“You should have seen the excellent soup I made for lunch with cod, corn and asparagus!” »
What piqued Gaétan Barrette for him to talk to us about cooking with a passion that reminds us of that of Ricardo?
It’s quite simple: he was remarked that he looked in great shape.
He grabbed the ball and told us his secret. Since retiring from politics, he finds time to play sports and cook. And it seems. Not only does he look serene, but he also went from 134 pounds to 86 pounds.
“I could invite you to our house, make you a dal with a filet of salmon with sauce Vierge then a dessert with fruit/chia/yogurt and it’ll be like here,” he says, referring to Brasserie Bernard, where he arranged to meet us for a coffee.
The ex-minister has changed his diet in depth. “I discovered a great friend whose name is Alain… Alain Ternet,” he says. And to add that he “goes around the world every month” with the recipes he puts on his menu.
Even in his entourage, some began to tell him that he could follow in Ricardo’s footsteps. “Gaetano,” he laughs.
But that won’t happen. “No, I’m not looking for that, I’m fine at home.” […] Retirement has been good for me. »
He will not return to politics either. He doesn’t want it. “None,” he repeats.
Because if for some, it is the road traveled that counts, for Gaétan Barrette, it is rather the destination. It’s obvious.
He also explains that if he acted like a bulldozer to Health, it was because he wanted to be sure to be able to reform the system. He approached his duties as minister with his vision as former president of the Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec. “To get my way, I have to go fast and get in there,” he told himself.
Because we meet him to find out what he becomes, of course. But we also want to ask him to take stock of his time in politics. And we want to know, finally, what he thinks of the major projects in which Minister Christian Dubé is engaged.
We then learn that he questioned the principle he obeyed as minister.
But that’s not the method he was asked to favor at the time either, he says. “They wanted to put me forward as a lightning rod and a pit bull. I’m able to do both, I’m able to be thin and I’m able to be more intrusive, or abrasive, to use a word you love, you media.
– You don’t like the word “abrasive”?
– I don’t consider myself abrasive. I say things as they are and it is true that I am a little dry. I take responsibility for myself. »
He therefore admits to having made a mistake “on the form”. Because basically, he says he sees an obvious connection between his own ideas and those of the current Minister of Health.
“Christian Dubé repeats my words, but since he is smiling and you like him in the media, it works! he says.
Gaétan Barrette maintains that the messenger has changed, but that the message is similar.
It is then retorted that the fact of no longer having a director in each of the CHSLDs – a consequence of its reform – posed a problem during the pandemic. And that the CAQ has remedied it.
“You fall for the trap!” There was, he replies. There was one respondent for each CHSLD, who was a middle manager. The only thing the CAQ did was they changed the middle manager to a senior manager,” he claims, admitting that this manager “is more consistent in his presence.”
In the same vein, he is reminded that in announcing his retirement from politics, he admitted to having “definitely cut too many middle and senior managers”.
He does not deny it. And he predicts that Christian Dubé — who is about to unveil an ambitious healthcare efficiency bill — will “bring them back… but not all the way.”
Gaétan Barrette therefore believes that the structure he has modified will, as a whole, be retained. And that “the step” he has dreamed of since the time he was president of the FMSQ, that is to say the creation of Santé Québec, Christian Dubé will take it.
What is sometimes referred to in Quebec as Hydro-Santé is indeed on the menu of the legislation announced by Minister Dubé. The former manager recently claimed that “the columns of the temple are going to shake.”
“When the Minister says that it is not up to the Ministry to take care of the execution, the day-to-day management of the services, that is my sentence: ministerial orientations and execution on the ground”, he underlines .
“I was the Voldemort of healthcare in the Liberal Party,” he admits. A way for him to emphasize that over time he had become the one, like in Harry Potter, whose name we should not pronounce.
“I was and remain the least popular politician in Quebec,” he still thinks.
He got used to it, he says, but certainly not completely. “One of my characteristics is that I live with it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect me somewhere. It’s unpleasant. »
Moreover, if he left the political world, he found another way to use his outspokenness. He participates three times a week in La joute, on the airwaves of LCN.
“My speech is free. She is released. I have no compulsion. I said two things when I went there: one, I will not be a mother-in-law, and two, I will not be the spokesperson for the Liberal Party. »
During our interview, he will also repeatedly praise the work of Christian Dubé. “He started, I think, on the right track. He does a good job. It does not mean that his job is perfect, the first mandate was not a good mandate, but he has the excuse of the pandemic. »
Gaétan Barrette seems more comfortable in his role as a commentator than in politics where now, he believes, “form takes precedence over substance”.
“When it is made that, in a party in power, we make sure that the ministers are on TikTok, I am a dinosaur. I don’t sing, I don’t dance and I won’t go there. »
Today I had two cappuccinos, but it’s the only coffee I’m having this year. I only take coffee under special conditions because I don’t like coffee.
I have several books. In general, they are historical books or books of reflection. One of the books is that of Luc Godbout and Suzy St-Cerny on taxation: Quebec, a paradise for families?.
I am the personification of Luc Plamondon’s song I would have liked to be an artist. In fact, I would not have wanted to be an artist, but I would have liked to have a singing talent.
The person who, in my lifetime, has impressed me the most and still impresses me the most is Barack Obama. And it’s not a dinner, but a six-month internship that I would like to do with him. I have plenty [of people], but he is at the top of my list.
I hate injustice and those who give unfair criticism. There are people I hate for the injustice of their words and their comments. The world is not black and white and those who comment on it in black and white, it does society a disservice.