(Quebec) PQ MP Joël Arseneau launched a full-throated charge against the Legault government, which he accuses of “not taking its responsibilities” in terms of youth protection after the heartfelt cry launched by the president of Quebec.
“I am shocked to read this, on the front page of The Press, that the President calls on three ministers to say that we would like to discuss concrete and urgent solutions, and that she has no response to her request for a meeting. I find that absolutely absurd. The government is not taking its responsibilities,” said the Parti Québécois MP in a press scrum on Tuesday.
The MP for Îles-de-la-Madeleine and spokesperson for Social Services reacted to the exit of the President of Quebec, Mr.e Catherine Claveau, who affirms in an interview with The Press that a “very serious” crisis is affecting judicial youth protection services. The number of cases has exploded to the point where legal deadlines are no longer respected in court.
Me Claveau took up his pen at the end of July to alert ministers Simon Jolin-Barrette (Justice), Ian Lafrenière (Relations with First Nations and Inuit) and Lionel Carmant (Social Services). His letter is entitled: “Urgency to act to protect youth”. However, only the office of the Minister of Justice responded, claiming to be working on a project, but without planning a meeting.
What does the government say? That I’m more or less interested in discussing it. We’re on vacation in July, then we’ll come back, we have a project, we’ll talk to you about it.
Joël Arseneau, member of the Parti Québécois
“I find it insulting. I find it irresponsible, shocking. I have no words to describe how angry I feel for these children, who are said to be protected by the State and then simply abandoned,” said continued the deputy in a well-felt exit.
The Minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant, replied that he had met the President last February. “I didn’t understand this intervention very well. We received a four-page letter. I was mainly told about front-line services and I met him in February, so there is no issue,” explained the minister upon his arrival for the question period.
Mr. Carmant said in the same breath that he was well aware of the problems decried by the President. “There is no improvement, we must act. The DPJs complain about it,” he admitted. “We have been discussing this for a long time with my colleague, Mr. Jolin-Barrette, and we want to act on it. There is a team working, which will give us proposals by the end of the year and we intend to put them in place,” added the minister.
The Minister of Justice was not in Parliament on Tuesday.
It’s time for the government to “wake up”
The Liberal Party of Quebec also deplored the response of the Legault government in this matter. “There is just one who took the trouble to respond,” denounced the interim Liberal leader, Marc Tanguay. “I think they do not fully understand the crisis in this area and the impact it has on the lives of families and our little ones. It’s time for them to wake up,” he cursed.
Mr. Tanguay recalled in passing that his political party requested on September 13 to hear the Minister of Justice in a parliamentary committee to question him on judicial delays.
“If I were in the shoes of the minister, that I had a crisis in the justice system and that actors as central as the president (challenged me), I would find a little 15-20 minutes to at least make an appeal and possibly meet someone. I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened yet,” said Québec Solidaire MP Alexandre Leduc.
With Louis-Samuel Perron