Politicians deny responsibility for killer Legionnaires' outbreak
Former PQ Health Minister Jean Rochon seen at left in a CP file photo, was at the helm in 1997 when the recommendations came down. CAQ candidate Gaetan Barrette (right) is blaming the Liberals for their inaction on the dossier.
Published Saturday, August 25, 2012 5:07PM EDT
Political fingers are pointing all ways with news that the current outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease, that has killed six and affected 102, could be the result of a failure to implement a 1997 order to maintain air conditioning cooling towers.
The Quebec City Centre for Public Health made the recommendations and submitted them to the PQ government at the time but their report apparently went unimplemented.
The Liberal government took over in 2003 and also failed to put the program into motion.
Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc held a press conference Saturday and recommended that the media ask the Parti Quebecois first why it failed to act on the recommendations.
Coalition Avenir Quebec candidate Gaétan Barrette attacked the Liberals Friday for their inaction, claiming that the outbreak could have been prevented.
Barrette had fewer criticisms for the Parti Quebecois handling of the dossier, perhaps because current CAQ leader Francois Legault was in the PQ administration at the time.
Quebec City resident Martin Courcy said that he intends to organize a class action suit against the government for negligence.
Courcy’s mother Yolande died in 1996 at the age of 72 from the disease.
PQ MNA Jean Rochon was Health Minister at the time and Courcy’s attempts to sue a building owner for the death failed because no doctor would testify for him, as his mother also suffered several other ailments, including diabetes.
He wants to combine a class action suit that would include victims of both the 1996 outbreak and that of this year.
-With a file from The Canadian Press