50 ideas to improve Quebec

A few months before the provincial elections, journalists from all sections of the Journal de Québec and the Journal de Montréal surveyed experts, contacts and people who work in the field to find out their ideas for improving Quebec.

50 ideas to improve Quebec

A few months before the provincial elections, journalists from all sections of the Journal de Québec and the Journal de Montréal surveyed experts, contacts and people who work in the field to find out their ideas for improving Quebec.

How would they make things happen? What would be their solutions to make Quebec a stronger province? How can we improve the lot of our students in our schools? How can we help our artists to promote their work? How to reduce the number of feminicides?

This shock team of journalists whose work is presented to you today has multiplied meetings to bring together 50 ideas that would allow Quebec to become better.

From education to health, from justice to sports, from culture to public safety, all sectors have been scrutinized.

Election campaign

Over the next few months, political parties will increase their announcements and promises during the election campaign.

Will they dare to promise to use the Generations Fund, as economists Fortin and Godbout suggest in our tab number 21?

Who will side with CAA-Quebec to lower the blood alcohol level to 0.05, as we can read in item 32?

Will a party have the courage to listen to the experts and establish a moratorium on the construction of new roads, as they propose in our item number 8?

The exercise carried out by our team of journalists forces reflection and it will be interesting to see which ideas among the following 50 will end up seeing the light of day.

Good reading !

Jean LaRocheProject manager

Due to a lack of childcare space for their child, many parents, often mothers, are forced to postpone their return to work. Deprived of income, some are struggling.

This is what prompted the citizen movement Ma place au travail to demand an emergency benefit for parents who cannot find a place in daycare for their baby.

"We receive thousands of testimonials from parents, from families who can no longer pay their mortgage, who can no longer put bread on the table because they have no place in daycare", underlines Marilyne Dion, a mom and volunteer who acts as co-spokesperson for the group.

Opposition parties followed suit. Québec solidaire has asked for the introduction of emergency financial assistance of $870 per month granted to parents after the end of their parental leave, until they find a place in daycare or until their toddler reaches the age of 18 months. But, for the moment, the Minister of the Family, Mathieu Lacombe, rejects this idea.

– Genevieve Lajoie

Finding daycare for your child is like an obstacle course for new parents. And despite the government's promises, creating new childcare spaces takes time.

After a study mission in France in 2019, the Quebec Council for Early Childhood Educational Services (CQSEPE) was inspired by our French cousins ​​to propose a new daycare formula, halfway between the family environment and the CPE.

This hybrid model allows home daycare providers (RSG) to welcome toddlers outside their residence, whether in a community room or premises provided by the city, by a company or by a health. RSGs can even work in teams of two.

"It offers twelve places quickly, quality childcare services, evaluated and coordinated by the coordinating offices, I think it's a step forward", rejoices Francine Lessard, director general of the CQSEPE.

The Minister of Families, Mathieu Lacombe, has just given the green light to a three-year pilot project.

– Genevieve Lajoie

In Quebec, more than one million people between the ages of 16 and 65 can be considered illiterate, since they have difficulty writing a postcard or reading the dosage of a drug.

To remedy this, the government should adopt a real strategy to fight illiteracy, especially in the context of a labor shortage, argues the Institute for Cooperation in Adult Education.

Illiteracy leads to a situation of “systemic exclusion” for individuals and harms the development, productivity and competitiveness of the province, underlines its director general, Daniel Baril.

Beyond funding popular education groups, more global initiatives should be set up, in particular to encourage companies to offer basic training to employees who need it, he says.

– Daphnée Dion-Viens

To improve the quality of French at school, several experts agree on the importance of practicing writing regularly in class.

“There are automatisms to develop. It’s like training at the gym three times a week,” says Pascale Lefrançois, dean of the Faculty of Education at Université de Montréal.

Integrating writing workshops regularly in class is a good way to do this. Several teachers who have tried the experiment, through writing workshops, have been pleasantly surprised with the results.

However, it remains to convince more teachers to join, since it is a practice that Quebec cannot impose because of the professional autonomy guaranteed to teachers.

– Daphnée Dion-Viens

The shortage of teachers causes many headaches in the school system. In recent months, voices have been raised to demand accelerated training to become a teacher.

Non-legally qualified teachers hired in schools must do a two-year qualifying master's degree to obtain their teaching certificate, a training that can still stretch over several years if taken part-time.

Simon Landry, a Montreal-area high school teacher, recently proposed creating a five- to six-week intensive summer course for those who have already graduated from university, which would lead to a temporary certification valid for a few years. Teachers' unions, however, fear that this type of accelerated training will devalue the profession. The debate has begun.

– Daphnée Dion-Viens

In the college network, the low graduation rate of boys is a growing concern.

The Fédération des cégeps has been sounding the alarm for quite some time now. In the ranks of CEGEP students, 69% of girls graduate two years after the expected duration of their program, compared to 56% of boys.

According to the government's action plan for success in higher education, one of the solutions involves "meaningful models" which should "be offered to young men because of the significant gender gap in terms of access to higher education”.

After the "Hats off, girls!" ", created 25 years ago to promote women who choose a traditionally male profession, "it is high time" for the Ministry of Education to create a similar initiative for boys, says Égide Royer, psychologist and expert in school perseverance.

The idea has also inspired the Les chums collective, which will award a scholarship this fall to a CEGEP student who has been accepted into a program leading to a traditionally female profession.

– Daphnée Dion-Viens

There seems to be a consensus on the observation, the solutions to get there are divided

In the school network, more and more voices are being raised to denounce the perverse effects of the three-speed school. The time has come to fix it, according to many.

The situation has been decried for a long time. Private schools, but also selective private programs in the public network, attract the best students. This three-tier system results in “skimming”, so that a concentration of weaker young people end up in mainstream classes.

Several high school teachers make the same observation. “The regular is practically made school adaptation classes”, recently launched one of them in the Journal.

Educational pathways are no longer comparable, and therefore are no longer fair, says Claude Lessard, professor emeritus in the sociology of education at the University of Montreal. “Parents know this and act accordingly, it is obvious. The knit of democratization that we put in place 50 years ago has frayed, ”he says.

More equity demanded

However, in recent years, initiatives to denounce such a situation have multiplied. The École ensemble movement and the Debout pour l’école collective! have joined their voices with the teachers' unions which have been denouncing the perverse effects of the three-speed school for a long time.

They all call for a more equitable education system, rather than helping to perpetuate the inequalities created by the socioeconomic background of students.

“Political indifference”

Despite this scientific consensus, Mr. Lessard deplores a “certain complacency or political indifference” in this regard. The Legault government recently announced that it will assume part of the bill charged to parents for registration fees in specific programs up to a maximum of $200, a measure that does not, however, attack selection on the based on school results.

However, solutions have been mooted over the years, such as the abolition of subsidies to private schools, an avenue that is far from achieving consensus.

During the Consensus Conference on Social and School Diversity in 2019, researchers and stakeholders in the education network however agreed for the first time on a series of recommendations to make the school network more equitable.

Special programs in public schools should be free and accessible to all. Funding for private schools would be granted on the condition that these establishments take in more students in difficulty or from less well-off families.

Claude Lessard, who chaired this conference, now thinks that these solutions are not sufficient to correct the situation. We must go so far as to finance 100% of private schools in order to make them non-selective and autonomous neighborhood schools, he says, as proposed by the École ensemble movement, of which he chairs the board of directors.

Is this a realistic solution? “The sociologist in me will tell you no. But the activist will tell you that if we limit ourselves to realism, we will never do anything. »

– Daphnée Dion-Viens

Many experts are advocating for a moratorium on increasing road capacity. This is also a recommendation of the government's committee of experts on climate change.

For Sarah Doyon, the road transport versus public transport financing ratio must go from 70%-30% to 50%-50%. “The 50% dedicated to road transport should be devoted to road maintenance. »

Marie-Hélène Vandersmissen adds that we also need “a revision of municipal taxation which encourages urban sprawl”.

Angèle Pineault-Lemieux specifies that the electrification of transport is an "important milestone", but that it is not a solution to urban sprawl, infrastructure costs, congestion and the health risks associated with road safety. Rather than investing in asphalt, we must develop active mobility such as walking and cycling through dedicated envelopes, she says.

– Stephanie Martin

Several experts point out that to steer Quebec towards sustainable development, a major shift must be made towards public transit.

“Generally speaking, Quebec’s priorities should be on the side of urban public transit. Nothing is as important, both for the benefit of citizens and for the environment,” insists Jean Mercier, associate professor at Laval University.

This orientation is also written black on white in the government's Sustainable Mobility Policy, insist Sarah Doyon, director general of Trajectoire Québec, and Angèle Pineault-Lemieux, of Accès transports viables.

“It is essential to maintain the objective of 5% increase in the public transit service offer, while finding new sources of funding,” argues Ms. Doyon. Initiatives such as a contribution from employers, who could provide passes to their employees, can also provide funding for transport companies, suggests Fanny Tremblay-Racicot, assistant professor at ÉNAP.

– Stephanie Martin

Interregional transport has suffered from the pandemic and it is time to think about revamping it, underline researchers Laurent Boudreau and Pascale Marcotte.

“The increase in interregional public transport could thus be of use to local populations, but also to tourists, who are also more likely to seek spaces outside cities. »

Especially in the context where, over the past two years, many workers have settled outside the major urban centres. "To return to the city, this day a week, everyone will use their car, because the interregional transport offer is clearly insufficient", they note.

Fanny Tremblay-Racicot believes that the bus should be favored as a mode of intercity transportation, but believes that we must also "ensure the adequate development of the VIA Rail high-speed train" and that governments must fund its implementation. if necessary.

– Stephanie Martin

Quebec is crossed by an essential waterway, the St. Lawrence River, which is underused in terms of transport, estimates assistant professor at ÉNAP Fanny Tremblay-Racicot.

“Quebec was built with cabotage and schooners. This is how we developed the territory, with the river. You have to look at other modes to get around Quebec. In Vancouver, they have sea buses. We talk a lot about river shuttles. It's super nice, moving on the water. We must be innovative and creative in the search for solutions. »

The researcher points out that there are wharves all along the river, although they have been neglected by the federal government. “There is a very strong potential for economic and tourist development as well. »

For now, on the contrary, we are seeing a decrease in ferry service on the river, she said. According to her, it is necessary to “reform the Société des traversiers du Québec in order to improve and diversify the service offer”.

– Stephanie Martin

"While we are in an era where we must radically change the ways of getting around if we want to move towards decarbonization and depollution, tourism must also be radically transformed," say professors Laurent Boudreau and Pascale Marcotte, researchers specializing in tourism at Laval University.

What if international tourists were not the financial godsend we think? The researchers point out that no scientific study demonstrates that their spending at destination is higher than that of domestic tourists.

They point out that tourism brings benefits, but also costs. They therefore propose that the tourist tax that visitors pay be used not only in the tourist sphere, but also in the community, in particular in transport, especially interregional, to "allow them to move more sustainably".

– Stephanie Martin

A small revolution that is taking place could change the perspective of frontline medical care: patients will increasingly be treated by a professional other than a doctor, which should improve access.

“We can't find enough doctors quickly so that everyone has one. That's pretty clear, says Régis Blais, professor at the University of Montreal specializing in health network management. And we realize that we can fill the need with other professionals. Nurses can do more than they do now. »

With the recent announcement of the end of the objective of the family doctor to all Quebecers, medical clinics should offer more consultations with nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, etc.

According to Mr. Blais, follow-ups for certain pathologies could also be done by other professionals, such as diabetes. Administrative work must also be reduced.

“If we managed to reduce the tasks of doctors by 10%, it would be as if we had 1000 more. [...] But it takes willpower, openness. »

- Heloise Archambault

The collection of computerized medical data is essential to better treat people and manage the network, agree the specialists.

“Quebec is late,” says Régis Blais, professor at the University of Montreal. It allows you to follow the progress. It's like being on the road with a speedometer. It is a guide to know where we are going and to be able to correct.

Several local initiatives have been set up in hospitals to monitor emergency room statistics or hospitalization lengths of stay, but they are not necessarily compiled at the provincial level.

During COVID-19, death statistics were still compiled by fax, which delayed reports.

The Minister of Health Christian Dubé has mentioned several times the importance of having clear indicators, and a dashboard was recently put online to monitor certain data (emergency waiting, surgery, etc.)

The Québec Health Record goes in this direction, but it remains incomplete.

– Heloise Archambault

The massive influx of seniors will cause a crisis if the network is not better adapted

Quebec must better detect early dementia and review the way it cares for seniors at home, experts urge, otherwise the gray tsunami will cause major crises in access to services.

"There's a major problem coming, and it's just going to get bigger. If there is no strategy, we will be buried with people who need help and who will be left to fend for themselves,” laments Dr. Ziad Nasreddine, a neurologist specializing in Alzheimer’s.

“We will have a crisis like that of the CHSLDs which will be even worse, because there will not be enough resources to keep people at home and keep them as independent as possible”, judges the doctor from Longueuil.

Between 2015 and 2035, the number of Quebecers over the age of 65 will increase by 67%, notes a report by the Auditor General of Quebec (VGQ). Cases of dementia will almost double (see below), and will affect nearly 200,000 seniors.

Despite this dizzying increase in demand, the number of places in CHSLDs has decreased by 15% since 2005, notes the VGQ in a report from last May. Moreover, the experts are unanimous: we must better organize front-line and home care for this vulnerable population.

Already, seniors occupy a large share of hospital beds, either in the emergency room or on the floors waiting to be sent elsewhere. It is therefore the whole system that is paralyzed, and forces the postponement of surgeries.

Financial allowances

According to a researcher from the Center of Excellence on Aging in Quebec, direct financial allocations must be put in place for seniors, according to their needs. Thus, they can stay at home as long as possible, and no longer depend solely on home care from the public network.

“The person will be able to buy services, and the government will save money, believes Philippe Voyer. We need to roll out the red carpet more for people who want to provide care, [...] such as community organizations and the private sector. »

twice as expensive

According to him, this solution implemented in Switzerland and France would also compensate caregivers, who are essential for seniors and compensate for the lack of employees in the network.

According to the Canadian Medical Association, the cost and demand for elder care will double between 2019 and 2031, from $30 billion to $59 billion.

According to Dr. Nasreddine, cognitive screening centers must also be set up to allow rapid treatment of patients and prolong autonomy.

“If problems go undetected, people forget to take their medication and end up in hospital, and cost the system even more,” he says. We shoot ourselves in the foot because of our lack of long-term vision. »

AN AGING POPULATION

Seniors 65 and over

2015 1 429 529

2035 ( 67 %*) 2 388 157

Seniors with dementia issues

2015 98 352

2035 ( 94 %*) 191 274

*projection of the report of the Auditor General of Quebec, 2022

Source : VGQ

– Heloise Archambault

In the third quarter of 2021, Quebec had 238,000 vacant positions, 100,000 more than a year earlier. A hot topic, the labor shortage is on everyone's lips.

“One of the concrete solutions to counter the scarcity of labor is the need to invest in digital transformation such as automation and robotization,” says Carl Viel, President and CEO of Québec International.

“This shift allows the company to improve its productivity per employee while mitigating the difficulties associated with hiring labor. »

It is just as important, according to him, to rely on training to promote the acquisition of skills, the reallocation of staff within the company or even to ensure professional transition. “The implementation of a combination of means can also contribute to the retention of the workforce. »

Mr. Viel cites, among other things, work flexibility, company advantages, training opportunities, possibilities for career advancement, the retention of older workers and the inclusion of underserved segments of the population. represented.

– Diane Tremblay 

The labor shortage is a major problem for businesses in the country, but especially for SMEs in Quebec. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), 55% of Canadian businesses are experiencing labor shortages, compared to 64% in Quebec.

“When they are not experiencing labor shortages, companies are still impacted because their suppliers are experiencing labor shortages. This creates delays in deliveries,” says Jasmin Guénette, vice-president of national affairs at the CFIB.

For the body, several means can be put forward to counter this phenomenon. “We need to improve and simplify the immigration system, particularly the temporary foreign worker program. Our suggestion is to open this program for all types of jobs and in all sectors of the economy, regardless of the regional unemployment rate. »

“There are many positions to be filled and we absolutely must open up immigration more widely, more quickly for all types of jobs and in all sectors of the economy. »

– Diane Tremblay 

The establishment of tax benefits would be a good way to encourage the retention of the workforce, believes for his part Steeve Lavoie, president and CEO of the Chamber of commerce and industry of Quebec.

“We would like measures that would encourage experienced workers to stay at work and retirees to return to work, measures that would improve the integration of economic immigrants and that would make it possible to integrate people with limitations, as well as measures that would attract Indigenous people and retired military personnel to the job market,” he says.

Several tax measures could encourage the return of retirees, such as allowing workers aged 65 to be exempt from contributing to the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). Another example, QPP recipients have a period of six months after the first payment of their pension to make a request for cancellation, if they decide to return to work. This restriction could be eliminated. Experienced workers would like to be able to suspend their pension and start again later with a bonus rather than being penalized from a tax point of view.

– Diane Tremblay 

For more than 20 years, the government has promised that it will clean up health care records. After sinking billions of dollars into various projects, the mess persists.

Patient information is still being lost because the systems of the various establishments in Quebec are not compatible. They can sometimes even still be in paper version.

The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé (photo), has promised a technological modernization plan for the network costing nearly $1 billion. The centerpiece is the Digital Health Record (DSN) which should improve the patient experience. A fully digital tool through which Quebecers will have access to their unique file in real time. Ditto for health professionals.

Will this time be the right one? Calls for tenders have just been launched and a pilot project will begin at the end of 2022. Two establishments, one in Montreal and the other in Mauricie, will be guinea pigs for two years.

“This transformation will save valuable time by reducing paperwork. With the digital health record, the data will follow the patient. He will therefore no longer have to tell his story several times when changing establishments, ”said the minister.

–Nicolas Lachance

The massive data leak at Desjardins and the numerous identity frauds that followed showed all the vulnerabilities of Quebecers' personal data, mainly digitally.

According to Quebec, the solution lies in a strong and secure digital identity, virtually impossible to steal. The Minister of Cybersecurity and Digital, Éric Caire (photo), has been working on this since taking office, drawing inspiration from models such as that of Estonia.

In order to protect the identity of Quebecers and allow them to obtain public services [and perhaps even private, for example from banks], the government wants to create a “secure” application and digital wallet.

To achieve this, the government will use facial recognition to certify their identity and authenticate them. This technology is worrying, but the minister assures that the one used will be safe.

Then, “there is absolutely no question of forcing Quebecers to use it,” said the minister. The solution should be available by 2025.

–Nicolas Lachance

The Debt Reduction Act adopted in 2006 by Jean Charest's government has "fulfilled its objective" and the time has come to devote the $4 billion paid to the Generations Fund to "recover the health and education sectors". education, who have an immense need for it," believes economist Pierre Fortin.

The Debt Reduction Act was intended to relieve future generations of debt repayment. "The budget must move from solving the problem of high debt [...] to solving the real problems of the real world," says Mr. Fortin, citing in particular the areas of education, health and climate.

His colleague Luc Godbout (photo), holder of the Chair in Taxation and Public Finance at the University of Sherbrooke, shares the same idea, but believes that we should be a little more patient before pulling the plug.

“We want to have a Quebec debt below the average for Canadian provinces. Once we have that, we can stop saying that we will continue to repay the debt. With the income devoted to repaying the debt, to be paid into the generation fund, we will have leeway to balance our budgets if ever the challenge of aging is difficult, ”advances the public finance expert.

He believes that such an idea could be put forward “within a horizon of 10 to 15 years”.

“With an aging economy, spending will continue to grow faster than income. [...] It will always be a challenge until 2040, to balance the Quebec budget. It may be that the 4 billion is just to say: we stop stressing, it will allow us to balance the budget. »

– Simon Baillargeon

Better management of public finances requires a review of the size of the public service, says economist at the Montreal Economic Institute (IEDM), Olivier Rancourt.

And if Quebec wants to go down this path, it suggests “returning administrators to serving the population. Mr. Rancourt cites the example of nurses who become middle managers in the health network. These officials are placed "on a shelf", he says. “Instead of providing services to the population, they become administrators. »

Since 2018, the size of the Quebec public service has increased by 13%, recalls Mr. Rancourt, while the number of workers in the private sector and self-employed workers has stagnated.

Such an initiative would be beneficial for the province, as it would act on three fronts. “It would reduce our costs, deal with the labor shortage and also provide better service [to citizens]. »

– Simon Baillargeon

The boost needed to improve our health system will not come from a major reform, as we have too often seen in recent decades, but “from several small transformations over several years”.

Quebec already devotes $ 55.8 billion to health, or 39% of its budget, recalls the full professor at the National School of Public Administration Marie-Soleil Tremblay. And there is every reason to believe that these expenses will increase faster than income growth over the next few years, she says.

