Spread the love

Quebec's chief scientist cancels his presence at a CAQ partisan event

Photo: Annik MH de Carufel Archives Le Devoir Quebec's chief scientist, Rémi Quirion, in 2021

Quebec's chief scientist, Rémi Quirion, cancels his participation in the general council of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), which raised questions among certain political parties.

The public office holder, who appeared until Wednesday noon on the agenda of the partisan rally scheduled for May 25, finally asked François Legault's party to remove his name. “He has other commitments on May 25 and 26,” wrote to Devoir the communications advisor of the Quebec Research Funds, Marie-Claude Dion.

Earlier Wednesday, Québec solidaire (QS) and the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) took the liberty of formulating certain criticisms regarding the planned participation of Mr. Quirion in a panel on “the effects of social media on young people” during the CAQ partisan event.

In a written statement, the solidarity deputy Vincent Marissal, spokesperson for ethics, had in fact invited Mr. Quirion to “reconsider his decision very seriously”. “We are going to let the CAQ manage its general council, but Mr. Quirion occupies a position which appears to us to be incompatible with this type of commitment,” he said.

“It’s a public service. Normally, there is no partisanship for this type of function. I don't see why the CAQ would appropriate it,” thundered the leader of the PCQ, Éric Duhaime, on the sidelines of a press conference on private health care, Wednesday morning.

Asked about this, his office affirmed that Mr. Quirion’s intervention was “not partisan.” “The chief scientist uses different forums to talk about the importance of science in decision-making. It should be noted that, in this case, her participation was part of a panel also bringing together a researcher and an entrepreneur, and whose subject relates to an important societal concern,” wrote Ms. Dion in her email to Duty.

“We didn’t see a problem”

Contacted on Wednesday, the general director of the CAQ, Brigitte Legault, also wanted to justify the decision to invite Mr. Quirion. “We didn’t see a problem,” she said.

“It’s been several months since we approached Mr. Quirion, at the beginning of establishing the programming. Because we wanted an expert who had positioned himself, who had done studies, who still had something important to bring to the discussion on social media — the whole health aspect in relation to children, to development brain and all that,” she added.

Faced with criticism from QS and the PCQ, Ms. Legault maintained that Mr. Quirion was coming “as an expert” and encouraged them to issue an invitation in turn. “Mr. Quirion is the chief scientist of all Quebecers. He came on a panel to answer questions from citizens, who, yes, have a CAQ membership card, but they are still citizens who want to learn more about the research he has carried out,” he said. -she said.

The Liberal Party of Quebec and the Parti Québécois have not commented on the situation.

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