Day after day, for a week, the minister André Lamontagne continues to place the government Legault in embarrassment, the result of her contradictory statements relating to the dismissal of the public servant and whistleblower, Louis Robert.
On Tuesday, the day parliament is back in session, the opposition parties are given to heart joy to denounce the boondoggles of the minister of Agriculture (MAPAQ), deplore his lack of judgment and demand corrections to the law on whistleblowers was adopted in 2017.
Despite this, the prime minister François Legault has renewed his confidence in his minister of Agriculture, rejecting the blame on the deputy minister of the MAPAQ, Marc Dion.
The dismissal stemmed from an administrative decision, not a political decision, supported by Mr. Legault in the Room, during the question period, recalling that he had asked the day before to the ombudsperson to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of the civil servant career.
The minister Lamontagne, meanwhile, has refused to respond to journalists ‘ questions on Tuesday.
In a press briefing in the morning, the opposition pq came within a whisker of demanding his resignation, recalling that the prime minister François Legault did not hesitate to exclude MarieChantale kicked out of the council of ministers, due to problems in its relationship with the media.
“I’m going to let Mr. Legault apply the same judgment that he has had Mrs Hunted,” said the parliamentary leader of the opposition parti québécois, Martin Ouellet.
The leader of the official opposition, the liberal Pierre Arcand, said that he was very worried, believing that the disappointment of the minister Lamontagne were proof that the government Legault looked like “a club-school” without any experience or consistency.
Questioned as to whether Mr. Lamontagne has always had the credibility necessary to be part of the council of ministers, it was argued that the minister was his “fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh version” of the facts surrounding the case Robert.
He pleaded for it to be reinstated in his functions, pending the result of things.
“Currently, it is not at all” to the government, according to him.
Strengthen the law
Québec solidaire and the Parti québécois have claimed a bonus of the act meant to protect whistleblowers. The liberals would be open to discuss it.
“We do not exclude to do so,” responded the prime minister Legault when the question was asked, but without engaging further in this way.
The current law, clearly, “does not provide whistleblowers a real protection,” said the co-spokesperson of Québec solidaire, the mna Manon Massé, expressing concerns that the dismissal of the civil servant and agronomist Louis Robert, would “discourage other whistleblowers” to denounce unacceptable situations.
Mp pq’s Sylvain Roy has said, in the hope that it offers a real protection to whistleblowers who are there to denounce situations that are potentially dangerous to the public health and the environment.”
On Monday, the minister Lamontagne did his mea-culpa, sorry to be touted publicly, a few days earlier, at the point of the press, of having “allowed personally to” the dismissal of Mr. Robert, who had long been in the employment of the ministry of Agriculture.
However, a minister does not have the power to dismiss officials. His exit left a doubt over possible political interference, to satisfy private interests.
Expert in the grain industry, Louis Robert had denounced the interference of the private sector in research conducted on the use of pesticides by the Centre for research on grains (CÉROM), funded by the québec government.
He was sacked on the 24th of January to have transmitted a confidential document to a reporter, as well as to have violated his obligations of confidentiality, according to the letter of dismissal made public.
According to the agronomist deemed to Louis Robert, who is contesting his dismissal, the researchers would be subject to pressures and even intimidation on the part of the private sector.
The chairman of the board of directors of the CÉROM, Christian Overbeek, is also the president of the grain Producers of Quebec. He serves on the board of directors of the organization since 2006.