Proceedings of the National Assembly
At the request of Premier Philippe Couillard, the Assembly held an extraordinary sitting on June 10, 2016, 60 minutes after the adjournment of the ordinary sitting that had begun that morning, in order to complete the examination of Bill 100, An Act to amend various legislative provisions respecting mainly transportation services by taxi. This extraordinary sitting gave rise to two sittings held in a single day. Contrary to most of the extraordinary sittings that either aim to introduce a bill and carry out all of the stages of its consideration or to complete the stages of a bill whose consideration is already underway in committee, Bill 100 had already reached the stage of the consideration of the report from the Committee on Transportation and the Environment. The bill was passed on the following vote: Yeas 57, Nays 41, Abstentions 0.
Composition of the National Assembly
On April 2, 2016, after Sam Hamad (Louis-Hebert) stepped down from Cabinet, the Premier made a few changes in the ministerial team. Carlos J. Leitao (Robert-Baldwin) was given the additional portfolio of Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review and Chair of the Conseil du tresor, and Francois Blais (Charlesbourg), that of Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region.
A by-election was held on April 11, 2016 in the electoral division of Chicoutimi, which had become vacant following the resignation of Stephane Bedard. Parti Quebecois candidate Mireille Jean was elected and officially took her seat in the National Assembly on April 19.
On May 2, 2016, Pierre Karl Peladeau, Leader of the Official Opposition (Parti Quebecois), handed in his resignation as Member for Saint-Jerome. On June 14, 2016, Bernard Drainville, Official Opposition House Leader (Parti Quebecois), resigned as Member for Marie-Victorin.
In the wake of these resignations, changes were made among the Official Opposition's parliamentary office holders. On May 6, Sylvain Gaudreault (Jonquiere) was appointed Leader of the Official Opposition. Stephane Bergeron (Vercheres), for his part, has held the office of Chief Official Opposition Whip since May 11, Gaetan Lelievre (Gaspe), that of Deputy Opposition House Leader since May 12, and Lorraine Richard (Duplessis), that of Official Opposition caucus chair, also since May 12. Nicolas Marceau (Rousseau) was appointed Official Opposition House Leader on June 20.
The composition of the National Assembly now stands as follows: Quebec Liberal Party, 71 Members; Parti Quebecois, 28 Members; Coalition Avenir Quebec, 20 Members; 3 Members sitting under the Quebec Solidaire banner and one independent Member. Two ridings are vacant.
Estimates of expenditure and passage of Appropriation Act No. 2, 2016-2017
On April 12, 2016, the Assembly concluded the debate on the budget speech and held recorded divisions on the budgetary policy of the Government and on the motions stating a grievance moved within this framework. After having met in Committee of the Whole for consideration of the estimates of the Assembly on April 27 2016, the following day, the House concurred in the estimates of expenditure for 2016-2017 and passed Bill 95, Appropriation Act No. 2, 2016-2017.
From April to June 2016, the National Assembly passed 24 bills, including four private bills. Among these, the following should be noted:
Bill 64, Firearms Registration Act
Bill 81, An Act to reduce the cost of certain medications covered by the basic prescription drug insurance plan by allowing calls for tender
Bill 88, An Act respecting development of the small-scale alcoholic beverage industry
Bill 101, An Act...