Higher Education hearings turn sour
The first day of National Assembly hearings on the higher education ministry took a bitter turn as the minister and Liberal critic exchanged a wide-range of attacks and complaints.
Minister Pierre Duchesne launched the 26 hours worth of hearings with a 20-minute tirade against the Liberals' decisions during the student crisis.
"A special law was adopted to break the student movement. A law that unique and inapplicable," Duchesne said, while also coming down on the former government for the tuition increase, and its behaviour toward students.
While National Assembly committee hearings normally take a calmer, less partisan tone, this one was riddled with interruptions as MNAs objected to each other's comments.
Questions to the minister went unanswered, criticism against the LIberals was ignored, and the two main parties dug up grievances from other files: from Arthur Porter and the MUHC, to Gaspesia.
"I will not tolerate the attempts to censor me," Liberal Higher Education critic Gerry Sklavounos said at one point of the hearings.
Minister Pierre Duchesne also suggested at one point that Sklavounos might be hoping for another student crisis -a comment that the minister later retracted.
90 million dollars
Minister Duchesne referred several times to the 90 million dollar cost of the student crisis.
"That's not nothing. That's Quebecer's taxes. 90 million that would be very useful."
The figure had been leaked to the Journal de Quebec by "reliable government sources" and released on the same day as the start of the hearings.