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PSPP calls on the CAQ not to procrastinate on young people’s screen time

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “We congratulate the Prime Minister for making progress, […] but we would not like to see the subject drag on while research has been done all over the world,” Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said on Monday.

Caroline Plante – The Canadian Press in Quebec

Published yesterday at 5:12 p.m. Updated at 12:12 a.m.

  • Quebec

François Legault's government must stop “procrastinating” and launch the work of its special commission on young people's screen time this summer, believes the Parti Québécois (PQ).

“We have already been mired in several months of denial. […] We will not waste another year. […] The health of young people is at stake,” said the leader of the PQ, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, in an interview on Monday.

Saturday, at the general council of his political training in Saint-Hyacinthe, Mr. Legault made a change of speech, describing social media as “virtual pushers”.

He had since the start of the year rejected and even ridiculed several proposals from the PQ, which was alarmed by the repercussions of screens on the health of young people.

Following a resolution passed by his party On Saturday, the Prime Minister proposed referring the subject to a special transpartisan commission. This would resemble the commission which looked into the thorny issue of medical assistance in dying, according to its vision of things.

Recommendations requested before January

However, transpartisan commissions “can last a year and a half”, worries Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon.

“We congratulate the Prime Minister for making progress, […] but we would not like to see the subject drag on when research has been done all over the world. »

“What we are specifically asking is that the commission be completed before the end of the next parliamentary session, that the recommendations also be completed,” said -il.

The PQ leader is calling for new measures in schools in time for the return of the holidays, in January 2025. According to him, the commission should not take more only four months to complete his work.

Taking inspiration from France

“Let us remember that in France, they held a commission of this nature in just one month and the changes were implemented immediately afterwards,” added Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon.

“If we had not procrastinated and laughed at the Parti Québécois when we brought up this subject at the beginning of the year, we could have aimed for changes for the start of the school year in September 2024,” he argued.

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In any case, the special commission will not have to do any “clearing”; “work has already been done, notably a 142-page report in France which is very credible, very thorough,” according to the leader of the PQ.

He proposes to bring these French experts, “who have already done all the work, […] as in Quebec, doctors Mélissa Généreux, Jean-François Chicoine and chief scientist Rémi Quirion have already done work.”

More and more studies show that the use of screens by young people can have harmful consequences on their physical and mental health.

In May 2023, the Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy, claimed that social media is the “driving force of a national crisis in youth mental health.”

In a letter he sent to the leaders of the opposition parties on Saturday, François Legault notes that “we are faced with two concomitant phenomena: […] screens and social media.”

He proposes that the commission study the screen time of young people, supervision measures, particularly at school, access to social networks, cyberbullying and access of minors to pornography on the Web.

“I believe that such an exercise would promote greater awareness among the general population,” he wrote .

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