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Francois Legault says furloughing for boarding school victims will hurt ‘productivity’

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Prime Minister Francois Legault said Thursday that there are already too many public holidays in Quebec, and adding one to the Day of Truth and National Reconciliation would thwart government productivity plans.

This year, Canada celebrates a national day in memory of the victims of boarding schools. However, unlike Manitoba and Nova Scotia, Quebec rejected the idea of ​​making it a non-working day.

When asked on Thursday about the reasons for his choice, Prime Minister Legault reiterated his desire to limit the number of statutory holidays within a year. One reporter replied in English: “We need more productivity in Quebec.” Logic denounced by Dominique Engled, leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec. “Not everything can be summed up in an accounting logic,” she said. on Twitter.

In the morning, the three opposition parties in turn urged the Prime Minister to reconsider his initial position. The Parti Québécois and the Liberal Party also gave their support to Quebec Solidere’s proposal to make September 30 a holiday from next year. The proposal was blocked by the Quebec Dolphinaire Alliance.

“We do not understand, even today, how the CAQ government did not want this day to be a holiday for all Quebecers, so that we have this time to pause and this moment to reflect on what happened with First Nations and Inuit,” CCP parliamentary leader Martin said in the press. Ole.

A public holiday does not change the world. Solidarity spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau Dubois added:

In Ottawa, where contemplation reigned on Thursday, re-elected Canadian Heritage Minister Stephen Gilbolt welcomed with trepidation Prime Minister Legault’s exit. He is offended that the Quebec head of state showed “a little sensitivity”. “Prime Minister Legault is incapable of any sympathy whatsoever towards all these people, like Kiepers, which amazes me,” he said.

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It was Mr. Guilbeault who introduced a bill in September 2020 to establish this Canadian Day of Remembrance Pan Canada.

“Expensive,” Legault says.

François Legault had already shut the door on this file for a while. Already, in June, the elected CAQ rejected the idea of ​​changing the Quebec calendar of public holidays. “We do not support the addition of public holidays for any reason in Quebec,” he said at a press conference.

Thursday, a few hours after the controversy erupted, Mr Legault denied that he lacked sensitivity.

“It is very sad what we learned in boarding schools,” he said, but that the impact of a new holiday on the economy would be very significant. “An extra vacation, whatever the topic, is going to be very expensive,” he said in Scrum. I don’t think there should be such a high cost to commemorate this memory. “

At a March for Truth and Reconciliation in Montreal, the president of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador, Ghislaine Piccard, hit back hard at the prime minister during the afternoon. “If Quebec is supposed to be secular, why not take Good Friday and replace it with a day like today? He said.

“It shows that he has no depth in First Nations issues.”

Speaking to reporters after speaking at a conference of elected municipal officials, Mr. Legault confirmed that Ontario has not set a public holiday. “All provinces have a challenge to be competitive, to be productive,” he said. When we look at the number of hours worked in a year, we have work to do. “

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In fact, other provinces decided not to follow the federal government, so companies under federal jurisdiction were the exception in several places Thursday.

In Quebec, some companies under regional jurisdiction, such as Maison Simmons, decided to emulate their cousins ​​by asking their employees to stay at home on Thursday.

With Marie Vastel and Jean-Louis Bordeleau

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