Legault put in hot seat over handling of Anglo relationship
Published Thursday, April 18, 2019 8:57PM EDT
Premier Francois Legault faced questions Thursday over how the CAQ is handling relations with Anglophones.
The matter came up as part of an annual exercise in which opposition parties are able to grill ministers and the premier on spending estimates in the budget for various departments.
The CAQ government says it supports the English-speaking minority in Quebec, pointing to its increased budget for the Anglo secretariat, which jumps from $3 million to $5.5 million for the next fiscal year.
“We're going to inject that money into various community groups. We've created a program that directly funds capacity in the community, and we have a program call, so anyone who wants to apply within that program can do so and get the funding,” said Christopher Skeete, parliamentary assistant to the premier for relations with English-speaking Quebecers.
In his opening statement Thursday, Premier Francois Legault made most of his remarks in French, but he did say in English: "We will protect the historical rights of our fellow Anglo Quebecers, and we will define our common future together."
The Liberal critic on the dossier, though, said the CAQ has mishandled sensitive files.
Under questioning from Greg Kelley, the premier admitted his government could have done a better job communicating about the closure of Riverdale High School. Instead, staff, students and parents learned about the education minister's plans through the media.
“I must admit, and the education minister admitted, that communications on the Riverdale file could have been better,” said the premier.
“I feel somewhat vindicated," said Kelley. "I'm happy that he did mention the fact that it's not right when a minister or the government arrives and just makes an arbitrary decision