National Assembly of Quebec Mr. Zanetti sparked scandal by denouncing the nationalism of the CAQ which according to him does not live up to expectations. He inflated a blue balloon and then let it go so that it deflated.
The government asked for a sanction and the official opposition for an apology from Québec Solidaire (QS) on Thursday after MP Sol Zanetti inflated and deflated a balloon during the question period in order to illustrate the collapse of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ).
The Liberal MP Frantz Benjamin, who chaired the work in place of Nathalie Roy, clearly lost control of the House and had to suspend the work for long minutes.
For his part, Mr. Zanetti in no way repented of his action.
It was he who sparked the scandal by denouncing the nationalism of the CAQ which, according to him, does not live up to expectations in terms of the repatriation of powers in culture.
The member for Jean-Lesage inflated a blue balloon, commonly called a “balloune”, and then released it so that it deflated. “There are not many words that can describe the deflation of CAQ nationalism, but perhaps this image could help,” he then declared, while the elected officials of his political party laughed.
“You know that what you have just done is not permitted,” warned President Frantz Benjamin, recalling that objects of this kind cannot be used in the Chamber.
It is while the government's parliamentary leader, Simon Jolin-Barrette, jumped to demand tougher action against the QS MP.
Mr. Benjamin maintained that he had rendered his decision and issued his call to order, which displeased Mr. Jolin-Barrette. “You can do more than remind people to respect decorum,” denounced the latter. “The current situation requires greater action from the presidency. […] Taking such actions in this chamber is completely unacceptable, inadmissible, and we ask you to further sanction the member. »
“I perhaps invite the member for Jean-Lesage, if he is tired of his work here, to enroll in theater, I think he has a lot of talent,” added the Minister of Culture, Mathieu Lacombe. “Here and there, we are carrying out serious issues, which deserve more than bad theater like that, throwing balloons in this Assembly. »
Faced with the disorder, the president had to interrupt the question period — and, as a result, its television broadcast — for a good fifteen minutes. It is very rare for work to be interrupted in the middle of question period for this long due to inter-party friction.
The work resumed, but the president did not accept the government leader's proposal to sanction the QS MP.
Shortly after, the interim leader of the official opposition, Marc Tanguay, made a release on the X network (formerly Twitter). “The gesture made by Sol Zanetti at the Salon Bleu is unacceptable within our institution, our National Assembly. [Solidarity parliamentary leader] Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois must apologize on behalf of his political party. »
Also through X, Mr. Zanetti for his part said that the president did not ask him to apologize, but added that he had a thought for him, “ who had to deal with the commotion my gesture caused during his first question period.” It was in fact the first time that Mr. Benjamin, third vice-president of the Assembly, ascended the throne to lead the question period. He usually takes over the chair during the motions period without notice.