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Oppositions accuse Eric Girard of neglecting Quebec

Photo: Christinne Muschi La Presse canadienne Le ministre des Finances, Eric Girard, en conférence de presse à Longueuil, lundi

The opposition parties and the mayor of Quebec deplored Monday that the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, did not choose the capital for his traditional appearance on the eve of the tabling of his budget, scheduled for Tuesday.

The interim Liberal leader, Marc Tanguay, estimated Monday that the decision to opt for Longueuil, taken by Mr. Girard, demonstrates the little importance that the government of Prime Minister François Legault gives to the Quebec capital.

“Today, the CAQ is breaking tradition, it certainly sends the wrong signal,” he said in a written statement. This symbolic event should have been held in Quebec. This is indicative of the abandonment of Quebec by the CAQ, as we see in all issues, economy, transport, public services and others. »

PQ MP Pascal Paradis, responsible for issues in the Capitale-Nationale region, said that this decision sends the wrong signal.

“Quebec is not a “second metropolis”, it is the capital of Quebec,” he said in a written statement. Official events must be held there, period. Every time the government does the opposite, it is a loss for Quebec. »

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The mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand, recalled the provisions of a law adopted eight years ago by the liberal government of Philippe Couillard, according to which the government must reserve its major activities for Quebec capital.

“It’s a distraction that we should have avoided this week based on the simple principle of the law which says that the big moments in Quebec politics must take place in its capital,” he said in a statement written. It can't become a habit. »

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Mr. Legault had already been criticized, in 2022, for choosing to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal rather than in Quebec.

On Monday, neither the Liberals, nor the PQ, nor the mayor of Quebec alleged that the choice of Mr. Girard contravened the Act granting the status of national capital to the City of Quebec.

According to article 4 of the text, the territory of Quebec City constitutes “the privileged and priority location” for several activities, including “major political meetings”, “important negotiations” and the reception of foreign dignitaries.

According to Pascal Paradis, Eric Girard's choice of Longueuil adds to the government's inability to fulfill its promises for the Quebec region.

“Is the government so embarrassed by its record in the [region of] Capitale-Nationale that it seeks to avoid the parliamentary press by organizing the taking of footage before the budget speech ?” he asked.

Mr. Marchand affirmed that the needs of businesses and organizations in the region must find answers in the budget.

“The government's commitment to its capital is above all through an economic commitment that I want to see,” he said. We all understand that the economic context is difficult, but it is precisely at these times that the role of government is most important. »

In Longueuil, Mr. Girard announced that the budget would provide for an additional investment over five years of $24 million for the Breakfast Club and $9 million for the Cantine pour tous. Total funding for the Breakfast Club will thus increase to $75 million and that of the Cantine pour tous to $27 million.

With The Canadian Press

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