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Arruda gone, it’s time to think about the rest

Horacio Arruda’s resignation was inevitable.

The man was not without merit, especially at the start of the pandemic. But over the months, the head of Public Health had become a political figure. His credibility was wearing out. And when the management of the pandemic slips, François Legault had no other choice but to sacrifice him.

His departure will make it possible to redefine the management of the crisis.


But it should also allow us to start a fundamental reflection on the next steps.

I’m not talking about a post-COVID society. She will come, sure, but no one knows when.

I am talking about a necessary rupture within the very crisis. I am talking about a break with this logic of panic which leads the government to believe that it has the right to suspend social and economic life and to impose a curfew, as if it were a measure normal and legitimate.

A democratic society cannot live in a permanent state of emergency.

Nor can it consider freedom as a reward offered to citizens when the health situation allows it.

After two years of a pandemic, I cannot understand that such measures are trivialized.

I am even more surprised that a large part of the population accepts them, or at least says they accept them, even if they negotiate with them on a day-to-day basis.

Some tell us that we must put science in power.

This formula is more dangerous than you think.

Politics must retain its rights. If science is to enlighten it, it cannot substitute for it. We call it democracy. Should we confine? Should we close the restaurants? Should the schools be closed? Should we close the borders? These questions are not “scientific”, but political.

They are based on an evaluation of several factors involved, based on certain principles and certain values.

One only has to look at how the pandemic is handled elsewhere in the world to understand that there are several ways to approach it.

And let there be no mistake: the health system crisis is not exclusive to Quebec.

There is something insane about seeing our societies so held hostage by a deficient health system, which can collapse at the slightest overflow.

It is a certain idea of ​​social democracy which is crumbling before our eyes.


Some idea of ​​the efficiency of the bureaucratic management of the company, as evidenced by the case of rapid tests, is also breaking down.

Other questions emerge. One of them is taking up a lot of space at the moment: how do you put pressure on the unvaccinated? After having decided to block their access to the SAQ, Quebec is considering imposing a special tax on them.

I want to talk about it.

I fear, however, that in a few years, a tax will be imposed on smokers or obese people, to also punish them for their behavior in contradiction with a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t tell me it’s impossible: the precedent will already be there.