Parliamentary recognition: the PQ feels aggrieved and unfairly treated


Jocelyne Richer, The Canadian Press

QUEBEC CITY — The PQ opposition in the National Assembly feels aggrieved, having failed to obtain the parliamentary recognition desired and, according to it, deserved.

The negotiations undertaken with the three other parties represented in the National Assembly with a view to defining this recognition have not yielded satisfactory results so far, which makes the three PQ members elected on October 3 fear the worst.

Thursday, there was no agreement envisaged. An offer, deemed unacceptable, was made Wednesday evening and no new meeting is scheduled for the moment.

“They want to give us crumbs”, nothing more, pestered the PQ MP for the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Joël Arseneau, in a telephone interview Thursday.

For an opposition party, official recognition is a fundamental issue. It has a direct impact on the funding granted to the parliamentary group and on the speaking time available so that it can present itself in the House, particularly during question period.

Normally, to obtain full recognition, the rules provide that a parliamentary group must have elected at least 12 deputies or have obtained 20% of the vote. In principle, the other parties say they want to accommodate the PQ, even if it does not qualify, but the formula remains to be found.

The PQ, which only elected three deputies, still won 14.6% of the popular vote, ahead of the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), which forms the official opposition with 14.3% of the vote collected. and 21 deputies (now 19).

According to Mr. Arseneau, the proposal presented Wednesday by the leader of the government, Simon Jolin-Barrette, only “emphasizes the distortion” noted during the analysis of the results of October 3.

The PQ wanted to have a minimum annual operating budget of $800,000. But if nothing moves, he will have to settle for $495,000, or 7% of the total budget. The Liberal Official Opposition would get $4.4 million (64%) and Québec solidaire, which elected 11 MNAs with 15.4% of the vote, would get $1.9 million (28%).

As for speaking rights, the leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, could only ask one question per week. There would be no parliamentary leader and the PQ team would not be represented at the Office of the National Assembly (BAN), the entity responsible in particular for settling disputes.

The PQ is being offered “fake recognition”, denounces Mr. Arseneau, who is demanding at least an additional $300,000 to ensure the proper functioning of the 3rd opposition party.

If the proposed model is adopted, the speaking time reserved for each opposition party would be divided as follows: for each cycle of 100 questions, the Liberal opposition could ask 70, Québec solidaire 25 and the PQ only 5.


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