Photo Credit: PC Photo/Jacques Boissinot
Photo Credit: PC Photo/Jacques Boissinot
The countdown has begun. The priorities have been announced and the projects are ambitious.
During an election-style speech, Premier François Legault laid the foundations to revolutionize public services and to reorganize the state.
- Major decentralization of the health system to the regions
- A thorough review of human resource management to end mandatory overtime
- Invitation to physicians to respect the agreement to take on patients; otherwise, the government may table legislation
- Continuation of the project to build seniors’ residences
- Mandate for the Health and Welfare Commissioner to give preference to home health care
- Important changes to the Director of Youth Protection pursuant to the tabling of the Laurent report
A digital state
- Improved data management to facilitate decision-making
- Acceleration of the digital transformation
- Creation of the Ministère de la Cybersécurité et du Numérique (Ministry of cybersecurity and digitalization)
- Digital citizenship to simplify how we interact with the State
- High speed Internet in all regions by the end of the present mandate
Education and family
- Launch of a plan to create 37,000 daycare spaces
- Commitment to ensure all parents have access to a subsidized space
- Increased tax credit for parents
- Graduation rate objective: 90 percent
- Additional professional internships
- Five additional hours per week at the high school level to help with homework and for extracurricular activities
- Significant investments in post-secondary institutions
- Aid for requalification in sectors with essential services
Implementation of a “New Economy”
- Support for businesses favouring the purchase of local products over imports
- Priority for initiatives to favour food self-sufficiency
- Support for private businesses to reach the goal of 100,000 qualified workers in the fields of information and engineering technology, and construction
- Plan to transfer thousands of public sector jobs to the regions
- 37.5 percent reduction of GHGs by 2030 compared to 1990 with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050
- Quebec conclusively renounces the extraction of hydrocarbons from its territory
- Creation of three global transportation pillars: electric transportation, battery management and green hydrogen
Culture and identity
- Replacement of the ethics and religious culture course with one on Quebec culture and citizenship
- Promotion and reinforcement of the French language
- Registration of French as Quebec’s official language in the constitution
François Legault wants to project into the future. We must understand that he’s looking much further than the present legislature.
It’s difficult to see anything more than a political or electoral exercise when the Premier prorogues a session in which work began last month.
Whether it’s the transformation of the health network, a shift in education, a new economic vision based on buying locally or the completion of the daycare network, the projects will take several years to complete. It’s understood that François Legault will require a second, and even a third term, to carry out all these reforms.
After setting aside its project to reform the Quebec state, which was central to the Coalition Avenir Québec, the CAQ returns to its roots by taking on a Quebec system which is falling apart if we are to believe the recent newspaper headlines. The labour shortage combined with the lessons learned from the pandemic validate the sweeping measures that the Legault government wants to put in place.
“The health sector is showing its limits,” acknowledged a clear-headed Premier Legault who promised a thorough decentralization of the health network. It will be interesting to track the progress of this file when you consider that the government has significantly centralized the decision-making process in the first three years of its mandate. This can remind us of the Barrette reform, which had the same objectives...
François Legault has maintained his nationalist approach on the economic front. He will launch a policy favouring the purchase of products made in Quebec.
We get the sense that the Premier wants to free himself from managing the pandemic as the government has done for the last 20 months. However, his intention to maintain a state of public health emergency until the end of the vaccination campaign for kids 5 to 11 years old illustrates how much the government enjoys governing by decree, unhindered by opposition parties.
Trudeau’s ministers who will be sworn in next week should be aware that Premier Legault is staying the course. We can expect difficult, heated discussions on exclusive jurisdictions, unconditional health transfers and immigration.
The speech held few surprises for those who closely follow politics and public affairs as the priorities seeped out on occasion. Premier Legault is using his strong position to dictate his priorities and setting the agenda at a time when he is completely dominating the polls and the opposition parties have paltry support.
Unlike the premiers that preceded him, François Legault did not need to deliver an inaugural speech to have a clean slate, break free of the past or to present himself in a new light. However, with 349 days to go before the next election, he could not pass on the opportunity to present his accomplishments and to engage in some self-promotion.
How this speech concerns you
For any organization that wants to negotiate with the government, this inaugural speech becomes the reference document to align with the new priorities.
It happens all too often that organizations try to sell the government products or services that it does not need. Others make demands for which there is little support. If a government has to choose between its priorities or yours, it will always choose its own.
Instead, we must read between the lines of the speech to uncover the government’s vision and to help it achieve its objectives.
This speech is loaded with new opportunities. To take advantage of them, consult the experts at NATIONAL Public Relations.