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Quebec parliament suspended after MNA blows up a balloon in the Salon bleu

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The government requested a penalty on Thursday against Quebec Solidaire (QS) MNA Sol Zanetti, who inflated and deflated a balloon during question period in an attempt to illustrate the collapse of the governing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ).

Liberal MNA Frantz Benjamin, who was presiding over the proceedings in place of Nathalie Roy, clearly lost control of the House and had to suspend proceedings for several minutes.

Zanetti got the ball rolling by denouncing the CAQ's nationalism, which he felt did not live up to expectations.

He inflated and deflated a blue balloon, and Speaker Frantz Benjamin called a point of order, stating that such objects could not be used in the chamber.

That's when Government House Leader Simon Jolin-Barrette jumped in to call for tougher action against the QS MNA.

Benjamin maintained that he had rendered his decision and issued his call to order, which displeased Jolin-Barrette.

Faced with the disorder, the speaker had to interrupt question period and its televised broadcast for about 15 minutes.

The proceedings resumed, but the speaker did not accept the government leader's proposal to sanction the QS MNA.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Oct. 5, 2023.

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