By Simon Leduc, political commentator at Quebec Nouvelles.
On October 1, 2018, the CAQ took power for the first time. More than two years after its triumph, it must be said that the CAQ represents change, but not the change Quebecers were so eagerly hoping for. The Legault government did not implement reforms it promised to change the crumbling Quebec model. Rather, it was proved to be an authoritarian and ideological government.
First of all, we really saw the true face of this government with the health crisis. For eleven months now, Quebec has been governed by a single man who decides everything. Every ten days, by decree, this government renews the health emergency without debate.
Thanks to this, François Legault has given himself all the powers. In the history of Quebec, never has a Quebec head of government been so powerful. Last fall, Premier Legault closed economic sectors (restaurants, gyms, etc.). His gesture was purely political and had nothing to do with science. Because of him, thousands of entrepreneurs will go bankrupt, but that’s the least of this authoritarian Premier’s worries.
Also, since last October, Mr. Legault has been imposing a radical lockdown that Public Health has never fully approved. He even had the nerve to put in place an unnecessary curfew. This freedom-destroying government is trampling on our freedoms and it is proud of it.
This administration does not tolerate criticism. When someone dares to criticize and question its liberticidal policies, François Legault attacks him by calling him a conspirator, a fool and even calls for censorship. Éric Duhaime, Radio X, Gabriel Nadeau Dubois and Nelligan Liberal MNA Monsef Derraji have tasted the medicine of this authoritarian leader.
In addition, the CAQ government hates being accountable to the public. For example, it lacks transparency by refusing to make public health recommendations available to the public. Also, the CAQ rejects the idea of setting up an independent public inquiry commission on the fiasco in the management of the long term care homes during the first wave.
Minister Jolin-Barrette even proposed last week that Parliament should only sit virtually even after the pandemic. This government no longer wants to sit in Parliament and respond to criticism from the opposition.
As a result, since the beginning of the pandemic, the Legault government has been obsessed with a new ideology, sanitarianism. This can be defined as a sanitary drift where all the government’s efforts are put into fighting the virus, without worrying about the consequences.
For months now, Quebec has been imposing extreme sanitary measures (lockdown and curfew). In spite of this, we have the worst record in North America regarding the number of deaths and cases. So, if sanitarianism worked, we would know.
The government never talks about the consequences of its measures: bankruptcies, suicides, an increase in mental health cases, an increase in domestic violence, etc. This Prime Minister is ransacking society in the name of an unhealthy and ineffective ideology.
In conclusion, when this health crisis is over, this authoritarian and ideological government will have to answer for its actions and pay for having ransacked Quebec society. On October 1, 2018, Quebecers thought they had elected a government that would reform Quebec’s old socialist institutions. They received instead an authoritarian, arrogant, contemptuous and incompetent administration.