QUEBEC CITY -- Opposition parties in Quebec City are insisting that the Legault government authorize director of public health Horacio Arruda to come and testify in a parliamentary committee by Dec. 11.

Premier Francois Legault said recently that he was in favour of the idea, and Arruda agreed to go and talk with MNAs from all parties, but no date has yet been set.

The parliamentary session ends on Dec. 11, and work will not resume until Feb. 2, 2021.

On Friday, all opposition parties called for a hearing with Arruda as soon as possible.

Parties stressed that the public health expert took the time on Thursday to participate in a public affairs program shot in Montreal.

They are asking for a mandate of initiative from the Commission de la santé et des services sociaux (CSSS) and said that officials have never had the chance to interact with Arruda in the nine months of the COVID-19.

The opposition recognizes that the decision now belongs to the Legault government, and more specifically to its parliamentary leader, Simon Jolin-Barrette.

"It is the Leader of the Government who is capable of doing this work," said Quebec Liberal Party Dominique Anglade, on Friday.

"In my opinion, what should be prioritized by the government is to ensure that Mr. Arruda can come and meet the parliamentarians."

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.