"It's not that we don't invest enough, but we don't invest properly," says Ms. Tremblay. It is not a great idea that will reform the health system. It's going to take several small changes over a long period of time to get there. According to her, politicians must guide the changes with “a long-term vision” since it “will take time” and that “choices will have to be made”.

– Simon Baillargeon

Not only must we simplify the processing of temporary and permanent immigration applications, but we must also speed up the processing times for files, which can stretch over several months. For Véronyque Tremblay, President and CEO of the Association Hôtellerie Québec (AHQ), the labor shortage is having a huge impact on the development of the hotel industry and "this shortage is not about to be reduced ", she says.

“We have to realize that we will not be able to meet all our needs from the pool of Quebec workers. It's really long lead times. The provincial and the federal must work together to help us. Yes, we continue to bet on our young people and promote hospitality professions, that's perfect, but it's not enough. You have to see the reality. »

In addition, from a sustainable development perspective, the AHQ believes that hoteliers should be able to count on a subsidy program to install electric charging stations.

– Diane Tremblay 

Tourism has been the hardest hit sector during the pandemic. Among the issues we know about, there is one that is rarely talked about, and that is training.

“Tourism study programs are dated. I did not see anywhere where we wanted to improve them because often our jobs are taken for granted. To encourage young people, in the medium and long term, to pursue a career in the industry, the courses must be relevant and stick to the reality of companies. There are a lot of courses, both at the professional trades level and at the college and university level,” said Martin Soucy, President and CEO of the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec.

The programs would benefit from integrating the work-study formula, according to him.

"There are plenty of internships at the end of your studies, but why not study at the same time as you work? If you work, you can concretely put into practice what you learn. In tourism, we can offer that very well. Of course, this leads to different school calendars. The work-study alternation, I think it is a key. »

“If we tell the government that tourism is a key sector, the boots must follow the lips. The Ministry of Education must take into account that the Government of Quebec is making it a priority. »

– Diane Tremblay

The number of housing starts over the past ten years has not been sufficient, according to the Association professionnelle des courtiers immobiliers du Québec, to meet the strong demand. A large segment of first-time buyers is unable to access single-family homes in the most affected CMAs. For the Association, subsidizing young households in any way would be tantamount to further fueling the conditions conducive to one-upmanship, said Charles Brant, director of the Market Analysis Service.

“The solution is therefore rather to improve the construction of affordable housing in structured environments, close to services to limit urban sprawl and the carbon footprint,” he says.

“This implies greater flexibility with regard to the zoning plan of the agglomerations most affected by overheating; this flexibility should result in zoning regulations that are better adapted to land and its uses in order to increase the area of ​​building land for residential purposes. »

“Municipalities or the government should subsidize developers who undertake to build affordable housing according to specifications and a level of profitability defined according to certain guarantees. »

– Diane Tremblay 

Every day, the Breakfast Club reaches more than 67,000 children in more than 480 school and community programs in Quebec, to help them start the day on the right foot and have an equal opportunity to learn.

For the organization, the establishment of a universal school feeding program is the most effective and sustainable way to provide access to nutritious food for all children.

“School nutrition programs are more than just a meal. They help create a caring and inclusive community, improve school learning skills, improve physical and mental health, and promote child attendance and engagement,” says Tommy Kulczyk, Executive Director of the Club des petits lunches.

“Children are the future of our society,” he says, “and we have a collective responsibility to support their development now and for the future. »

– Diane Tremblay 

The pandemic has accentuated issues that were already present among young people, in addition to creating new ones. According to the Association of Independent Youth Community Organizations of Quebec (ROCAJ), the health of young people has been affected both mentally and physically.

“Autonomous community youth organizations make it possible to reach young people who are often distant or at odds with the system, the work of these organizations is in significant complementarity. This is why we must grant adequate funding to autonomous community youth organizations so that no young person is left behind,” said Philippine Bonte, spokesperson.

ROCAJ observes that many government actions target 0-12 year olds, while 12-29 year olds are often only supported in terms of employment qualifications, when the needs are numerous.

“12-25 year olds are often absent in the development of public policies, particularly in the areas of prevention. All young people must be considered in a holistic approach throughout their life course and they must not be recognized only through the difficulties they are going through,” added Ms. Bonte.

– Diane Tremblay 

In order to better protect tenants and the affordable rental housing stock, mandatory and universal rent control must be introduced, according to the Bureau d’animation et information logement du Québec métropolitain (BAIL).

For tenants, the soaring rents affecting Quebec are the main obstacle to accessing housing and staying in the premises.

The current mechanisms to regulate rent increases, created several decades ago by the Quebec government, are “inefficient”, says the BAIL, since their implementation rests entirely on the shoulders of the tenants.

Each year, the Administrative Housing Tribunal (TAL) establishes percentage increases that owners are free to apply or not.

The BAIL would like to see the establishment of a control mechanism that would set the maximum rate of increase to prevent abuse. This role could be assumed by the TAL.

– Diane Tremblay 

In the short term, the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victims de violence conjugale asks the government to create six new homes, at least, to meet the growing demand.

According to the Regroupement, the latest Quebec government budget will cover only a third of the needs that had been determined, underlines the president, Chantal Arseneault.

The Regroupement estimates that an increase of $35.5 million is necessary for the consolidation of the network and the immediate creation of six new houses. However, by adding the amounts promised in the spring of 2021 and the amounts provided for in the 2022 budget, the overall envelope for the houses will be increased by $14 million. Even at maturity, in five years, only $28 million will have been added. It is therefore a significant shortfall, which will affect the services of the houses, supports the organization which represents 44 houses of assistance and accommodation.

Over the years, the houses will have to deal with inflation and the need to increase the wages of the workers to meet the salary scales.

– Diane Tremblay

Prevention remains the best way to prevent feminicides in Quebec

Femicide remains one of the most significant social issues of recent years and two large-scale projects currently underway could allow better prevention of these tragedies.

Already, since the beginning of the year, five women have been murdered in a marital context in Quebec. In the previous year, the figure was 26.

All industry observers agree: prevention remains the best way to avoid such tragedies.

Strut bracelets have just been deployed. The project will be implemented first in the Quebec region, then eventually throughout the province.

The private firm Les Commissionaires won the contract to monitor offenders who will wear the bracelets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The main criterion for joining the program will be the consent of the victim. The wristband wearer must also have been charged or convicted of a violent offence. A judge, a prison director and the Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles will be able to order such a condition of release.

Specialized court

At the same time, the first specialized court for sexual assault and domestic violence has just been launched in Quebec City, where the number of cases for sexual assault and domestic violence is particularly high. It aims in particular to encourage women to file a complaint.

By granting them better support, in particular by keeping the same prosecutor for the entire duration of the proceedings, by installing screens and by granting reserved rooms, the new system aims to make victims as comfortable as possible in navigating this painful process.

The ultimate goal of this major project is to adapt the system to the victims, and not the other way around.

– Frederique Giguere

Drunk driving remains one of the most frequent causes of death on the roads in Quebec. Despite this alarming observation, which has persisted for several decades, the government continues to ignore one of the most frequently proposed solutions, that of imposing administrative sanctions as soon as the limit of 0.05 is reached.

Many organizations have suggested it in the past and a reform of the Highway Safety Code has been attempted a few times over the past 15 years.

The INSPQ is among the proponents of the idea, saying alertness and the ability to maintain a straight line, drive in one's lane, and judge distance to another vehicle are affected when a person is 0.08 . What's more, driving with a blood alcohol level above 0.05 quadruples the risk of a fatal collision.

For CAA-Quebec, this modification would be highly beneficial, since statistics show that the vast majority of people who are caught for drunk driving never reoffend.

However, the Ministry of Transport still does not intend to review the blood alcohol level allowed in Quebec, but remains open to discussing any initiative that would improve the road safety record.

– Frederique Giguere

While hundreds of millions of dollars have recently been invested in the fight against guns, Ottawa is studying the possibility of reducing the minimum sentences for many offenses related to it. Two completely contradictory initiatives, believe many police officers.

Currently under consideration, Bill C-5 would notably eliminate minimum sentences for serious offenses such as discharging, possessing and using a firearm. The initiative aims to reduce the proportion of Indigenous and Black people in prisons.

The federal government would send a very bad message by adopting such a law, according to the Association of Quebec Police Directors (ADPQ), considering the numerous shootings that have occurred recently in the greater Montreal area.

Their representative, Laval police chief Pierre Brochet, suggests instead granting discretionary power to judges, by allowing them in certain circumstances not to adopt a minimum sentence for "humanitarian reasons".

– Frederique Giguere

The government should “offer significant incentives” to convince immigrants to settle in the regions, which are struggling to attract them and which are in great need of them.

“[We must] have immigration programs specific to the regions of Quebec,” proclaims Hélène Lejeune, head of immigrant services for the Alpha-Lira organization in Sept-Îles.

According to her, the Department of Immigration already has strategies in place to persuade newcomers, but "more needs to be done," such as in Ontario, where programs encourage immigrants to settle in northern province.

“Regional immigration is one thing, remote immigration is another. For the Ministry [of Immigration], Saint-Hyacinthe is a region. But when Saint-Hyacinthe competes with the Côte-Nord to attract immigrants, we are definitely at a disadvantage, like many other regions. »

– Simon Baillargeon

Quebec "already has a good base" to welcome its immigrants, but if the province wishes to succeed "the great challenge" of their integration, it must absolutely "consolidate its complementary services".

Concretely, this means preparing the work upstream, before the arrival of immigrants, explains the director general of the Center multiethnique de Québec, Natacha Battisti. “It allows us to see the challenges before the finish. That is the great challenge of integration,” she sums up.

The leader of this independent community organization whose mission is to welcome immigrants of all categories to Quebec City reminds us that we must “knock on several doors” when preparing for the arrival of newcomers. But the better this preparation, the greater the chances that the integration will go well. “It allows us to see the challenges before the finish. »

She gives the example of an immigrant whose arrival in Quebec was well prepared and his beginnings in a new work environment were planned. “If my worker is well in his workplace, in his reception. It will have a positive effect on its host community. And the reverse is also true. It's win-win. But for that, we have to work on our services upstream. »

– Simon Baillargeon

The “abominable” delays in processing applications for foreign workers must imperatively be reduced by the government if Quebec wishes to reduce its labor shortage problem.

“It was three or four months before the pandemic. Now it's 16 months,” laments the president of the Immigration Assistance Association, Robert Stead, who believes that the government must take the bull by the horns and put in place strategies to minimize the waiting time.

According to him, hiring people to process requests and restructuring the way of doing things would help solve the problem. “They had the idea of ​​centralizing a lot of requests at a single embassy. For example, Cuba, Venezuela and several other surrounding countries all go to Mexico. [...] Unfortunately, it's late and it's causing problems. »

– Simon Baillargeon

It is not necessary to look far to find the idea that will allow Quebecers to improve living together. For the co-founder of the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec, Boufeldja Benabdallah (photo), the solution lies in small concrete actions and the multiplication of meetings and opportunities to fraternize with immigrants.

Through simple initiatives, for example sharing a couscous, as proposed by an exotic food merchant in Quebec, things can change.

"Living together around a couscous is another way to forge ties, to get to know each other, to taste a dish now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because it brings people together without distinction. and on all occasions of joy or sorrow,” Mr. Abdallah points out.

He also cites as an example a collective garden in Sainte-Foy, “where fraternal encounters around actions of gardening the land and sharing of harvests”, make it possible to forge strong links.

"This example could be multiplied in the 21 districts of Quebec City," he says.

– Simon Baillargeon

“Big steps” have been taken in Quebec to improve living together with the First Nations. But if the province wishes to continue in this direction, it will go through "a celebration of our cultures", assures the director of the Regroupement des centers d'intérieures du Québec (RCAAQ), Tanya Sirois.

And to achieve this, everyone, without exception, must do their part. “We must take the time to listen to others, learn, listen and pass on our learnings,” says Ms. Sirois. I don't want to look like I'm lecturing. I include myself in that. It will take effort and the effort must come from everyone. »

The interview with Ms. Sirois took place on June 21, National Aboriginal Day. It is precisely on the occasion of “this kind of day that we can take the trouble to learn something new about a culture”, she underlines.

“You have to talk to each other, listen to each other, respect each other and discover each other through several events. [...] It is a solution that is accessible to all. »

– Simon Baillargeon

Twenty years after the implementation of the National Water Policy, it is now “important to ensure water management by catchment area” in order to ensure the sustainability of this precious resource.

“Obtaining the true global portrait by watershed” is essential, judges the director general of the organization Eau Secours, Rébecca Pétrin. To remedy the situation, it is imperative to know the quantity of water withdrawn by the large companies established in Quebec.

“The data is not transparent, it is hidden under commercial secrecy. We went to court to have the quantities taken by the water bottlers in Quebec and it was refused to us, ”she laments.

Ms. Pétrin recalls that “very large quantities” of water are withdrawn without knowing the effects on the watersheds of each region.

“There will be major conflicts of use in the future, and the current ignorance means that we have a waste of water and we cannot manage it responsibly. We have to have the figures, ”she adds.

– Simon Baillargeon

Quebec's forests would greatly benefit from the establishment of a national public forest observatory that would allow an "independent" and "transparent" look at this precious resource.

The professor of animal and forest ecology at UQAM and director of the Center for Forest Studies pleads for the creation of such an organization to better protect the immense forests of the province.

"The gain is in access to rigorous, transparent information, which is not biased by an organization which is judge and part of the sustainable development of the forest", explains Mr. Drapeau, specifying in passing that the government currently finds itself to be "judge and jury in its development strategies. »

He reminds us that the scientific community has been concerned about forest management for a long time. “Academia can certainly be part of the solution,” he says.

Thus, Quebec forests need “a little independence and a lot of science,” he summarizes. “The government is taking stock of the forest from 2013 to 2018. It is a trickle. We are only promoting the implementation of a development strategy. But we have no critical analysis of its implementation, what we are doing well or not, how we could improve. »

“The observatory could bring that because it would not necessarily be under the aegis of the ministry. »

– Simon Baillargeon

Quebec politicians must be "more ambitious" for the protection of the environment and a "change of course" is necessary for the province to adopt more effective laws to protect nature.

Professor Paule Halley, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Law, considers it essential that the political class do "introspection" and stop perpetuating "legal regimes that have existed since the 1970s" and which "do not not lead to results. »

According to her, environmental law “is still part of the same continuity of highly discretionary risk management” for more than 50 years.

Even if important changes are made to laws and regulations, they are far from sufficient in the face of the "challenges" facing the planet. You don't just have to manage the risks, you have to mitigate them,” says Halley.

The critical reflection that it proposes is accompanied by legislative changes “in order to grant real legal protection to species at risk and their essential habitats. »

– Simon Baillargeon

Improving the justice system in Quebec requires the education of its citizens. The formula is not rocket science, but it remains effective, pleads the Deputy Director to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP), Sophie Lamarre, since there is “still work to do in terms of education”.

To achieve this, the DPCP has notably set up an educational project called "The schoolyard" where prosecutors meet 5th grade students to give them weekly lessons "in a fun way". For 15 weeks, everything goes: social networks, consent and even a mock trial.

In addition to raising awareness among young people, the activities help to “increase confidence in our system”. "When we demystify how it works [...] we can have confidence, we can also ask questions and have a critical look," summarizes Me Lamarre.

"It's super important because they have to feel that the system is there to support victims, witnesses, etc. It gives a sense of justice and security. »

Just over 1,200 students participated in the project last year. The DPCP “thinks to make it grow” and reach even more young people.

– Simon Baillargeon

The criminal justice system should be "reformed" to allow victims "to be a party to the trial", believes lawyer Marc Bellemare.

This idea put forward by the former Minister of Justice "would allow victims to be fully heard" by the justice system, argues Me Bellemare, even if it led to a "slightly heavier process" .

