During question period at the National Assembly on Thursday, the Official Opposition’s Health Critic and Member for Pontiac, André Fortin, exchanged tense remarks with Mathieu Lacombe, the MNA for Papineau, Minister of the Families and Minister responsible for the Outaouais. Fortin mainly criticized the decision of the Legault government concerning the dismissal of the CEO of the CISSSO, Jean Hébert, following the report issued by the Special Representative of the Minister of Health and Social Services , Danielle McCann, last month. He blamed, among other things, that the government ordered the report as a way of getting rid of Hébert.
“It’s a very small report, an 18-page report. In grade 10, I wrote homework longer than that, Mr. speaker. If the minister started reading the report while leaving Quebec, today, he would have it finished long before arriving at his new home”, said Pontiac MP André Fortin, referring to Minister Lacombe’s recent move to the outside of the Outaouais region. “The decision of the CAQ was written in the sky. The decision was made a long time ago”, Fortin added.
The CEO of CISSSO, Jean Hébert, was dismissed Wednesday by the Minister of Health, several stakeholders and groups in the region, including the Voix du Pontiac-Pontiac Voice group, who had been asking for Heberts’ resignation or dismissal for several weeks. He will be replaced by Outaouais Deputy President and Executive Director, Josée Filion, who will be acting as CEO. It should also be noted that Thursday, CISSSO President Lucie Lalonde announced her resignation from the organization.
Minister Mathieu Lacombe responded to André Fortin by reminding him that the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) won a majority of electoral District in the Outaouais at the provincial elections. "If there is one message that the Liberal Party should remember, it’s the message that the Outaouais sent them to the opposing side of the bench,’’ referring to the National Assembly.
Minister McCann argued that the CAQ government has been “listening” to the people of the Outaouais. “There has been a far cry from the people of the Outaouais region regarding health and social services. (...) We have become aware of this very important issues in the Outaouais region, in equal parts in the region for health services and social services. We made a decision because we were listening to the people.”