The opposition parties did not hide their astonishment Wednesday at the tabling of a voluminous bill to revive the Quebec economy that the Legault government wants to adopt in a week and a half. The bill of President of the Treasury Board, Christian Dubé, contains measures to accelerate infrastructure projects and would extend the state of health emergency until the government decides to end it.
“We have in front of us, some would say a mammoth, some would say an omnibus, I would say it’s all an omnibus,” noted Liberal House Leader Marc Tanguay. We’re talking about expropriation, the environment, streamlined procedures, public health law, state of emergency, reduced accountability, retroactivity and so on. There are several chapters. “
“The bill before us that we could hear from the explanatory notes is what we could roughly call a stimulus omnibus,” said the co-spokesperson and parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire. , Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. It is a bill that will have consequences on several existing laws in Quebec, on several regulations, on several procedures. It’s not nothing, it’s not trivial. “
PQ parliamentary leader Martin Ouellet said he was “surprised” to see the extent of it. “We are well aware to the Parti Québécois that we are in a pandemic and that Quebec expects us and its parliamentarians to offer solutions, yes, to the current situation, but lasting solutions also for a more certain future for Quebeckers. “
Bill 61 gives the government the power to designate infrastructure projects to be accelerated. It contains a list of 202 projects that would promote Québec’s economic recovery, such as the construction of Homes for the Elderly, CHSLDs, hospitals, elementary or secondary schools, road repairs and public transport projects. The metropolitan public transportation network in Montreal is one of them.
Additions of other projects to this list should either increase medical self-sufficiency or food autonomy in Quebec. The acceleration measures include a lighter expropriation procedure and would lift the requirement for an environmental assessment.
The bill would also extend the state of health emergency indefinitely, until the government decides to end it.
“The importance of passing this bill by the end of the session is that the work will suspend for a period of about three months until September 15,” argued the government House leader. , Simon Jolin-Barrette. “If we want to make sure that Quebeckers can work, to have measures that will make sure to revive the economy, there is still an emergency. “
The three opposition parties have requested consultations to hear all the groups that would be affected by these numerous changes, which Mr. Simon Jolin-Barrette has undertaken to organize.
Other details will follow.