Liberals join en masse with the APF to save Francis Drouin

Liberals join en masse with the APF to save Francis Drouin
Liberals join en masse with the APF to save Francis Drouin

Liberal MPs are joining en masse with the Association of Parliamentarians of the Francophonie (APF) to protect their colleague Francis Drouin, president of the organization, from a vote of confidence which is to be held next week.

In the wake of the outcry raised by Mr. Drouin – who called a witness at the Official Languages ​​Committee “full of crap” – Bloc member René Villemure called for an extraordinary meeting of APF members, where he acts as second vice -president.

Since this call launched last Friday, the number of liberal elected officials registered with the APF has practically quadrupled, going from 26 to more than a hundred in less than a week.

“We planned it from the start. It was predictable. It’s happening as we envisioned it,” laments René Villemure on the phone. “And given the arrogance with which this subject has been treated, it does not surprise me. It’s a sudden interest in the French-speaking world!” he quips.

This is an “opportunistic” and “very partisan” strategy, according to conservative Joël Godin. “People got an order from the party. It’s like an election campaign or a nomination contest. We’re in the process of packing the room!” sneers the one who was in the front row on the day of the incident.

A lost motion

The motion which will be voted on next Thursday, May 23, proposes that Francis Drouin be relieved of his functions on the executive of the APF and that he cannot be one of the honorable members after his dismissal.

With the addition of many liberals, not all French-speaking, the total number of APF members, all federal parties combined, increased from 85 to more than 170 between last week and today. It could still increase given the closing of registrations on Wednesday evening, before the vote scheduled for Thursday, May 23.

With such changes in the composition of the APF, the chances of the motion being adopted become practically zero, despite the support of conservative elected officials and the possible support of the NDP.

“We are probably heading towards a defeat, and I find that this defeat will be dishonorable. We’ll let it be known [quand on sera rendu là]», indicated René Villemure.

The office of the Minister of Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, did not want to comment on the situation.

Little known to the public, the APF allows elected officials from the French-speaking world who are members to travel and meet a few times each year. These meetings have been held in particular in Tahiti, Kigali, Brussels, Paris, Edmonton, Luxembourg and Tirana since 2020, according to a report from Newspaper published last year.



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