McKinsey: an independent public inquiry called for in the management of the pandemic | Elections Quebec 2022
François Legault maintains that the awarding of a mutual agreement contract to the firm, “justified” by the urgency of resolving the health crisis, was “a good idea”.
Like the other opposition parties, the PLQ defends the idea of an independent public inquiry into the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec.
Revelations on the The privileged access enjoyed by the private firm McKinsey during the pandemic demonstrates the importance of holding a public and independent inquiry into the management of COVID-19 in Quebec, according to opponents of François Legault. The outgoing government, which they accuse of lacking transparency, owes Quebecers answers, they insisted.
The Radio-Canada investigation into the outsourcing of the management of the health crisis revealed that the outgoing government did not say everything about the contract which linked it to the firm McKinsey. Called on to support it in the spring of 2020, the firm benefited from confidential information and was granted privileged access deemed unusual for a consulting firm, despite possible appearances of conflict. interests.
More than $6 million was paid to him by the Legault government for the development of deconfinement and economic recovery plans.
The fundamental question is why we , as Quebecers, were not informed of this? […] Why were these amounts not disclosed to the public? wondered liberal leader Dominique Anglade.
Questions that echo those that many Quebecers must ask themselves and to which the leader of the Coalition avenir Québec will have to answer, according to the Liberal leader.
At the x27;National Assembly, the opposition parties have repeated for months their calls for a public inquiry into the management of the health crisis. In light of the revelations about the consultancy's role, this review is all the more necessary, according to their leaders.
Thomas Gerbet's explanations
The investigation would obviously include everything that was given as a contract to McKinsey, said Ms. Anglade about the firm where she was a consultant from 2005 to 2012, before entering politics.
Of the same opinion, the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, believes that François Legault must explain the reasons which led him to delegate the management of the pandemic to McKinsey.
That the government use a private firm is not problematic in itself, according to Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, but the lack of transparency raises many questions, including that of the government. influence that the firm was able to exert on politics.
“McKinsey was leading very, very broadly in the management of the pandemic and this essential element was never disclosed [by the Legault government]. »
— Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois
Calling in turn for the holding of an independent public commission of inquiry which will x27;would dwell on the McKinsey contract, the co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois deemed it indecent that Mr. Legault authorized the privatization of the management of the pandemic at $35,000 a day.
He accused François Legault of having preferred to listen to private consultants from an international firm at a time when Quebecers mobilized on the ground in the midst of a health crisis were asking to be listened to.
Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is focusing his efforts on Montreal, where six Solidarity MPs were elected in 2018.
Leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec , Éric Duhaime, for his part called for the holding of a public and independent commission of inquiry into the firm McKinsey in the context of the health crisis.
Mr. Duhaime was surprised that the firm was able to obtain an amendment to its contract so as not to have to disclose to the government the other clients with which it does business. In France, a damning report tabled by the Senate highlighted the fact that McKinsey also had pharmaceutical giant Pfizer as a client, which supplied vaccines against COVID-19, the conservative leader recalled.
I've never seen that, that we amend contracts to prevent a firm with which we do business from disclosing whether there is an apparent conflict of interest with others customers, he said.
Mr. Duhaime lamented that Conservative MP Claire Samson, who is not running for re-election, was ridiculed by outgoing CAQ minister Simon Jolin-Barrette as she pressed the government to clarify the contract awarded. at McKinsey. Every time we asked these kinds of questions, we were accused of all the evils, he said.
“Today&# x27; today, we realize that we were damn right to ask questions. »
— Éric Duhaime, leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec
In the eyes of Liberal leader Dominique Anglade, this story is just another example of the management style by Mr. Legault. Like the files of the Horne Foundry and the third link between Quebec and Lévis, the case of the firm McKinsey demonstrates that Mr. Legault does not want to share information so as not to be challenged, she said. .
For François Legault, there is no doubt that using the private firm was the right thing to do. In the context [of the health crisis], there have been over-the-counter contracts, including this one. The urgency of the situation warranted quick action, he offered.
“It was not the politician who took this contract there; it is the senior civil service. But it was a good idea. »
— François Legault, leader of the Coalition avenir Québec
At the very beginning of the pandemic, Quebec did not have expertise like that which McKinsey has, according to the outgoing Prime Minister. The rates of its consultants are expensive, he agreed, but they are, according to him, up to the services offered.
François Legault maintained that the decision to award a private contract to the private firm McKinsey to help him manage the pandemic was “a good idea”.
I think the recommendations we received, including from McKinsey, helped us save lives, he said.
The CAQ chief added that the reports and contracts related to the pandemic are public or will be. According to him, there is nothing abnormal in Quebec doing an analysis of the management methods of other countries in order to draw out the best practices.
All smiles, Mr. Legault declared that he should rather receive congratulations.