National Assembly proceedings
The National Assembly resumed its proceedings on Tuesday, September 20 2016, as provided in the Standing Orders.
Composition and parliamentary offices
Sylvie Roy, Member for the electoral division of Arthabaska, passed away following an illness on July 31, 2016. Ms. Roy was elected on five occasions and had been a Member of the National Assembly since 2003, first as a Member of the Action democratique du Quebec party until 2011, then as a Member of Coalition Avenir Quebec until August 2015, at which time she chose to sit as an independent Member.
On August 20, 2016, following the resignation of Jacques Daoust as Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification and Member for Verdun, the Premier appointed Laurent Lessard (Lotbiniere-Frontenac) as the new Minister responsible for this department. Luc Blanchette (Rouyn-Noranda-Temiscamingue) was given the Forests, Wildlife and Parks portfolio, which had until then been under Mr. Lessard's responsibility.
On September 22, 2016, the Member for Gaspe, Gaetan Lelievre, resigned as Deputy Opposition House Leader.
The composition of the Assembly now stands as follows: 70 Members of the Quebec Liberal Party, 28 Members of the Parti Quebecois, 20 Members of the Coalition Avenir Quebec, and three independent Members sitting under the banner of Quebec Solidaire. Four seats are vacant.
Ruling from the Chair
On September 27, 2016, the Chair ruled on the point of privilege or contempt raised by the Member for Sanguinet on August 19, 2016, in which the latter alleged that the former Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification knowingly misled the House by indicating that he did not know about or authorize the sale of shares in RONA by Investissement Quebec.
The Chair began by pointing out that it is responsible for analyzing the specific circumstances surrounding the point of privilege even if the Minister in question has since resigned from his ministerial duties. A point of privilege concerning a Minister does not lapse with his or her resignation.
At this stage, the Chair's role is not to determine whether contempt of Parliament has occurred but whether the facts submitted constitute prima facie contempt of Parliament. In the case at hand, the Chair must determine whether the facts submitted point to the prima facie conclusion that the former Minister of Transport deliberately misled the House. For the Chair to conclude that a Member knowingly misled the House, the deliberate nature of the act must be clear. Furthermore, Quebec jurisprudence...