Last June 16, the Assembly adjourned its proceedings until Tuesday, October 18, 2005. During the spring parliamentary session, the Assembly adopted the Government's budget policy as well as 31 public bills and 7 private bills. Among the bills adopted, the following should be mentioned:
* Bill 38, An Act respecting the Health and Welfare Commissioner, which provides for the appointment of a Health and Welfare Commissioner by the Government;
* Bill 57, Individual and Family Assistance Act, whose purpose is to implement measures, programs and services designed to foster the economic and social self-sufficiency of persons and families and to encourage persons to engage in activities that promote their social integration, their entry on the labour market and their active participation in society;
* Bill 95, An Act to amend various legislative provisions of a confessional nature in the education field, which strikes out all provisions of a confessional nature, as of July 1, 2008, contained in the Education Act;
* Bill 112, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and other legislative provisions, which further prohibits smoking in places where smoking was not, until now, prohibited under the Tobacco Act and which comes into force on May 31, 2006.
At the Parti Quebecois' National Convention, the Leader of the Official Opposition at the National Assembly, Bernard Landry, obtained the confidence of 76.2 percent of the delegates. Having judged this support to be unsatisfactory to remain in office, Mr. Landry then announced his resignation as Leader of the Parti Quebecois and as Member for Vercheres, beginning on June 6, 2005. Louise Harel, the Member for HochelagaMaisonneuve, was named parliamentary Leader of the Official Opposition from this date on.
The composition of the Assembly stands as follows: Liberal Party, 72 Members; Parti Quebecois, 45 Members; Independent, 6 Members, 5 of which are from the Action Democratique du Quebec; 2 vacant seats. On May 26, 2005, Yves Seguin announced his resignation as Member for Outremont.
Rulings and Directives from the Chair
On June 10, 2005, Stephane Bedard, Deputy Opposition House Leader, requested the holding of an urgent debate on the Supreme Court of Canada decision which concluded that the Quebec statutes regarding private health insurance go against the provisions of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
The President deemed this request receivable for the following reasons: The request concerned a specific matter, of special importance and which fell within the jurisdiction of the Assembly. Notwithstanding the fact that when the Assembly has extended hours of meeting priority must be given to the legislative business of Government, there were no upcoming opportunities to discuss the matter, since all other procedures permitting the holding of such a debate were not applicable during this period.
On April 20 and 21 the Assembly received the members of the Committee on Education, Communications and Cultural Affairs of...