Agreement Between the Parties of the National Assembly on the Status and Conditions of the Parties for the Parliamentary Session

On November 25, the media reported that an agreement had been reached between the four parties represented in the National Assembly defining their status and conditions for their work and distributing privileges during the parliamentary session that begins on November 29. It should be noted that the Conservative Party of Quebec, which garnered 12.92 per cent of the vote but failed to have any candidates elected, was not part of these negotiations and this agreement.

The agreement determines such things as party status, budgets, privileges and the number of questions each party can ask the government in the House each week.

Following the meeting held on November 25 where the leaders of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) and Québec Solidaire (QS) are said to have sealed the fate of the Parti Québécois (PQ), the media reported the following statements:

Simon Jolin-Barette, CAQ Government House Leader:

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the three opposition parties, as we had promised. At the beginning of this new legislature, all parties now have the necessary tools to work for the benefit of all Quebeckers."

Marc Tangay, Interim Leader of the PLQ:

"Very pleased to confirm that the Official Opposition has agreed to a negotiated agreement between the parties in the National Assembly. We were able to participate in a constructive discussion in the interest of Quebeckers."

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Co-Spokesperson for QS:

"We are very happy to have reached an agreement with the other parties. The parliamentary session starts next Tuesday and the MNAs of Québec solidaire will have the necessary means to do their opposition work against the Legault government."

An item on Info Radio-Canada quotes QS House Leader Alexandre Leduc saying that having secured "full and complete recognition" of his party it has now obtained 'three cabinets' [budgets and staff] to carry out the functions of leader of the Second Opposition,

Leduc said that the funding obtained by QS will allow him to "build a robust parliamentary wing with a minimum of three questions per day in the Blue Room."

The QS is said to have 31 questions per cycle of 100, up from 19 in the last parliament, with a budget of $2.7 million per year, for the duration of a four-year mandate, as opposed to $1.7 million during the prior mandate.

The Parti Québécois leader called the agreement a bargain-basement "deal" that he was forced to sign, otherwise the other three parties were ready to sign a three-way deal, which would have taken away from the PQ even what it had managed to negotiate until then.

The PQ obtains :

- seven per cent of the questions instead of five, or two questions per week;

- a budget of $570,000 instead of $495,000, which will allow for the hiring of one more employee;

- an "observer" seat at the Office of the National Assembly, without voting rights.

In a statement on Facebook, the PQ leader said that the CAQ's goal was to ensure that the PQ would not bounce back, while the QLP and the QS collaborated on this. He appealed to people who voted for the PQ to raise $120,000 by the end of the year to make up for the PQ's shortfall.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 50 - November 29, 2022

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