In addition to the private CHSLD Herron, the CHSLD Ste-Dorothée in Laval (photo), the residences Floralies in Lasalle, the centre of accommodation of Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, to Montreal and the CHSLD Laflèche in Shawinigan are sorely tested by the crisis.
April 13, 2020 18h12
Updated at 21h39
Fate of the elderly: the opposition demands the revival of the work of the parliament
The Canadian Press
For a rare time on Monday, the official opposition has dared to question the work of the government Legault in times of health crisis. It now requires a resumption of parliament as early as next week.
Until then, the Quebec liberal Party (QLP) was always kept to criticize the government caquiste for its management of the crisis of the COVID-19.
But before “the horror” experienced by the residents of the CHSLD-private Herron, Dorval, the leader of the official opposition, Pierre Arcand, has chosen to intervene on Monday by publishing an open letter.
The letter, which The canadian Press has obtained a copy which appears after an Easter weekend where the liberals have held two meetings, entitled “concerns for several weeks“.
“We believe that there must be greater transparency as to the condition of the premises for each of the NURSING homes, whether public or private, can we read there. This information will give the accurate time to the public.”
A police investigation has recently been triggered regarding the situation at the CHSLD Herron, where no less than 31 deaths were recorded out of a total of 150 residents from the 13 march.
The CHSLD Ste-Dorothée, Laval residences Floralies in Lasalle, the centre of accommodation of Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, to Montreal and the CHSLD Laflèche in Shawinigan are also severely hit by the crisis.
Although pressed with questions about this, Mr. Legault has still not unveiled the accurate picture of the situation in each of the 2,600 institutions for the elderly of the province.
In an interview with The canadian Press on Monday, Mr. Arcand has demanded that the prime minister be accountable to the national Assembly.
He said, questioning in particular on the decision to release 8000 beds in the hospitals, so that it is in the residences for elderly people that the worst has happened.
The three opposition united
In a letter unveiled in the evening on Monday, the three leaders of the opposition in the national Assembly calling for the resumption of parliament next week.
If it is not possible to sit in Quebec, they require that a virtual parliament would allow the elected officials to do their job and question the government as early as next week.
The letter of three pages is addressed to the leader of the government, Simon Jolin-Barrette, and the president of the national Assembly, François Paradis.
In this letter, the opposition recall that they have given their agreement, the 17 march, to a suspension of the work until 21 April.
“A month later, while emerging societal debates are important, it seems essential to revive the democratic debate,” can it be read as an introduction.
It was noted that the next weeks are going to require the making “crucial decisions” that will determine the future of Quebec. We cite in particular the care and the accommodation conditions of the elderly; reinforcements to support the health care staff; how to restart the economy; how to deal with the economic downturn; and how to address the deficit created.
“The crisis of the COVID-19 is already more than a health crisis, it is double of an economic crisis and social challenges that need political solutions”, are the leaders.
They insist on the importance of the diversity of points of view to advance thinking.
“In these uncertain times, no party or no leader can claim to hold the single truth”, they write.
The opposition say that they propose a virtual model reduced to ensure that the government is subject to accountability before the resumption of the activities in the parliament.
They suggest four sessions of virtual exchanges public a few hours with the key ministers concerned by the crisis.
In an interview with The canadian Press, the leader of the opposition liberal Pierre Arcand insists on the importance to carry out a collective reflection on the way in which Québec wishes to treat its elders.
Legault does not want to debate with the opposition
The prime minister has cleared the request of Mr. Arcand’s press conference on Monday. He indicated that he had no intention to debate with the opposition parties during the crisis of the COVID-19.
He said hold two telephone meetings per week with the heads of opposition, every Monday and Thursday, during which he said to take the time to answer their questions.
“In these uncertain times, no party or no leader can claim to hold the single truth ”
The three leaders of the opposition in the national Assembly
Mr. Legault also calls upon the opposition parties to let him work his ministers. “I don’t think this would be a good idea (…) to take hours to answer questions”, he said.
“I talk with the leaders of the opposition of some alternative methods so that they can ask questions to certain ministers, but as I said in the last few days, for the moment, I don’t think it is a good idea. It is necessary to focus the energies of our ministers to resolve the crisis rather than address the issues,” he added.
Mr. Legault recalls that, in any case, he makes himself available almost all days to answer the questions of the journalists. He suggested to the opposition parties to go through the journalists to ask their questions.
“I am certain that the leaders of the opposition could move a few more”, he launched to the corresponding parliamentarians present in the room.