The end of the state of health emergency: the powers extended until the end of the year

With the bill to end the health emergency, which was introduced on Wednesday, Legault’s government will retain several unusual powers, which it will phase out until the end of the year.

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“We are in the process of ending the health emergency, but we need the bill to ensure a transition that I can describe as wise and responsible. […]’ summed up the Minister of Health, Christian Duby.

Thus, the measures that were still in place when they were adopted – and expected at the end of April – will remain in effect until December 31, 2022. Quebec will be able to phase out these unusual powers, as it sees fit.

Take the mask, for example. […] If we tell Dr. Boileau, Public Health in a few weeks we can remove it, well, we’ll remove it before April, but we can’t go back,” explained Mr. Dobb. The same for the vaccine passport, which is already a thing of the past.

So there are still measures that qualify as “operational,” such as bonuses for healthcare workers, distance education, or exemptions to allow certain professions to participate in vaccination.

“I know people don’t want to hear about it, but there may be a sixth wave,” says Mr. Dube.

Over-the-counter contracts

Likewise, Quebec will extend certain contracts, often awarded without invitations to bid.

Agreements regarding the proper operation of examination or vaccination clinics will last until December 31, while agreements regarding storage or transportation of goods obtained during the epidemic may be extended for a maximum period of five years.

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Fears in the opposition

Among the opposition parties, the bill was received harshly. “Once again, the government wants to keep control of all the leverage, to be able to spend as it wants,” Liberal leader Dominic Engled denounced.

“Nothing changes. Consolidated MP Vincent Marisal added that the government has the same powers.

PQ leader Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon has asked to publish the “full list of decrees” that will remain in effect after the bill is adopted, as well as contracts concluded by mutual agreement that may continue.

Describing the bill as “trompe-l’oeil”, Tory leader Eric Duhemy, for his part, called again for the formation of a commission of inquiry into the management of the pandemic, as well as a review of contracts by the Auditor General.

  • Listen to the interview with Christian Dube, Minister of Health and Social Services of Quebec on QUB Radio:

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