AuthorBordeleau, David
PositionLegislative Reports

Proceedings of the National Assembly


On October 9, 2020, Mr. Ian Lafreniere, Member for Vachon, was appointed Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, replacing Ms. Sylvie D'Amours, Member for Mirabel.

On October 9, 2020, Mr. Paul St-Pierre Plamondon was elected Leader of the Parti quebecois. The position had been vacant since October 1, 2018, when Mr. Jean-Francois Lisee resigned after being defeated in the general election. As he is not a Member, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon does not sit in Parliament. In his absence, Mr. Pascal Berube, Member for Matane-Matapedia, continues to act as Leader of the Third Opposition Group.

On December 15, 2020, Mr. Harold Lebel, Member for Rimouski, was excluded from the Parti quebecois caucus and now sits as an Independent Member. Denis Tardif, Member for Riviere-du-Loup-Temiscouta, has also been sitting as an Independent Member since December 17, 2020. Consequently, the National Assembly is now composed of 75 Coalition avenir Quebec Members, 28 Liberal Party of Quebec Members, 10 Quebec solidaire Members, eight Parti quebecois Members and four Independent Members.

Terms for the continuation of Assembly proceedings

On October 20, 2020, the parliamentarians carried a motion concerning the organization of proceedings between October 19 and December 11, 2020. Essentially, the measures designed to ensure the safety of all during the pandemic that had been adopted at the beginning of the sessional period on September 15, 2020 were continued.

The Assembly thus sat with a reduced number of Members. Parliamentarians in the House were present according to the following distribution, for a total of 36, excluding the Chair:

* no more than 20 Members from the parliamentary group forming the Government;

* no more than 8 Members from the parliamentary group forming the Official Opposition;

* no more than 3 Members from the Second Opposition Group;

* no more than 3 Members from the Third Opposition Group;

* no more than 2 independent Members.

The above distribution was modified to allow more Members in opposition to be present in the House during Routine Proceedings, with the number of government Members being reduced to 16 to make room for two additional Members from the parliamentary group forming the Official Opposition, for a total of 10, as well as one additional Member from each of the Second and Third Opposition Groups, for a total of four Members from each group.

The parliamentarians were allowed to take the floor and to vote from seats that were not the ones they were regularly assigned.

The previously adopted procedure for recorded divisions was maintained. Under that measure, the vote of the House Leader or the Deputy House Leader of a parliamentary group or, where applicable, of another Member identified beforehand, was valid for all Members of his or her group. However, a parliamentarian was entitled to individually record a vote that differed from the vote of his or her group or to choose not to vote. In addition, if an Independent Member was absent, the Government House Leader was authorized to record the Member's vote regarding a stage in the consideration of a bill according to the instructions that the absent Member transmitted to the Government House Leader.

Two additional measures were put in place through a motion carried on October 20. Under the first measure, ministers were divided into two groups for Oral Questions and Answers, one group to participate during Tuesday and Thursday sittings, and the other during Wednesday sittings and also Friday sittings during periods of extended hours of meeting. The second measure introduced changes to the schedule for debates upon adjournment on Thursdays, which were to be held at 1:00 p.m. rather than at 6:00 p.m., after which the usual proceedings would resume at 3:00 p.m. and continue until 6:00 p.m.

Bills introduced and passed

From October to December, 26 bills were introduced in the National Assembly, of which four were private Members' bills and six were private bills. During the same period, the Assembly passed 17 bills, of which two were private bills.

Rulings from the Chair

December 4, 2020--Disclosure of the content of the report of the Select Committee on the Sexual Exploitation of Minors before its tabling

The President issued a directive on the question raised on December 3, 2020, by the House Leader of the Second Opposition Group concerning the disclosure to third parties of the content of the report of the Select Committee on the Sexual Exploitation of Minors before it was tabled in the Assembly. There was...

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