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Legault wants a transpartisan commission on social networks, these “virtual pushers”

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Prime Minister François Legault immediately said he was “open” to the possibility of establishing a digital majority in Quebec. “We are going to have debates: there are pros, there are cons. When we are there – if we make that decision – we will actually look at how we can do that legally,” he said.

A few weeks after mocking the idea of ​​a minimum age for accessing social networks, the Prime Minister, François Legault, proposed on Saturday a special transpartisan parliamentary commission on the impacts of screens and social networks , describing the latter as “ virtual pushers”.

“The way social networks work, it’s about making readers addicted. So, it’s a bit like they’re pushersvirtual, like drugs, like substances, and it’s worrying. It scares me, it creates significant mental health problems among young people,” said the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec upon his arrival at his party’s general council in Saint-Hyacinthe.

At the end of the day, he sent letters to the leaders of the opposition parties to propose that they set up a special, transpartisan parliamentary commission on the impacts of screens and social networks on the health and development of young people.

“We have a huge social problem on our hands. […] We need to do a major reflection exercise. As we did for the end of life, but this time, for our young people,” said Mr. Legault in his speech to the activists.

The first Minister proposed that the commission focus in particular on screen time, supervision measures at school and on the Web, cyberbullying and even access to social networks and pornography on the Web .

Change of course for Legault

In plenary, the CAQ activists had just diluted a proposal from the CAQ Succession Commission, which initially aimed to establish a “digital majority at 16 to open an account on social networks”. The activists ultimately agreed to “ask the government to study in a parliamentary committee the establishment of a numerical majority for minors at an age to be determined for opening an account on social networks “.

Mr. Legault's openness about the supervision of social networks constitutes a change of direction, since he had rejected this idea at the beginning of May. “Did I just hear the leader of the Parti Québécois tell us: “we should ban social media for children under 14 ?” Is that what he just said? ? Did I hear correctly ?”, he then said.

The leader of the PQ, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, was coming to recall that France requires, to open an account on social networks, the authorization of parents of children under 15 years old. “In Florida, social networks are banned for those under 14,” he also pointed out.

A recent survey conducted by the Léger firm on behalf of the media Les As de l'info revealed that a quarter of eight-year-old children in Quebec have at least one account on a social network, such as YouTube, Snapchat or TikTok . After the age of 12, this proportion reaches 84%.

“The time is serious”

François Legault also tried to impose the theme of immigration, with the hope that it would percolate among the Quebec population.

« The explosion of temporary immigrants accepted by the federal government affects services to Quebecers. Our services are overwhelmed. Our language is in decline. This is a serious time for our nation,” he said.

“We cannot blame immigrants for coming here to have a better life,” he added, emphasizing that Quebecers will “always be welcoming.” “The problem is numbers,” he stressed, recalling that 560,000 non-permanent residents were in Quebec at the turn of 2024.

His government recently explained the delays in 4-year-old kindergartens, the tabling of a new housing bill and the decline of French (among other things) by the massive arrival of temporary immigrants in Quebec.

“Quebecers must see that this is an emergency,” insisted the Prime Minister. And “the federal government must feel the sense of urgency of Quebecers. »

Mr. Legault said he was putting “pressure on the federal government to act quickly, because it has an impact on French, on our services. » The Prime Minister was sorry to see that the question of immigration was not “the main issue” of the last federal election. He recently suggested that he could again try to influence the vote of Quebecers in the next federal election, by banking on the party that “will best defend the interests of Quebecers”.

The CAQ leader closed his speech by launching an arrow at the Parti Québécois, which sits at the top of the polls. “There are still some who dream of a referendum on sovereignty. It’s a noble, legitimate project,” he argued. “But now is not the time to play dice with our nation’s future. Now is not the time to divide Quebecers over a referendum on sovereignty. It’s time to bring Quebecers together to move the federal government,” he argued.

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