Message to Anglos | The Journal of Quebec
There were rather positive signals for the Anglophone community in the announcement of the new Cabinet.
The most important thing is the appointment of the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, as a privileged interlocutor with this community, which includes hundreds of thousands of Quebecers.
Eric Girard is very well known at the highest level of the business community here and in the rest of North America. This new responsibility for a Minister of Finance sends a very strong signal.
The appointment of Christine Fréchette to Immigration communicates a firm intention to break with the painful attitude of the tenors of the CAQ during the campaign. Deeply experienced, with a roadmap that includes a principled opposition to the infamous Charter of Values, she will know how to build bridges on the debris of Jean Boulet’s hurtful lies.
The era of squabbling and ideological warfare, favored by Simon Jolin-Barrette, is over.
This is the kind of signal that will also please our new « Uber-Minister » of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, who wants Quebec to be seen as an open and welcoming place for investors. Coverage of the negative aspects of Laws 21 and 96 made the rounds of the United States, and a positive signal was needed.
The exorbitant search and seizure provisions, provided for in Law 96, will no doubt be subject to review.
Simon Jolin-Barrette is therefore relieved of his duties as minister responsible for the Charter of the French language in favor of Minister Roberge, who is leaving Education after a less than happy stay.
Deserved nomination for Skeete
Another nomination, less noticed, is that of Christopher Skeete to the Holy of Holies.
Skeete spent four years in the back seats of the CAQ government. The only caquiste from the Anglophone community, Skeete had the thankless task of representing (very effectively) the linguistic point of view of a government not often appreciated by Anglophones. Sometimes he reminded me of the Maytag repairman, he seemed so lonely. Legault did well to name him, he fully deserved it.
His appointment also serves another purpose: elected officials who did not become ministers this time can see that by working hard, one can be positively noticed and rise in rank.
Committee to Control Hydro
I am very skeptical of the formation of the committee chaired by the Prime Minister, which includes Pierre Fitzgibbon and Sophie Brochu, CEO of Hydro-Québec.
A brilliant political maneuver, this committee would have allowed Legault to dodge an announced problem and, at the same time, to give “Fitz” what he demanded: total power over Hydro.
Make no mistake, this committee constitutes a political takeover of Hydro. Yes, Legault is the titular president, but it’s window dressing. In fact, it’s a trick to allow Fitzgibbon to do as he did in all his other functions: reign supreme. This time around, he does so with the open blessing of François Legault.
The public, owners of Hydro, risk being the big loser.