Harassment, religious neutrality and family doctor

Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
The act 62 was to put an end to more than a decade of debates, acrimonious around religious accommodation in Quebec.

Beyond the debates, the supporters, the members of the national Assembly managed to adopt a quarantine laws in 2017, attempting to resolve several issues and to contribute to social progress. Look on the balance sheet legislative branches of the government, the job of opposition mps and on what awaits us in 2018.


Laws adopted


Bill 62 had to put an end to more than a decade of debates, acrimonious around religious accommodation in Quebec.


Although it had been adopted the 18th of October last, and that it applies today, the act, which provides for, inter alia, that all public services must be given and received face to face — is being challenged in the courts by groups who argue that it victimizes their right to religious freedom.


Article hinge has been suspended until such time as the government publishes the “guidelines” that will clarify, this year, the accommodations possible.


Among the other social laws passed include the law 99 which tightens the coaching in the youth centres in order to prevent the running away and the sexual exploitation of young people, the act 113, which gives adoptees more information about their origins and the law 115, which aims to tackle elder abuse.


The act 151 aimed to prevent and combat sexual violence in higher education institutions has been adopted at top speed ; the government also held a forum on the issue last December, during which it announced that it enhanced the funding to organizations that help victims of sexual assault and that he made it mandatory to the sex education classes of the first year of primary school to the fifth year of secondary school, and this, in the school year of 2018.


The minister of municipal Affairs and public Safety, Martin Coiteux, has been particularly active ; he introduced in 2017, the law 121 increasing the autonomy and authority of the City of Montréal, the act 122, which recognizes municipalities as governments of proximity and the law 133 forcing police and special constables to wear their uniforms at work.


In health, a million Quebecers have found a family doctor thanks to the agreement on the law 20, which set the 2015 target to achieve the December 31, 2017 (enrolment rate of 85 % and average attendance rate of 80 %). At last count, the enrolment rate was around 79 %, while the attendance rate was 83.4 %.


The government claims that its bill 130 requires the professional obligations that will come to grips with the problems of organization clinic, while the act 148 would help to reduce the cost of drugs.


In education, act 143 aims to improve the quality of child care services and enhance the security in the services that are not regulated, and the law 144 ensures that all children — whether they are asylum seekers, undocumented migrants or other — access to the public school. Yielding to pressure from the opposition, the government has offered in his economic update, the $ 100 per child for the purchase of school supplies.


Retain the adoption of three laws-flavoured economic : the act 108 creating the public procurement Authority, the act 134 aimed to modernise the rules relating to consumer credit and to regulate the contracts of service of settlement of debts, contracts, credit cost and loyalty programs, and the law 137 that creates the electrical Network metropolitan (REM).


In the process of adoption


The process of adoption of the law 107, which aims to increase the competence and independence of the external auditor to the fight against corruption, must continue in the coming months.


The piece of legislation is to be handled with delicacy and caution in light of the recent controversies at the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) : she stopped the mna Guy Ouellette in October last year without filing charges and had to recently get rid of his number 2, dealing with allegations of brokering illegal.


The minister Coiteux has also tabled an amendment to the bill, which has been well-received, to establish a monitoring committee composed of three independent members, who would review the administration of surveys within UPAC.


It continues, moreover, to carry out the investigation Mâchurer, which focuses on the funding policy and the Quebec liberal Party (QLP) to the time when it was headed by Jean Charest.


Coming in 2018


The centerpiece of 2018 will no doubt act 157, which will be the quebec Society of cannabis (SQC).


The government Couillard does not have any other choice than to legislate before 1 July 2018, the day the drug will be legalized by Ottawa.


Bill 157 is therefore anticipated that the cannabis will be sold by a new subsidiary of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), that it will be illegal to grow at home and that it will be zero tolerance of driving. The legal age in Quebec to consume it will be 18 years of age.


The public consultations will continue during the coming months, the minister responsible for the file, Lucie Charlebois, saying it was quite open to improving the bill.


Going hand-in-hand with a law on cannabis, the highway safety Code more beefy : law 165 to allow the minister of Transport, André Fortin, tightening the rules on the road network to attempt to, among other things, eliminate driving distractions caused by electronic devices, and to punish severely repeat offenders of drinking and driving.


Sign that Quebec is in election year, the government Couillard is hoping for the rapid adoption of bill 166, which would reform the system of taxation school and would cuts taxes to all Quebecers, in all regions, to varying degrees.


Québec also intends to revise the Law on labour standards, in order to facilitate the reconciliation of work and family-education and improve the quality of life of employees.


One might find, among other proposals, schedules more flexible, and longer leave for parents. The latest revision of this law dates back to 2002. It was, in particular from 5 to 10 the number of days of leave, without pay, for family obligations.