I have just left the Parliament following the inaugural speech of François Legault’s new government.
First of all, although there have been several positive elements, such as more transparency around government nominations, the new government remains weak on the environment, on the climate crisis, and on social justice in Quebec.
Despite my differences with the Premier’s speech, I took the time to offer him my full cooperation on environmental issues and electoral reform. He thanked me warmly and I intend to follow up with the ministers concerned as soon as possible.
During his speech, Mr. Legault reiterated his desire to reduce immigration thresholds and to attack the rights of Quebec’s religious minorities. He called environmentalists idealists and restated his support for the expansion of the highway system. Its public transit projects are modest and will have limited impacts. On voting reform, he reiterated his “intention” to “introduce a bill” in the first year.
The challenges of the new government are many. It will take strong leadership and courage to confront the environmental crisis and the profound injustices that afflict our society. At a time when people are increasingly cynical about politics, Mr. Legault has a duty to be the Premier of all Quebecers (including minorities!) and to work in good faith on the people’s priorities.
I wish him the best of success!
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec