Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “Honestly, she is not named anywhere, Caroline St-Hilaire, said the Minister of International Relations, Martine Biron. There are no partisan appointments or the appearance of partisan appointments anywhere. »
International Relations Minister Martine Biron accused the opposition of jumping to conclusions by accusing the government of favoritism and “partisan appointment” over Caroline St-Hilaire's candidacy for the number two position of the International Organization. de la Francophonie (OIF).
On Wednesday, Ms. Biron did not deny that Quebec had submitted the name of Ms. St-Hilaire, a defeated CAQ candidate, as part of the selection process for the next administrator. of the OIF at its Paris headquarters. “I didn't deny it, but I didn't confirm it,” she said before heading to a cabinet meeting.
Ms. Biron rejected accusations of cronyism leveled by the opposition over the candidacy of Ms. St-Hilaire, who failed to win the Sherbrooke riding in the last general election. “It seems to me that they are afraid to be afraid. She is at home, Caroline St-Hilaire. »
The Minister stressed that the final choice rests with the Secretary General of La Francophonie, Louise Mushikiwabo. “Honestly, she's not named anywhere, Caroline St-Hilaire,” she said. There are no partisan appointments or the appearance of partisan appointments anywhere.
Le Devoir revealed on Tuesday that the Quebec government had submitted Ms. St-Hilaire's candidacy to Ms. Mushikiwabo. Another candidate, whose name is not known, was proposed by the federal government and its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly.
“It's a process that is shared with Ottawa,” said Ms. Biron. I had good discussions with Mélanie Joly, I shared my observations. The current goes very well between me and her and it is she who makes her proposal. And maybe there are other candidates that we don't know, who come from elsewhere, I'm not aware of that. »
On Wednesday, in the National Assembly, the interim Liberal leader, Marc Tanguay, felt that the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) was showing favoritism by proposing its defeated candidate to the OIF. “At the time of Maurice Duplessis, we called it 'patronage', appointing people who are on the right side,” he said in a press briefing.
According to Mr. Tanguay, the government's choice is a compensation offered to Mrs. St-Hilaire, who failed to be elected under her banner in the riding of Sherbrooke. “When the main reason, if not the only reason, is because you want to follow up on a dealbecause she is a defeated candidate for the CAQ, that cannot be a reason to appoint people,” he said.
Mr. Tanguay also referred to information disclosed by Le Journal de Québec last January indicating that the Legault government had first considered appointing Ms. St-Hilaire delegate of Quebec in Barcelona. “They backed off, but now they're coming back to basically follow through on the deal,” he said.
The co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said that the CAQ acted like the Liberals, who were accused of making such appointments when they were in power. “These are appointments that are clearly partisan. This is exactly the kind of stuff that Quebeckers thought they got rid of by putting the Liberals in opposition, and obviously it continues under the CAQ.
According to Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, this proposal is clearly a return of favor. “At the CAQ, you never really lose your elections,” he said. Even when we lose them, we win. »