“The DPCP, its role is to represent the public, it is not to represent the victim. It's all the difference in the world. [...] It is certain that it brings a lot of frustration among the victims, who are not always heard or well represented by the DPCP. »

Thus, victims could have “their lawyer, question the accused, produce evidence and bring in experts, whereas currently it is just the accused and the Crown who have the right to do that. »

But to get there, it will take "a federal government that would be dedicated to the victims, as was the Harper government," says Me Bellemare.

– Simon Baillargeon

We must continue to support victims of crime through laws in order to offer them the “support and accompaniment” necessary to help them “resume the course of their lives. »

The reform of compensation for victims of criminal acts (IVAC), which came into force in October 2021, was a big step in this direction in Quebec. This law “increases eligibility for the financial assistance plan for victims of criminal offences”, welcomes the IVAC.

This same law also made it possible to broaden the notion of victim to include the entire family unit, while modulating the offer of services according to the needs of each victim.

“Thus, the person who directly suffered the criminal offense will be able to receive compensation, and his parents, children, spouse, dependents and relatives will also be able to do so from now on,” explains the IVAC.

– Simon Baillargeon

Appointed general manager of Hockey Quebec last year, Jocelyn Thibault (photo) says he wants to bring Quebec back to the elite of player development.

For the past few years, Quebec has been pale in the National Hockey League draft, where the Ontario and Western leagues, but also players from American universities, have taken the upper hand.

The decline in registrations for minor hockey (a drop of nearly 20% over the past five years) is also of concern to the highest authority in this sport in Quebec. Mr. Thibault attributed the hemorrhage to the rising costs of playing hockey, the rigor of the schedule for young athletes, and the excessive importance given to the elite level.

Among the possible solutions mentioned, there is a minor hockey based more on the acquisition of skills than on competition, as well as better support for the school hockey network.

- Jessica Lapinski

The harsh climate, the inaccessibility of sports facilities (or their non-existence) and the lack of funding for certain disciplines pose problems for several elite athletes, forced to go into exile in Europe or elsewhere in order to be able to practice their sport. And, of course, it doesn't come without costs.

The problem is not unique to Quebec. It affects many elite Canadian athletes. For example, bronze medalists in ski jumping at the Beijing Olympics lamented after their podium finish in February that they had to train in Slovenia at their own expense due to lack of infrastructure. in the country.

In Canada, sports funding is almost solely based on Olympic results, deplore several experts in the field. They demand more equitable funding for all disciplines in order to adequately support athletes in their quest for excellence.

- Jessica Lapinski

The lack of sports infrastructures in Quebec and their obsolescence do not only affect elite athletes, but also the general population.

Director General of Sports Québec, Isabelle Ducharme notes that there are “very good sports infrastructures” in Quebec. "But there is a lack of it to have a good practice of sport, accessible to the population," she says. We lack gymnasiums, arenas, baseball diamonds. »

Ms. Ducharme would like a portrait of the infrastructure that is missing or that requires repair to be drawn up, in order to further democratize access to sports facilities across the province.

“It takes investment. Currently, the ministries receive many requests to which they are unable to respond because the sums are too large, ”she points out.

- Jessica Lapinski

It is by establishing direct contact with local works and writers that young people will experience pleasure and pride in immersing themselves in our literature. A literature in which they find themselves through the places, the characters and their questions.

"I have just returned from the Salon international du livre de Québec and I met some touching people there, including several teachers who teach with children's literature", explains the author Simon Boulerice who goes to meet students from primary and secondary levels. Quebecer for 10 years.

“To talk about social issues – racism, homophobia or exclusion, for example – they turn to books from here, written now. Children, seeing an adult who orchestrates his life from words and fiction, it unfolds dreams of creation and desires to discover the world through books. »

– Sarah-Emilie Nault

The pandemic has proven it: Quebec artists live in constant precariousness and they are too often the first to suffer, and severely, in times of crisis. Long awaited, the reform of the laws on the status of the artist, which date from the end of the 1980s, cannot therefore be delayed.

"It's a matter of social justice. Artists are workers like the others,” argues the director general of the Union of Quebec Writers and Writers, Laurent Dubois, who crossed his fingers recently that the bill from the Minister of Culture, Nathalie Roy , can be tabled before the end of the parliamentary session.

Recent efforts suggest that the bill could be passed before the election campaign.

The artistic community demands to be treated like all other workers when it comes to occupational health and safety. "We expect a structuring law, which grants protection and a mandatory framework at the level of employers", maintains Mr. Dubois.

– Cedric Belanger

What if theaters imitated ski resorts? Every winter, Quebec skiers can take advantage of discounts at more than 70 resorts in the province thanks to the Ski Passe-Partout pass. In order to give people a taste for going to see concerts by Quebec artists, some venues could group together and offer a passport with discounts on tickets or other advantages.

Spokesperson for the Association of Independent Performance Halls of Quebec, which notably includes Club Soda, the Lion d'Or, the St-Denis Theater and the Capitole de Quebec, Michel Sabourin mentions that such a formula would be "good complex to manage.

He recognizes, however, that cinemas must give themselves the means to develop and retain their customers more, "which we do not do". According to him, we must also interest people in going to see local artists, which a passport could facilitate.

– Raphael Gendron-Martin

Yorum yapabilmek için üye girişi yapmanız gerekmektedir.

Üye değilseniz hemen üye olun veya giriş yapın.

NEXT NEWS