Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Quebec Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, responds to the opposition during question period in the National Assembly on September 28.
The tabling this week of amendments which will broaden the scope of its housing bill should not be seen as a sign of a lack of preparation on its part, the Minister responsible for Housing said on Tuesday , France-Élaine Duranceau.
She defended her decision to suspend the study of Bill 31 last week, which had surprised the opposition.
In a brief exchange with the parliamentary press, the minister explained that her modifications aimed to broaden the scope of the legislative text tabled in June. “It’s a lot of amendments, and it’s very normal in the context,” she assured. At the beginning, it was articles of law that affected my sandbox. There, I extended to other ministries, it took longer. »
- Duranceau remains unwavering on lease transfers
- For Duranceau, giving up his lease amounts to donating “other people's property”
- Demonstrations in several regions of Quebec against Bill 31
< p>In June, the bill affected the Société d'habitation du Québec, the Administrative Housing Tribunal and the Civil Code in relation to tenants and landlords, said the minister. “The amendments widen the sandboxes that are affected,” she said.
“Very well prepared”
Ms. Duranceau justified her way of proceeding by her eagerness to guarantee the study of her bill during the fall parliamentary calendar. “I wanted to file in June because I wanted to be in the queue for it to be heard in the fall. And so that we can intervene for people who are in a situation of eviction, it is important that, quickly, these measures are passed to protect these people. »
“The bill was very well prepared,” she stressed.
Last week, Québec solidaire was surprised that 24 of the 38 articles of the bill had to be rewritten. According to information from Devoir, the number of amendments would however be less than 10.
Bill 31 aroused controversy due to the government's intention to end to lease transfers. The details of the changes expected this week are not yet known.
The minister is hopeful that work on Bill 31 will be able to resume on Thursday, once the amendments have been approved by the Council of Ministers on Wednesday. “The sandboxes are widened, everyone has their say, it’s just in the normal course of things,” she repeated.
In June, a few days after tabling her bill, Ms. Duranceau opened the door to an amendment allowing CEGEP student residences to have access to municipal tax credits, as is already the case for universities.
Improvisation, says the opposition
Tuesday, in the chamber, the liberal opposition accused Ms. Duranceau of improvisation with his bill. “I tabled four amendments,” said Liberal MP Virginie Dufour. The minister, her people have not even gone to the Council of Ministers yet. Listen, the government has demonstrated a blatant lack of preparation, like its housing bill. »
The co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, took advantage of the situation to invite the government to amend the bill and preserve the right to transfer a lease. “We waited five years for them to finally come to us with a housing bill, five years, and now they don’t even know where they are going. They are rewriting it completely, on the corner of the table, at the last minute, he said. Confusion, improvisation, incompetence in matters of housing. »
In his response, Prime Minister François Legault affirmed that the issue is more complex to resolve than Mr. Nadeau-Dubois believes. “We cannot, as Québec solidaire does, say: “Ah! If we settle the lease transfers, we will solve the entire housing crisis!” We have to help families, we have to have a balance between what we give in terms of assistance to tenants, but also the incentives we give to owners to build more housing. »