While the CAQ has denounced for many years the patronage appointments, the council of ministers has just appointed the deputy director of the cabinet of François Legault to the position delegate general of Québec in New York.
Nadine Girault, minister of international Relations and la Francophonie, has defended the appointment of controversial Catherine Loubier in this position. “I think she is very competent.”
Refusing to recognise that this is a partisan appointment, Ms. Girault explains that a reform is under way in the department. “One keeps the eight appointments of delegations general, of which New York is a part, to choose the people you want to be put in place according to our objectives, objectives that we need to meet there and depending on the skills that we want to go look. […] All the other posts, we are going to depoliticize.”
The minister pointed out that several applications have been studied, but as Mrs. Loubier stood out because she had want to relocate. “There were several people who were qualified for the position, but it is still necessary that people want to relocate to New York.”
The minister of Labour Jean Boulet called the appointment”excellent”, while the minister of the Economy Pierre Fitzgibbon has welcomed the good work done by Ms. Loubier on a recent mission to Davos.
Since last October, Catherine Loubier worked as deputy director of the office of the prime minister François Legault. It dealt in particular of international and intergovernmental relations. She had left five days before to get his post in New York.
Previously, Ms. Loubier worked at the cabinet of the conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, as senior advisor for Quebec, from 2013 to 2015.
In its election platform, the CAQ has promised to adopt a law to put an end to partisan appointments to senior positions. In October, the mp Simon Jolin-Barrette is committed, in the name of his party, to table a bill before the end of the year 2018 to support these appointments, which has not yet been done.
Since its creation, the CAQ has never ceased to denounce the “little friends” of the liberal Party and the Parti québécois, who obtained positions in the senior public service.
The opposition has denounced the appointment. “It is clear that it is a commitment of the [QAC] which is broken. I only wish that the prime minister takes,” said Pascal Bérubé, head of the Parti québécois.
More details to come…