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Fortin discusses new health care bill, public sector strikes

Fortin discusses new health care bill, public sector strikes

5 December 2023 à 2:31 pm

Updated on 5 December 2023 à 3:45 pm

With the last session of 2023 about to finish in the National Assembly this week, CHIP 101.9 spoke with Pontiac MNA André Fortin about Bill 15, the CAQ government’s promised overhaul of Quebec’s health care system.

Fortin explained that as the Liberal party’s critic on health care, he’s been going through the bill clause by clause since the spring. It proposes an number of changes to the administration of health services, including centralizing control within a new bureaucracy, Santé Quebec.

However, a new amendment that was made last week got a lot of attention in the media, as it appeared to threaten the bilingual status of some institutions in areas where the language demographics have changed. In Quebec, a small number of facilities (including the Pontiac Hospital) are approved to offer services in languages other than French, though the amendment would allow Santé Quebec to remove this designation if English-speakers make up less than 50% of the population. Santé Quebec would be required to consult with the local community, but would ultimately have final say.

While Health Minister Christian Dubé has backed away from the controversial amendment, Fortin said that the fact that it was introduced the way it was is troubling.

Fortin also spoke briefly about the ongoing labour negotiations between the province and unions representing hundreds of thousands of public-sector workers. He said that like any other parent, he would like to see children return to the classroom.

The full interview with Fortin (14m55) is available here.