy session for parliamentarians

The Legault government took advantage of the last session to pass several bills, notably regarding modernizing the municipal taxation, the notarial profession, the sustainability and reparability of consumer goods, combating illegal tourist accommodations, and on lightening the regulatory burden and new expropriation rights for municipalities in particular. Other important pieces of legislation, including the one on housing will obviously have to wait until 2024 before being adopted.

Support for the CAQ plummets, the PQ benefits

Is Quebeckers' honeymoon with the CAQ officially over? Two recent polls showed a drop in support for François Legault's party, which now sits at 24%. The situation is of direct benefit to Paul Saint-Pierre-Plamondon and the Parti Québécois, which has jumped to the top of the polls, at 30%. While this may simply be a temporary mood swing on the part of Quebeckers, the fact remains that this is the first poll since François Legault came to power in 2018 to show the CAQ so far behind. The party will have to adapt and return to its essence to regain Quebeckers' favor after winning two convincing majorities

A new co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

Émilise Lessard-Therrien, former MNA for Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue, has been elected co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire, succeeding Manon Massé. The Témiscamingue farmer stressed that her appointment was intended to avoid the mistakes of the 2022 campaign, specifically to better represent and attract rural voters. The left-wing party chose to elect a rural candidate to shed its urban label and attempt to make gains outside of Montreal.


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