Swift actions backfiring for PQ, say critics
Published Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:31PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2012 7:47AM EDT
Newly-elected Premier Pauline Marois is moving too quickly for some critics.
Opposition members complained Tuesday that her swift decisions to deliver on some of her key campaign issues in her first 100 days in office isn’t in line with that of a minority government.
Just days into their mandate, the new Parti Quebecois government is under fire from all sides, with critics blasting many of her early announcements.
Those include the move to shut down the Gentilly 2 nuclear facility in Becancour and what some are calling "improvisation" on tax hikes for high-income earners, including a strategy to make impose retroactive taxes to negate the cost of cutting the $200 per year health tax.
“(It was done) to hide the truth about their plan -- which was retroactivity,” said interim Liberal leader Jean-Marc Fournier.
The PQ has now backpedalled on the retroactive tax hikes for those who earn $130,000 or more per year, saying it's open to a discussion with the opposition.
Fournier said he wants to see a new fiscal plan next week, not at the end of October when MNAs head to the National Assembly for the first session of the new government.
“Already there are Quebecers who are afraid of what they are reading in the paper, not trusting who talks. And you already have the image of Quebec on the international level, where people are saying to themselves, ‘Well is that a good place to invest?’” said Fournier.
Marois, who met with New Brunswick Premier David Alwardwas in Quebec City Tuesday, chose not to respond to critics and did not take questions from the media during a photo op.
Meanwhile the CAQ is calling for a parliamentary commission on the closure of the Gentilly 2 plant, adding that Marois is required to respect the will of the opposition parties.
“We have a minority government. We wish that Mrs. Marois will ask and see that the Coalition Avenir Quebec, the Liberals and Quebec Solidaire will have some questions concerning Gentilly 2 and we hope that she will say yes to this parliamentary commission,” said CAQ natural resources critic Francois Bonnardel.
The swift actions by Marois meant to show decisiveness could be backfiring, said La Presse columnist Vincent Marissal.
“This government is one week old, and already we see them backpedalling every day,” said Marissal.
The retreats come after the PQ wooed voters with misleading campaign promises, he added.
“What's the point of doing a campaign, of publishing a financial plan, if you don't tell the truth? If you don't tell Quebecers, ‘Look, we have difficult choices to face, but we'll do it this way and that way,’” he said.
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is shown in a file photo taken on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at the legislature in Quebec City. (The Canadian Press/Jacques Boissinot)