Pierre Moreau appointed as Quebec's treasury board minister
Published Monday, January 16, 2017 11:29AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 16, 2017 7:03PM EST
Liberal MNA Pierre Moreau was appointed president of the province’s treasury board on Monday, a promotion marking his return from a long sick leave.
"My first goal was to make it through the doors, which I was not able to do the last time," quipped Moreau.
Nearly a year ago Moreau collapsed on the day he was to be sworn into a new cabinet position. He spent the past year battling a serious infection.
"When I was sick I was thinking about if ever I would resume my political career, and as soon as you feel well, the first idea that came to mind is the idea of doing what you like best in life and this is what I like," said Moreau.
Premier Philippe Couillard announced Moreau’s appointment at a ceremony held in the National Assembly.
"What needed to be done is to add experience, competence to the present context of our government, where yes, Quebec is much better in terms of jobs, the economy and public finances, but we have very important files on the table and I really want these files to be solved," said Couillard.
Moreau takes over from Carlos Leitao, who will maintain his primary role as Finance Minister.
That means Moreau will be in charge of negotiations with government lawyers and notaries who have been on strike since October.
They have been slowing down the pace of new bills being tabled at the National Assembly as they fight for salary increases and working conditions commensurate with Crown prosecutors.
"We hope that it's going to be better than it was with Mr. Leitao, because Mr. Moreau is a lawyer," said Jean Denis of LANEQ.
Leitao had taken over the Treasury Board dossier from Sam Hamad, who was forced to step down amid conflict of interest allegations and an investigation by the ethics commissioner.
Couillard did not shuffle the cabinet as much as some expected.
"I have a lot of talent around me, but somebody at some point has to draw the line in the current context as we did today. That doesn’t preclude other changes in the future. In April, we still have 18 months in our term. We have a very nice team of MNAs. The young MNAs that I’d like to show more to the population of Quebec to show the talent that we have, of course keeping the experience that we have today,” said Couillard.