Andre Boisclair gives up second job; will remain delegate-general for New York
By Kevin Gould, CTV Montreal
Published Thursday, December 6, 2012 10:03AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:46PM EST
Under fire for awarding two lucrative jobs to a former Parti Quebecois leader, Pauline Marois has officially stripped Andre Boisclair of one of his posts.
In November Marois appointed Boisclair as delegate-general to New York, but it was only revealed this week that Boisclair had also been named assistant deputy minister for International Relations.
On Thursday Marois held a snap news conference to announce that Boisclair was giving up the civil servant position.
"I have faith in Mr. Boisclair, he is a good man and he knows the government well," said Marois.
The premier told the press that she and Boisclair spoke Wednesday evening and when he offered to renounce the position, she agreed it would be best.
Marois also said she is taking action to prevent situations like this from reoccuring.
"I decided to create a committee. This committee will study the conditions that will be present for people who want to work in the civil service."
Double appointment caused outrage
The ambassadorial post is often considered a partisan position, and the delegate-general is usually replaced soon after a change in government. In this case Boisclair replaced John Parisella, a former senior provincial official.
What was unusual in Boisclair's appointment was that he was guaranteed a job in Quebec's civil service in the event he lost his position as Quebec's delegate-general for New York.
International Relations Minister Jean-Francois Lisee was forced to admit this week that never before had any of Quebec's delegate-generals been allowed to hold two positions, or be given a guaranteed job.
But he said that Boisclair pushed for the job guarantee because returning to public life meant giving up his private consulting firm.
The news that Boisclair had received a guaranteed job for life, with an annual salary of $170,000 and the ability to take a full pension in less than a decade, came as an affront to many critics, with Francoise David of Quebec Solidaire calling it "indecent."
Boisclair was first elected to the National Assembly in 1989 and served as cabinet minister from 1998 to 2003.
He left politics to earn a post-secondary degree at Harvard University, and became PQ leader in 2004, only quitting the party after leading it to a third-place defeat in 2007.
Boisclair also admitted in 2005 that he had used cocaine repeatedly between 1996 and 2003.