Between Dorion and Hivon | The press

(Quebec) Departures are sequential and not equal at the National Assembly. The contrast is even striking.

Posted at 5:00 am

Three weeks ago, Catherine Dorion announced she was leaving politics as if we were slamming the door.

The National Assembly, with its “rigid frameworks” that “complicate social change”, is “outdated”, declared the united MP after one mandate.

With a touch of irony, she said: “Let someone else have a chance to discover this wonderful world of institutional politics”.

Who would want to accept such an invitation? Already there is no hurry to get involved in politics…

In an under-the-radar decision, the Bureau of the National Assembly — the legislature’s governing body, made up of elected officials from all parties — has increased the bulk salary allotted to each MP by 27%, or $50,000, in order to increase their salary pay staff “to compensate for this [les] Address challenges of competitiveness and attractiveness, and allow for the hiring of additional staff where necessary”. Turnover will thus increase post-election from $187,000 to $237,000, for a total increase of just over $6 million.

Although her departure is a blow to the Parti Québécois, Véronique Hivon could help recruitment efforts with her speech, which is radically different from Catherine Dorion’s.

To all those who doubt political action, who believe that politics is fixed, I would like to say that, on the contrary, it is possible to set it in motion and evolve. So I encourage as many people as possible to take up this torch of change in domestic politics.

Veronique Hivon

These are not empty words: she demonstrated it brilliantly. Just think of the cross-party commission on medical euthanasia, an initiative launched with other MPs when she was still in opposition. Then when paying the End of Life Care Actas minister under the Marois government.

During the current term, she formed the most effective and combative trio in the National Assembly on the education front with Marwah Rizqy (PLQ) and Christine Labrie (QS). Like what it is possible to cooperate between opponents.

She also knew how to be perceptive. We will long remember her scathing outing against Marguerite Blais earlier this month when she held up a copy of Parliamentary procedure in Quebec and quoted the definition of “ministerial responsibility”. “I know the minister has a heart. That’s not what it is about. She attended 100 CHSLDs, she said it was important to the seniors. But what good is all this if we don’t live up to our responsibilities as ministers? Ouch.

His departure is therefore a loss for the National Assembly. Of course, it’s even more difficult for the PQ.

We’ve read obituaries of the sovereign party in recent years, and now the genre can be renewed with a formula for the occasion: the godmother of medical euthanasia exits a palliative care party.

But at the PQ, we will continue to cultivate hope by recalling that in 2019 Yves-François Blanchet, by his own admission, managed to “take the Bloc Québécois out of palliative care”.

The fact remains that the last few weeks have been difficult: another pillar gone, Sylvain Gaudreault, defeat at Marie-Victorin, Léger poll that gives him almost 9% in voting intentions… Nothing good ahead of the elections.

While Véronique Hivon made her announcement in Joliette, a PQ stronghold now clearly under threat, Premier François Legault was on the offensive, presenting his candidate in Rimouski, a race won by the PQ for three decades. The PQ has no candidate yet – there is a three-way battle for the nomination – but it already has a line of attack to defend its territory.

Pascal Bérubé admits that in February 2020, in the premises of the municipal building of the village of Price, the Caquiste candidate Maïté Blanchette-Vézina, former mayor of Sainte-Luce (at her seat in Matane-Matapédia), asked him if he was leaving the politics and expressed a burning desire to succeed him under the PQ banner. In addition Blanchette-Vézina is being paid by the CAQ as a mobilization agent for eastern Quebec until the elections — a legal practice and not an exception, François Legault’s party replies. Other candidates will be tempted to demand the same treatment…

The CAQ gets its own coin back. Last month she revealed that the Liberal candidate for Orford office, former mayor of Magog Vicki-May Hamm, has been courting her lately.

We can “evolve” politics, as Véronique Hivon says, but if one thing doesn’t seem to change, it’s party shopping.

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