Marois shuffles her cabinet again
Published Tuesday, December 4, 2012 10:33AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 6:48PM EST
Less than 100 days into the Parti Quebecois government there has been yet another cabinet shuffle.
Premier Pauline Marois named Yves-Francois Blanchet as Environment Minister, and restored Veronique Hivon as junior Health and Youth Protection Minister.
Marjolain Dufour is now party whip, and Sylvain Page is caucus president
Blanchet has had his position in cabinet changed multiple times since Marois first created her cabinet on Sept. 20,
Initially he was solely government whip, but the next day was given responsiblity for Mauricie and Central Quebec.
The premier said she had the utmost confidence in Blanchet to handle the environmental portfolio.
"He had experience with the environmental [movement]," said Marois. "He had been president of the jour de la terre [Earth Day] for three years.
"I think he has the talent, the determination, and the integrity to serve in this ministry."
Critics are worried that Blanchet is too much of a firebrand to handle the ministry of the Environment, with Quebec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir saying Blanchet was combative.
Hivon was restored to her previous post after taking leave for medical reasons. She resigned from cabinet in October after she unexpectedly became pregnant at age 42, and her doctor advised her to take a break since she was at risk for health problems.
Hivon, who had a history of unsuccessful pregnancies, had another miscarriage.
The minor cabinet shuffle became necessary after Daniel Breton stepped down as Environment Minister last week, doing so after several reports into his past were unearthed.
In addition to being accused by opposition parties of bullying members of an independent environmental review board (BAPE), several news sources reported on Breton's history of evictions, driving infractions, and financial woes.
Breton was once clocked doing 275 km/h in a Porsche, and also had a conviction for driving without a license.
He was evicted in 2005 and 2009 for non-payment of rent and still had not paid fines related to those cases. Revenue Quebec fined Breton in 2007 for problems with income tax, and in 1998 he was convicted for employment insurance fraud.
PQ MNA Yves-Francois Blanchet will no longer answer English questions at news conferences (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot)
Parti Quebecois MLA Veronique Hivon walks to a news conference to announce her decision to resign as Public Health and Youth Protection minister because of her pregnancy Thursday, October 18, 2012 at the legislature in Quebec City. Hivon is followed by press attache Marie Joelle Cardonneau, left, and chief of cabinet Monique Richard, centre. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot