(Quebec) The opposition denounces the choice of the Legault government to submit the candidacy of Caroline St-Hilaire for the post of administrator of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF). After Barcelona, this is a “second attempt” to appoint the former CAQ candidate to high office, they lamented.
The Liberal Party of Quebec and Quebec solidaire strongly denounced what they call a “partisan appointment” when we learned on Tuesday that the Legault government proposed the name of the former mayor of Longueuil for the post of administrator of the ‘OIF. In January, Le Journal de Montreal had revealed that Ms. St-Hilaire was considered to be appointed delegate of the Quebec City office in Barcelona.
This possibility had earned the government several criticisms from the opposition parties. Caroline St-Hilaire wore the colors of the Coalition avenir Québec during the last elections in the riding of Sherbrooke.
“This is the second attempt to name her somewhere,” denounced the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, Marc Tanguay. “At the time of Maurice Duplessis, we called it patronage, appointing people who are on the right side,” he added, pledging in the same breath to put an end to partisan appointments if the Liberal government took the power.
It is known that the Couillard government has made numerous partisan appointments in the past. The CAQ, at the time in opposition, had promised to put an end to it. “This habit, of the old parties, of appointing their friends to important positions, prestigious positions, this habit still exists”, launched the parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
“What I see this morning is that at the CAQ, we really never lose our elections. Even when we lose them, we win. Ms. St-Hilaire did not manage to dislodge Christine Labrie in Sherbrooke, it does not matter, we still find her a good job, not even a year later, ”he added.
For his part, Parti Québécois MP Joël Arseneau sees it as an “improvement” in the sense that the government is “keep an embarrassment” by offering the former Bloc MP to a position where he does not have the last word. “Rather than making a direct political appointment, he does it indirectly,” he said.
“I find this [nomination] process, it’s quite opaque, it could be improved. But, strictly politically, the government has shown some skill, if you will, in doing indirectly what it cannot do directly because it passed a motion that prohibited it.” , he added.
Quebec Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Martine Biron, would not comment on Ms. St-Hilaire’s candidacy when she arrived for question period on Wednesday.
Another candidacy, this one from the federal government, but whose name is not known, was also submitted to the secretary general of the OIF, Louise Mushikiwabo, according to a source quoted by the daily Le Devoir who has first reported the news of Caroline St-Hilaire’s appointment on Tuesday.
Ms. Biron’s office confirmed on Tuesday that the Government of Quebec “has been asked by the federal government to contribute to the process to fill the position of administrator of the OIF”.