(Québec) Québec solidaire (QS) insisted that training on climate change for deputies be mandatory, but not all of its 11 elected officials participated.
This was learned by The Canadian Press on Wednesday.
The training was given by experts at the National Assembly on Tuesday, April 18.
But even if QS makes the environment its hobbyhorse, four elected members of its caucus out of 11, the parliamentary leader of QS, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, as well as the deputies Sol Zanetti, Étienne Grandmont and Andrès Fontecilla were absent.
“We had the link (of videoconference) for the deputies who could not (be present) on the first date, so it will be done soon,” wrote a communications manager for the training, Stéphanie Guèvremont, Wednesday after- noon.
Mr. Nadeau-Dubois was absent due to a “family issue”, it was said, while the other three deputies participated in a “public meeting on social housing”.
This training was of symbolic importance. It was a cross-partisan initiative and it comes from the government.
However, last year, at the request of former PQ MP Sylvain Gaudreault, a similar training was organized before the dissolution of the House and the elections.
Last December, the government returned to the charge this time. Environment Minister Benoit Charette passed a motion to invite various organizations “to organize as soon as possible cross-partisan training for MPs on climate change.”
QS then insisted that the motion include a passage on the mandatory nature of the training for all MPs, but this was not retained in the final wording.
Mr. Charette then argued that it was easier to bring together “three deputies, or ten, or twenty, than 90 deputies”. QS then assured the daily Le Devoir that its 11 elected officials would take part.
The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) confirmed that 70 out of 90 deputies were registered and that Premier François Legault, like his Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charrette, were there.
However, the CAQ cannot guarantee that all of its registered MNAs took part.
The Liberal Party, for its part, confirmed that 15 of its 19 elected officials had taken part in the meeting and that the others would watch it.
Finally, the Parti Québécois (PQ) indicated that its three deputies were there.
Quebec’s Chief Scientist, Rémi Quirion, along with the Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Committee, Alain Webster, and the General Manager of the Ouranos Consortium, Alain Bourque, gave the training.
A second part of the training should follow this fall. It will focus on “accelerating climate action, Quebec’s options for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and adapting to climate change”.
Chief Scientist of Quebec since 2011, Mr. Quirion is responsible for advising the government on all kinds of scientific issues.
Mr. Webster and his committee are responsible for advising the Minister of the Environment on policies, programs and strategies to combat climate change.