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Duranceau should make amends and apologize, according to the PQ

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The Minister responsible for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, at the National Assembly, in September 2023

Patrice Bergeron – The Canadian Press in Quebec

Published yesterday at 1:50 p.m. Updated yesterday at 6:04 p.m.

  • Quebec

Splattered by a controversy over an email sent by her team, the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, should make “honorable amends”, present an apology and take responsibility, demanded the Party Québécois (PQ) Monday.

Last week, the minister's office responded to a repeated request from The Canadian Press with an internal email intended for another member of the staff: “Relaunch. I ghoste again ? Otherwise, general response which does not respond to say that Housing is a priority for our government ? »< /p>

The familiar verb “ghoster” comes from the English “to ghost“, which means deliberately ignoring messages and calls.

A government communications official later admitted that this was a mistake and that staff did not know not sure how to handle the request for information from The Canadian Press, which specifically related to the recognition or not of the right to housing as a fundamental right.

The minister, who was often criticized in the news in recent months, then tried to explain herself on the X platform. “Responding to journalists is part of our everyday work. We take this exercise very seriously. »

“Revealing awkwardness”

“I think it’s a lack of respect” from the cabinet to want to ignore the journalists’ requests, “a rather revealing clumsiness,” said PQ MP Joël Arseneau, in an interview with The Canadian Press on Monday.

The minister “sends a message to say nothing by saying that they take seriously the role of informing the media and the population, but we have proof of the opposite which has just been made,” he continued.

The confession contained in the internal message, that is to say a response “which does not respond”, is appalling, according to him.

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  • France-Élaine Duranceau's cabinet openly ignores journalists' requests

“This is low-level political communication,” he said, adding that the minister took refuge in “wooden language” rather than recognizing the error of her office and answering questions. of substance.

“The minister did not apologize, did not make honorable amends, did not say: “I take responsibility, we will do better in the future.”

Human rights

The request to the minister's office was part of a broader intelligence gathering: The Canadian Press asked each province if they agreed with the federal housing advocate that housing is a human right, and whether she intended to pass legislation guaranteeing that right.

Most provinces do not did not answer the questions directly, providing a long list of initiatives launched to address the brewing housing crisis.

Prince Edward Island responded with a link to its Residential Tenancies Act, the first line of which acknowledges that Canada has signed a United Nations treaty affirming that housing is a human right – although critics point out that there is nothing in the provincial law which subsequently supports this right.

The Legault government therefore responded to the request by sending an email where the interlocutor offers a “general response” to say that “Housing is a priority for our government”.

The minister, for her part, mentioned in his message on the bottom line,” concluded Mr. Arseneau.

He recalled that during the debates on the adoption of Bill 31 on housing, he had often questioned the minister on the recognition of the right to housing, in vain.

The implementation of this piece of legislation was stormy. The minister was tasked with reforming tenant protection rules and the construction of social housing. Coming from the world of real estate brokers, she reduced the possibilities of lease assignment and her statements could be interpreted as a lack of sensitivity towards tenants.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116