Quebec

By Ford, Sylvia; Pinault-Reid, Stephanie | Canadian Parliamentary Review, Winter 2017 | Go to article overview

Quebec


Ford, Sylvia, Pinault-Reid, Stephanie, Canadian Parliamentary Review


National Assembly Proceedings

Visit of Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

The President of the National Assembly, Jacques Chagnon, welcomed the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, to the National Assembly on September 21. At the invitation of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Ms. Wynne addressed the Quebec parliamentarians in the House. This was the first time that the head of government of a Canadian province took the floor in the Quebec National Assembly Chamber.

Ms. Wynne was in the national capital for the seventh joint meeting of the Cabinet ministers of both governments. Several topics of common interest were addressed during this meeting, which took place in Quebec City on September 22.

New Sergeant-at-Arms at the National Assembly

Work in the Blue Room resumed on September 19, 2017, with a first. Indeed, Catherine Durepos, Coordinator of the Sittings Service of the General Directorate for Parliamentary Affairs, was asked to take on the duties of Sergeant-at-Arms in addition to her current tasks. She thus became the first woman to hold this position in Quebec.

Furthermore, the Sergeant-at-Arms' duties will now be shared with an Associate Sergeant-at-Arms and a Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms. Daniel Lavoie, Assistant Director of Security, will act as Associate Sergeant-at-Arms for security. He will be in charge of the "security" component that has traditionally been under the responsibility of the Sergeant-at-Arms. Gilles Jourdain will continue carrying out the duties of Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms in close collaboration with Ms. Durepos.

Bills Passed

Since the resumption of proceedings, the National Assembly has passed Bill 121, An Act to increase the autonomy and powers of Ville de Montreal, the metropolis of Quebec, which, among other things, changes the title of the Charter of Ville de Montreal to "Charter of Ville de Montreal, Metropolis of Quebec," as well as Bill 137, An Act respecting the Reseau electrique metropolitain, whose purpose is to facilitate the construction and operation of a new shared transportation infrastructure publicly announced as the "Reseau electrique metropolitain."

Rulings and Directives from the Chair

On September 27, 2017, the President of the Assembly, Mr. Chagnon, gave a ruling following requests for an urgent debate from the Second Opposition Group House Leader and from the Official Opposition House Leader. These requests involved the US Department of Commerce's decision to impose preliminary countervailing duties bordering on 220 per cent on Bombardier C Series aircraft.

The Chair indicated that to determine whether a request for an urgent debate is receivable, the Chair must base its decision on the criteria set out in the Standing Orders and established by jurisprudence. To be receivable, a request for an urgent debate must concern a specific, important matter that falls under the Assembly's jurisdiction and that concerns a sudden, acute crisis or the worsening of such a crisis. The Chair must also take into consideration whether the matter has been discussed in other circumstances and whether there will be upcoming opportunities to do so.

In this case, the US Department of Commerce's decision to impose preliminary countervailing duties bordering on 220 per cent on Bombardier C Series aircraft constitutes a specific, important matter that falls under the Assembly's jurisdiction. This decision could have significant repercussions for the Quebec economy. It is a situation in which everyone, particularly the parliamentarians, has a keen interest.

Given the decision's importance, its potential consequences and the fact that the public is entitled to expect a reaction from Quebec's elected officials, the Chair indicated that it considered that the Members must be allowed to express their views on this subject and that, as we were just beginning the sessional period, we would have ample time for the Government's legislative agenda. …

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