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François Legault associates the monitoring committee of the Laurent Commission with the PQ

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press François Legault reiterated that former Commissioner Régine Laurent is satisfied with the government's progress.

Katrine Desautels – The Canadian Press

Published yesterday at 12:00 a.m. Updated yesterday at 2:52 p.m.

  • Quebec

Prime Minister François Legault does not seem to want to apologize to the Laurent Commission monitoring committee, as Québec solidaire (QS) asks him. On Thursday morning, he associated this committee with the Parti Québécois.

“There is no official monitoring committee,” he said. Neither I, nor the minister, nor Régine Laurent, have set up a monitoring committee. These are people who have proclaimed themselves a monitoring committee, including Martine Desjardins and Camil Bouchard who are, as we know, close to the Parti Québécois. »

Mr. Legault reiterated that former Commissioner Régine Laurent is satisfied with the government's progress, based on her open letter published in the media earlier this week. “I trust Régine Laurent,” he repeats.

After criticism from the monitoring committee of the Laurent Commission on the actions of the government in terms of youth protection, Mr. Legault discredited the work of this committee on Wednesday. Québec solidaire asks him to apologize.

The Special Commission on the Rights of Children and Youth Protection (CSDEPJ) published Wednesday morning its analysis of the progress of the government's actions to implement the recommendations of the Laurent report, tabled three years ago.

The committee reported slowness, inconsistencies and a lack of transparency regarding the government's actions in implementing the courses of action resulting from the Laurent report.

According to the committee, only one recommendation has been completed by the Department of Health and Human Services and 30% of the sub-recommendations are in progress. The government claims for its part that 42% of sub-recommendations are in progress or completed.

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  • François Legault discredits the Laurent Commission monitoring committee

Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, QS spokesperson for social services, believes that Mr. Legault is “visibly embarrassed by the grade he received in his own report card”.

At a press briefing Thursday morning, Mr. Cliche-Rivard stressed that the committee that Mr. Legault attacked on Wednesday is made up of around twenty experts. “They are experts who follow our little ones, and today, I would understand them being furious,” he blurted.

“With all respect I owe to the Prime Minister, I do not find that what he said yesterday at the Salon Bleu does honor to his office,” lamented the supportive MP.

Mr. Cliche-Rivard also highlighted that this week marks five years since the death of the little girl from Granby and that the deputies unanimously adopted a motion on Tuesday to mark this sad anniversary. “We said to ourselves: “Never again.” And, the next day, the day after that, the [prime minister]) stands up in the House to attack the credibility of a committee of experts who defend the most vulnerable children in our society,” he denounced.

Different visions of the situation

Québec solidaire asked the Prime Minister in the House to apologize and recognize that he went too far.

< p>During the question period, Mr. Cliche-Rivard recalled that the Minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant, had welcomed the creation of the committee in 2022. “Everything that can and must be done in the interest of children is welcome,” declared Mr. Cliche-Rivard, quoting Minister Carmant at the time.

The supportive MP believes that Mr. Legault's denigration of the committee “lacks consideration for this important group of experts”.

Minister Carmant also stressed that the committee was not appointed by the government. “The person that the Prime Minister has mandated […] is me, as elected official (and) minister responsible for Social Services, and I ensure every day that we move forward,” said Mr. Carmant.

He explained that the 251 sub-recommendations of the Laurent report were divided into three phases, the first focusing on prevention. Phase two, “the one we are currently in”, consists of modifying the practices of the DYP, appointing a commissioner for the well-being and rights of children and improving training. The third phase concerns the interministerial process, he said.

Mr. Cliche-Rivard believes the government is not doing enough. He denounced that “children are placed in premises that resemble prison cells” and that children are assaulted in living environments. He was referring in particular to the recent scandal according to which a foster father assaulted a little girl from the DPJ. “But obviously the minister prefers to say that the committee is wrong,” Mr. Cliche-Rivard disapproved.

Mr. Carmant responded by asking his opponent if he thinks that Régine Laurent is on the wrong track. He indicated that the ministry is working on the establishment of a commissioner for the well-being and rights of children. This measure is part of Bill 37 which is currently on hold while the ministry consults the First Nations.

Minister Carmant shared his intention to meet the monitoring committee. Mr. Cliche-Rivard believes that Mr. Legault should join this meeting to hear what the experts have to say.

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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