Opposition parties talk environment ahead of fall session
Published Monday, September 16, 2019 8:36PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 16, 2019 8:53PM EDT
Opposition parties are preparing to challenge the CAQ government on everything from electoral reform to climate change as the fall session of the National Assembly begins Tuesday.
Quebec solidaire, for one, wants work at the National Assembly to halt on Sept. 27 for the Global Climate Strike, when people around the world will be mobilizing in the fight against climate change.
"This is a demand of a whole generation that wants politicians to work together to find solutions to climate change," said QS MNA Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who met with young local activists on Sunday.
One of the most recognizable faces of that generation is Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage climate change activist. She's planning to attend the Montreal march.
Francois Paradis, who serves as Speaker of the National Assembly has also invited her to a private meeting and to speak in Quebec City, but she hasn't received an invitation for a meeting with Premier Francois Legault.
"I think if Greta Thunberg was a 65-year-old businessman, Francois Legault would have run to meet her. And it's not the case right now," said Nadeau-Dubois.
Quebec solidaire wants all parties to take part in the march as a show of solidarity.
The Parti quebecois will be there, said interim leader Pascal Berube.
"But you won't see me with the Parti quebecois ad in my hand. You are going to see me with everyone else and we don't try to hijack this march," he said.
Berube is accusing Quebec solidaire of exploiting the fight against climate change to push its own political agenda.
"They are as interested in this issue as we are, but they are pushing it too far. It seems to me, this is my opinion, that they try to make sure that this movement is going to give some profit to their party," he said.
Nadeau-Dubois dismissed that criticism.
"We are doing the exact opposite, in fact. We are putting ourselves at the service of this movement," he said, arguing that the party is simply trying to build a consensus around action on climate change
"It's not our idea. It's an idea we've heard from young people in the streets that told us yesterday, 'You have to unite yourselves. The political parties have to work together.' We're just answering their demand and I really hope that all political parties are going to do the same," he said.
For now, a spokesperson for CAQ Environment Minister Benoit Charette said Sept. 27 will be business as usual at the National Assembly. He won't be taking part in the Global Climate Strike in Montreal.