Turning to the door of the Blue Room, the three PQ deputies promised not to sit down before passing the bill that would abolish the oath to the king. As all parties have publicly expressed, the matter will be resolved early next week.
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“We will ensure that the result is indeed achieved,” PQ leader Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon announced hours after his stunt with MPs Pascal Bérubé and Joel Arceneau.
The three separatist musketeers attended a question-and-answer period Thursday morning, hoping that new president Nathalie Roy would give them the right to sit, despite a recent decision by her predecessor.
They were followed by an army of journalists and cameramen in an extraordinary circus atmosphere at the National Assembly.
In a polite and calm tone, the PQ leader asked to be able to speak to the sergeant-at-arms after being blocked by a special constable.
“I have a clear order that you don’t enter because you don’t swear,” said Véronique Michel, who was in charge of enforcing the order at the Blue Salon.
Meanwhile, on the other side of closed doors, the president delivered her decision.
Ms. Roy agreed with her predecessor, François Paradis, that swearing an oath to the king was necessary to sit. “I fully subscribe to this decision and intend to apply it,” she said.
“Members of the Parti Québécois must govern themselves according to the existing law,” she decided.
Despite this disappointment, the PQ leader sees his struggle bearing fruit.
“We’re getting things done,” he said. In just one week, we were able to mobilize all parties to change the situation. On Thursday, the Quebec Liberal Party sought to change that. »
Indeed, the debate on the swearing of the king, aside from the past, occupies an important place in this parliamentary return.
Most federalist Liberal MP André Fortin also said on Thursday that he would no longer pledge allegiance to the king when it was no longer mandatory.
Meanwhile, work continued in the Blue Room in the absence of the three protesting PQ MPs.
The Quebec Solidaire CAQ has passed a resolution backed by the government and the Liberal opposition that would “make the oath of allegiance to the king optional after the swift passage of the bill”.
Solidarity MP Sol Zanetti also re-introduced the bill to this effect.
Prime Minister Francois Legault reiterated his intention to do the same next week.
It remains to be seen whether members of Parliament will agree to pass it at full speed as the session ends next Friday.
– With QMI Agency
Elected PQ members will have to submit the doctor’s note if they pull it
If procedures continue before the oath to the King is revoked, PQ members will have to justify their absence from the Blue Room without contravening the code of conduct for members of the National Assembly.
Indeed, a deputy must “exercise due diligence in the performance of his duties,” the document governing the actions of elected officials provides.
Usually, members are absent for long periods due to maternity/paternity leave or illness.
“In all cases, MNAs must notify the commissioner and have the necessary supporting documents if necessary,” explained a spokeswoman for Ethics Commissioner Anne-Sophie Saint-Gelais.
But the long absence of liberal Tony Tomassi has already produced some interesting case law.
A former families minister was forced to produce a doctor’s note to defend his refusal to sit after being expelled from the Liberal caucus for using a credit card paid for by the BCIA.
Despite this doctor’s note, the commissioner concluded in 2012 that Mr. Tomassi had failed in his duties by failing to attend.
They want to cancel it as soon as possible
However, Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon and his colleagues are expected to quickly break the binding oath they made with the king to keep them from pursuing long-term television work.
But parliamentary history is littered with unfulfilled promises.
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Bernard Drainville, New Education commentator